Biz Beat

Dinner is in the bag at Shrimpy’s in Turlock. New seafood boil spot draws crowds

When Shrimpy’s says they’ve got it in the bag, they mean it — quite literally.

The new Turlock restaurant specializes in seafood in a bag, a popular Cajun-inspired style of boiling shrimp, crawfish and other specialties together with corn, potatoes, sausage and the like. Now the small spot in front of the Walmart off Fulkerth Road already is bustling thanks to word of mouth after being open just under a month.

Brothers Angel and Librado Gutierrez and their wives, Laura and Bertha, had long dreamed of having their own establishment together. Now they, and five of their adult children, are working there together to make Shrimpy’s a success. Angel and Librado had 20-plus years of restaurant experience together, working as cooks or managers at Bay Area eateries. But they wanted to come home and create a family atmosphere with Shrimpy’s.

The concept is simple, with customers ordering their seafood by the pound. People can choose from mussels, clams, crawfish, snow crab legs and — of course — shrimp, or a combination of the above. Then you choose your spice level – from mild to medium to “51/50 Extreme.” They can add sides including potatoes, corn on the cob, scallops, Cajun sausage, cilantro rice and sourdough bread. The seafood runs $9.99 to $10.99 per pound to $17 for the crab legs. Then it’s all brought to you steaming hot in a bucket and you unwrap the bag and dig in with your fingers. Don’t worry, they provide bibs.

But even if you aren’t a seafood person, Shrimpy’s has something for you. They’ve got spaghetti and meatballs and fettuccine alfredo for the pasta lovers, as well as various appetizers, chicken and beef tacos, burgers and more. The Mexican side of the restaurant’s menu includes its classic shrimp cocktail, seafood ceviche, nachos and carne asada fries. You can wash it all down with a beer or wine, as well as an assortment of other beverages.

“We’ve had people tell us they’re so excited because before they’ve had to go to Sacramento or the Bay Area to get this style of food,” said Bertha Gutierrez, who works the front of the house with her sister-in-law, Laura. Their husbands do all of the cooking and their children work as waitstaff.

It took the family about a year to get the space, which can seat about 50, renovated. It was previously a coffee shop and the kitchen needed significant upgrades. The inside is nautically themed with wooden planks, fisherman netting, boat oars and other touches. Because seafood boils tend to be communal, the paper-covered tables can be joined to make for long rows.

Shrimpy’s is also open for breakfast with traditional offerings like French toast, pancakes, omelets and breakfast burritos. Breakfast items are reasonably priced from $2.99 to $6.99.

Shrimpy’s, at 2105 Fulkerth Road in Turlock, is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information call 209-250-2025 or visit www.facebook.com/getshrimpy.

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