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Fresh Outer Banks Shrimp: What You Need To Look For When Selecting A Restaurant

Fresh Outer Banks Shrimp: What You Need To Look For When Selecting A Restaurant
When you come to the Outer Banks you want fresh shrimp. You know instantly the difference between fresh Pamlicoshrimp_restaurant_outer_banks Sound shellfish from the flat salty frozen franken food, restaurant chains will charge you for that is not as tasty or healthy. No one ever comes in and says “hey can I have some of that frozen dry tasteless nasty old shrimp.” No one has ever said they prefer frozen seafood to fresh seafood caught here, prepared here, and served here.

At Darrells 2 one of the greatest times of year, besides Christmas, is shrimp season. Now granted you can shrimp all your round but the two best times of year are of course the summer and fall in which two very delicious types of shrimp are in the water. Healthy just caught fresh shrimp.

Outer Banks Shrimp In Season

Shrimp season is more than just a date. It is a tradition of Dare County local fisherman who have fished the OBX waters for hundreds of years to get fresh seafood. It is seafood that you’re only going to get in the Outer Banks. In addition to shrimp there’s also a number of other delicacies that you can only get here and only at certain times of the year. Things like the crab slough oyster, or Nags Head soft shell crabs are just another example of things you can only get in the Outer Banks or North Carolina.

Fresh OBX Shrimp Is The Only Choice for Catering or Carryout

And even if you did have them shipped the taste would not be as fresh as just caught shrimp. Especially here at Darrells 2, whether we are catering a festival, a wedding, or preparing carryout, whatever comes off the boat goes into the fryer. And you can taste the difference. Just look at reviews on trip advisor and you can see what a difference fresh makes

outer_banks_shrimp3 types of Pamlico Sound North Carolina Coastal Shrimp

When we think of shrimp we usually don’t realize there is more than just butterfly, cocktail, and jumbo shrimp. There are many types. Three more common types that are found in the OBX are Brown, White, and Pink Shrimp. Each has their characteristics of taste and propagate at different times of the year.

Brown Shrimp: The Summertime Shrimp in the Outer Banks

These are the summertime shrimp. These are the ones the trawlers bring us in droves to satisfy local and visitor appetites for real Atlantic Ocean Shrimp. Over ⅔ of all the shrimp brought out of Carolina waters is this type. These shrimp have a firm texture and the flavor can vary from being mild to a sweet taste. If you are visiting the Outer Banks area, there is a good chance any shrimp you had in the summer were brown shrimp.

White Shrimp: The Spring And Fall Shrimp

These are Carolina’s Spring and Fall shrimp. About 20% of all the shrimp coming out of the Sound or Ocean are these type. Though not as common, this shrimp is known to have the traditional aroma of shrimp and a sweet taste. Though less prominent than brown shrimp, they are still very good.

Pink Shrimp: Less Common

 These account for barely 5% of all the Carolina Shrimp Catch. This shrimp is seen late Spring into mid summer. These tend to have a strong potent flavor and are small.

Outer Banks Seafood and Shrimp Safety

Another important thing you probably have noticed is the fact that true Outer Banks restaurants aim to serve what is in season in the local waterways and Atlantic Ocean area. This does two things for locals and visitors in Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, and Nags Head.
1- It guarantees that not just is the seafood ultra fresh, it is healthy and harvested at the right age and time to ensure quality and nutrition without devastating the ocean environment.
2- It is unlikely that a large seafood chain can fill their requirements by flash freezing one very select specific type of seafood from a particular body of water like Pamlico Sound. Thus they get a “mix” of seafood from multiple places.
For the money you pay for fresh seafood, flat frozen seafood does not sound like a good value. Also people want authentic foods from the area they are in. When someone comes to Darrells 2 from Maryland, or mainland North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, or South Carolina, they want the fresh seafood of the OBX area. And I don’t blame them. There are not a lot of places you can get it due to its limited regional and calendar availability.
  • How Do I Know If My Shrimp is Freshpamlico_sound_fisherman

    If you find yourself in uncharted waters in terms of knowing whether what you are eating is fresh here are a few guidelines:

    Look for fresh catch symbols that the seafood is certified fresh

    If shrimp has an ammonia smell, avoid it

    Black spots on the shrimp are a sign that the shrimp is not ocean fresh

    Check online with chains to see where they get their seafood from

    Ask if the seafood you are buying is fresh from clerks, restaurateurs, etc.

    Make sure the shrimp you are buying are not fresh from “defrosting”


    The Waters Can Be Treacherous

     Darrells 2: A Safe Harbor Of Fresh Shrimp and Outer Banks Seafood

     Darrells 2 prides itself on serving sound fresh seafood. We offer all the seafood favorites of the Pamlico Sound including:

    And our reviews attest to how fresh the food is. Just check us out on Yelp and Trip Advisor. We can also do carryout, and catering, especially for weddings, rehearsal dinners, or family gatherings.

    The Carolina or OBX Fisherman in action

    It is tough work trawling the Pamlico Sound and Oregon Inlet. Here is a clip of some commercial fishing. Imagine doing this day in and day out.

    Shrimp Harvest: A Humorous Note: Shrimp In The Movies

    When you start talking about shrimp most people gravitate to a few subtopics. One is the taste of delicious fried shrimp. The other is Bubba from Forest Gump’s all encompassing fascination with shrimp.
    If by some chance you did not see this movie it is about the adventures of a small town man played by Tom Hanks in the late 20th century. One of his many adventures is joining the army and meeting Bubba, a man who knows everything about shrimp and will return to the shrimp business after the Vietnam war.
    My Favorite Scene…is Forrest and Bubba scrubbing the barracks floor. This scene is humorous and communicates the point..Bubba knows and loves shrimp. In the scene he goes over everything (and I mean everything he knows about shrimp)

     No Bubba is not referring to Carolina Outer Banks Shrimp. He is referring to the Alabama low country. But he does convey how people love shrimp and all the things you can do with it. And the clip is amusing:)


    Contact Us If You Need Pricing For An Upcoming Event

    Fill out this form if you need information about catering or an event or just have questions about carryout

    From Fresh Seafood To Certificate Of Excellence

    Check out this article about our performance on Trip Advisor.

Written by Michael Saks