By Amy McCarthy
By Scott Reitz
By Scott Reitz
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Alice Laussade
By City of Ate
That restraint with the salt and spices was key to what elevates Fish Shack above and beyond the vast majority of the area's casual, gulf-style fish-fry joints. Rather than pummel your taste buds into submission with Tony Cachere's seasoned salt, Fish Shack complements the seafood with a subtle dash or two of spice. Too weak for you? Well, there are plenty of hot sauces to choose from on each table. Likewise with the batter on fried items. Everything from onion rings to chicken tenders to even the disappointing squid had but a thin, crispy layer of batter that allowed the vegetable or protein to rightly take center stage.
During our Fat Tuesday visit, owner Frank Mihalopoulos told me the fish was delivered four times per week. Considering how fresh everything tasted, that's quite believable.
Other than three sizable flat-screen TVs, the interior isn't much to look at. The kitchen's admirable restraint is evident in the décor, ranging from random nautical kitsch to family Mardi Gras pictures. That understatement is fine by me—it's awfully hard to focus on the food when a place looks like someone detonated a King Cake.
Though the place has been around less than a year (it opened June 15), it already feels like a well-established hangout, with an ethnically diverse clientele of families, couples and solo diners who all seemed to be on a first-name basis with the staff. Most of the customers may be from the neighborhood, but Fish Shack's seafood is worth the trek from any part of Dallas or the surrounding suburbs—even if it means driving past the Plano Police Department.
700 E. 15th St., Plano, 469-229-0838. Open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday. $-$$