EAT This Week: Toulouse’s Crescent City BBQ Shrimp

This week’s featured EAT dish is Toulouse’s Crescent City BBQ Shrimp.
Robert Galloway/Tahoe Daily Tribune

To try and decide each week where and what to eat around the basin can be a challenge — there are so many amazing choices. In this feature we’ll dive into dishes that will surely satisfy those hunger pangs and leave you wondering where to go next.

When is barbecue not really barbecue – this week’s dish, of course. This New Orleans-style shrimp dish is said to been invented in the mid-1950s and because of it’s finished, reddish hue it inherited the description of barbecue – long before barbecue sauce, as we know it, became the staple it is today.

That said, this is a head-on, peel and eat shrimp dish — you have to commit to getting your hands dirty. If you do, you will be rewarded with not only a fun experience, but also a dish that is soaked in sweet, tangy, deep, and rich flavors.

For all of its complexities, the process is actually quite simple. A pan sauce is created with a slew of ingredients with the main players acting like an assassins squad in your mouth: Creole spices, roasted garlic, butter, and Worcestershire. Of course there are others components, but the taste of this sauce is so big, just knowing the stars should be enough to get your mind racing.

The shrimp get added to the sauce before a light splash of lemon is added. Once cooked, it’s all transferred to a bowl with scallions and toasted baguette slices that are just begging to be dipped and slogged through the pan sauce. Then it’s time to go to town.

It’s amazing how quickly the shrimp absorbs the sauce. The shrimp themselves are buttery, juicy and plump but it’s the distinctness of the sauce that stands out above all else. Because of the Worcestershire flavors of tangy, savory, smoky, sweet, and salty you have a base that’s as broad as a conga line ready to limbo, but let’s each and every ingredient take its place under the pole of your taste buds.

It’s also supremely addictive. I wouldn’t be surprised if a group session is needed to decompress their feelings after each order. If the bread and shrimp are all gone and you wanted to just lift the bowl and pour the rest down your throat, I would completely understand.

Toulouse restaurant is located at 901 Park Avenue in South Lake Tahoe. For menu and more information visit them online at or give them a jingle at 530-600-0060.

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