Red Drum: When we took our first bite

1. Red Drum: When we took our first bite of fried shrimp at Red Drum, we knew it was the winner. The shrimp are battered and fried tail-on and served in a paper-lined cone. It’s got the crunch and seasoning we’re looking for, but the real distinction is the briny sea-water presence that elevates the flavor of the shrimp itself.

Red Drum’s fried shrimp doesn’t need a condiment at all to go with it, but Ben Berryhill’s restaurant also has our pick for the best cocktail sauce in town. In addition to the standard ketchup and horseradish, the remoulade sauce is flavored with a little orange and lemon zest, which adds bright citrus flavors. Take one of those golden-brown shrimp and give it a dunk in the cocktail sauce … that’s as good as it gets.