How do you like your shrimp? That’s a question asked on the island for years. If you’re not exactly sure, just head to legendary Gaido’s, one of Galveston’s premier and traditional seafood houses along the Seawall. The choices on the menu – and in the restaurant’s own cookbook – are not only mouthwatering, but uniquely creative as well.
“Everything is fresh and everything is local,” says Gaido’s Headwaiter Richard Liebler when asked what keeps bringing the customers back year after year. “Always the freshest – that’s the key ingredient.”
In addition to serving shrimp cooked in traditional ways including fried, grilled and blackened, Gaido’s has gone above and beyond with their island-famous recipes. They include current owner Nick Gaido’s recipe of crab cake-stuffed shrimp – five shrimp filled with crabmeat and then smothered in lemon butter and white wine sauce.
Shrimp Pegues is named after James Pegues, one of Gaido’s expert chefs from a couple of generations ago. Shrimp are stuffed with jalapeno and cheddar cheese, wrapped in Applewood bacon and then basted with a brown sugar and chipotle glaze.
Also on the menu – the restaurant’s own variations of shrimp scampi, shrimp cocktail and shrimp salad. Watkin’s Bisque is cream based with baby shrimp and pureed tomatoes, carrots, onions and spices.
If you’re looking for a fish dish, Gaido’s selections include mahi mahi, grouper, red snapper, flounder and golden tilefish from the deep. “Our customers enjoy some of the best fish in the Gulf of Mexico,” says Leibler. And if you still have a yearning for shrimp, you can include them as a topping to your main dish.
If you just can’t make it to the island or the restaurant, there’s always cooking at home using Gaido’s famous recipes found in the Gaido’s Cookbook. “Step back into more than 100 years of history, traditions and recipes from one of the most renowned fish houses on the Gulf coast,” reads the description of the cookbook on the restaurant’s website. “Filled with photos, stories and family recipes, this is a wonderful gift for anyone who loves Gaido’s, Galveston or Gulf seafood.”