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Lou & Lucy’s Leftovers: Hold the entree and bring on the appetizers

*Lou Groccia and Lucy Pickett, the Gazette’s self-proclaimed food experts, can’t stop chewing the fat.* Have you ever noticed how appetizers are almost always the best part of a restaurant meal?

I’ve gotten to the point where I’ll often order two or three appetizers and forgo the entree.

Case in point: We were at a funky oceanside restaurant called Rusty Bellies in Tarpon Springs, Fla., recently and they had a Broiled Rock Shrimp appetizer.

Of course, we had to try it and it didn’t disappoint.

Fresh-off-the-boat small, sweet rock shrimp sliced lengthwise in half, brushed with some sort of butter and Cajun spice rub then broiled to a wonderful crunchy state of bliss.

You eat them by dipping them in clarified butter and sucking on the shell, extracting the succulent meat inside.

Wonderful.

I’ve already added this to my list of favorite recipes and can’t wait to try it again.

— Lou

P.S. We did order an entree of boiled jumbo shrimp. Quite tasty. Almost good enough to be an appetizer.

Sucking shells of succulent meat by the seashore: Say that three times fast.

I have just two things to say: Native asparagus and mint juleps. I know that has absolutely nothing to do with your appetizers, but these things are weighing heavily on my mind right now for obvious reasons.

Actually, I agree with you about appetizers. A favorite of mine is the seared tuna and crispy wonton appetizer at Eastside Grill in Northampton. I have ordered just a plate of them for my dinner.

— Lucy

As the creator of Ready-made freshly prepared frozen appetizers, I couldn't agree more! Our customers often tell us they would rather have a large selection of carefully chosen and delicious appetizers when dining out, or planning a party than to have a main course. It makes life much more interesting and colorful, don't you think? We are located in South Florida and next time we are in Tarpon springs, will be sure and stop by Rusty Bellies. Sounds divine! Thank you, BIG CHEF ONLINE - www.BigChefOnline.com

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