Shrimp and grits, the low-country fisherman's breakfast staple, has been a mainstay on elevated southern menus for more than three decades. If you're interested, Robb Walsh wrote up a history on the dish over on the Houston Press, but regardless of the lineage of the dish, its permanence as an elevated pedestrian food has been tested. Shrimp and grits are here to stay.
At the Screen Door in One Arts Plaza, the shrimp pictured above cooks with tomato, bacon, garlic, mushroom and cream and is served over cheese grits. The Meddlesome Moth makes use of Jalapeno gravy. And Hattie's. Oh, Hattie's. Their version makes use of Anson Mills coarsely ground grits and a bacon Tabasco sauce tinged with a little black coffee. Anyone hungry yet?
Tre Wilcox at the Marquee Grill tackles the staple, too. His restaurant is the subject of this week's review, and his rendition was one of my favorite dishes I had there. Wilcox marinates shrimp in citrus oil and herbs and serves them over soft, rich grits tinged red with chipotle pepper and thickened with jack cheese. They're almost over the top. You have to wonder what a low country fisherman would think if he was served such a dish, but I mopped the plate clean with any bread I could find.