Shrimp stars in new US restaurant promos

A shrimp special from Legal Sea Foods.

Several U.S. restaurant chains are featuring shrimp in new promotions – along with mahi, wahoo, and other fish.

Shrimp has become more popular among foodservice buyers as wholesale farmed shrimp prices have remained relatively steady over the past year, while other prices for other shellfish species have spiked. 

While Charoen Pokphand Foods Executive Vice President Robins McIntosh predicted a slight decline in global farmed shrimp production in 2023 at the National Fisheries Institute's Global Seafood Market Conference shrimp panel on 17 January, shrimp will likely continue to be abundant, well-valued, and popular on restaurant menus, several representatives of the shrimp sector told SeafoodSource.

Here are the top five restaurant seafood specials so far in January 2023:

1. Legal Sea Foods’ Shrimp Festival, running 11 January through 8 February, features new shrimp appetizers and entrées, along with some classic dishes with an updated twist, PPX Hospitality-owned Legal Sea Foods Culinary Director Chef Patrick Keefe told SeafoodSource. Featured dishes include Buffalo Fried Shrimp, Pesto Shrimp Flatbread, Shrimp Pad Thai, and Surf and Turf Tacos.

“Shrimp is one of our most-popular items, and we are very proud of the all natural truly ‘naked’ shrimp that we source. So we love featuring them in new culinary ways,” Keefe said. Legal sources its shrimp from Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.-based wholesaler North Coast Seafoods.

2. Applebees is ringing in the New Year with the return of its All You Can Eat Boneless Wings, Riblets, and Double Crunch Shrimp, which includes endless french fries for USD 14.99 (EUR 13.85).

“Revel in this endless meal and enjoy abundant value by choosing from three different craveable options for a limited time only,” the restaurant chain said in a press release. The crispy, battered Double Crunch Shrimp are fried and served with cocktail sauce, signature coleslaw, and endless classic fries.

3. Fast-casual Mexican food chain Baja Fresh Mexican Grill is offering two new Sea of Cortez-inspired dishes through 10 April.

Baja Fresh’s Sea of Cortez Bowl includes rice topped with black or pinto beans, roasted veggies, roasted tomatillo salsa, grilled shrimp, grilled wahoo, guajillo sauce, green and purple cabbage, guacamole, mango salsa, pickled onions, and cilantro. The new Sea of Cortez Burrito includes rice, black beans, roasted tomatillo salsa, grilled shrimp, grilled wahoo, guajillo sauce, green and purple cabbage, guacamole, mango salsa, pickled onions, and cilantro.

"The start of a new year always brings a high demand for lighter fare, and we wanted to cater to our guests' cravings by offering these seasonal dishes," Baja Fresh Brand Leader April Fogle said in a news release.

4. Rubios Coastal Grill will offer USD 0.99 (EUR 0.92) tacos on 25 January to celebrate Rubio’s turning 40. The company is also remixing” The Original Fish Taco to offer a new version: The Baja Grilled Fish Taco, which features grilled mahi mahi and a special Baja sauce.

The company's co-founder, Ralph Rubio, tasted his first fish taco as a college student during spring break in San Felipe, Mexico, the company said in a news release. He brought the recipe home and opened the first Rubios in Mission Bay, California, U.S.A., in 1983. “Tacos were USD 0.99 back then, and will be again on 25 January,” the company said.

When Rubios opened 40 years ago, putting fish in a taco was pretty revolutionary,” Rubio said. Today, The Original Fish Taco is still our most popular, award-winning item, and weve sold over 270 million of them. Were going strong and look forward to 40 more years.”

Proceeds from the fish taco sales will benefit Wildcoast, a nonprofit working to conserve coastal and marine ecosystems in the U.S. and Mexico, according to Rubio’s.

5. Bloomin’ Brands-owned Bonefish Grill is touting healthier dishes to start the new year, including its Tempura Crunch Sashimi Tuna appetizer and Perfect Pairings entrees, which offer a “great way to kick off your healthier lifestyle in 2023,” the company said in an email to customers. 

Perfect Pairings entrees include Chicken and Shrimp with broccoli and asparagus and Mahi and Shrimp with broccoli and asparagus.

Photo courtesy of Legal Sea Foods


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