A new — and yet, somewhat familiar — seafood kitchen recently opened in Richardson with a menu that perfectly blends the unique flavors of the East Coast and Asian cuisine.
Prior to COVID-19, this was one of two locations for Tasty Tails locations, a popular Cajun and Creole spot. And during the pandemic, they did a ton of community outreach, specifically by offering meals to the healthcare community for their long hours of critical patient care.
In late summer 2021, owner and executive chef Michelle Pepping decided it was time for a change. She closed that location of Tasty Tails and rebranded it as Chelle’s Seafood Kitchen, transitioning it from a spot that primarily offered Cajun boiled and fried seafood to a menu heavy with East Coast-style seafood dishes with an Asian twist. She also added some more variety including oysters, wraps, tacos, burgers, wings and pasta entrées.
(The Tasty Tails on Belt Line Road has a separate owner, is still open and nothing there has changed.)
For starters at Chelle's, try the chick-arrones ($8.99), which are not the chicharrones you’ll find at your local gas station or supermarket. These are highly addictive tender chunks of chicken with crispy fried skin served with a sriracha sauce.
Don’t miss out on the East Coast boil options here either. An order comes with head-on boiled shrimp, snow crab legs, blue crab, clams, mussels and lobster. Try the garlic butter to go with, or Chelle’s own house-made seafood sauce. Corn, potatoes and sausage can be added to any order.
Chelle’s regularly offers seasonal specials, which are chef-created dishes inspired by whatever is happening locally at the time. For example, earlier this year they had a Texas State Fair-themed menu.
Now through the month of December, they're offering a turkey leg stuffed with Asian sticky rice. The legs are marinated, brined and roasted for six hours then stuffed with sticky rice, shiitake mushrooms, Chinese sausage and topped with crispy onions and scallions. This dish is East meets West and they fall madly in love. But it’s more than that: It’s a dish the owner grew up eating, so it’s personal and poetic in the sense of what you look for in a great restaurant. There is love, passion and great food here.
Customers can also order the turkey leg stuffed with macaroni and cheese.
You'd be remiss not to check out their happy hour, which includes $2 single wells, $3 frozen drinks and double wells, $4 draft beers and house wines and $5 select appetizers.
Because Pepping believes in giving back to the community, she has an “Eat Good Do Good” program in which they select a certain nonprofit organization each quarter and donate a portion of their sales. You can find information on their website about the organization being sponsored and provide an option for you to make a separate donation.
Chelle's Seafood Kitchen, 100 S. Central Expressway, Suite 21 (Richardson). Open 4-10 p.m. Monday - Thursday; 11:30 a.m. - 10 p.m. Friday - Sunday.