A Love Affair with Shrimp Roberto
Roberto’s River Road
1985 Louisiana Hwy. 75
Sunshine, LA
http://www.robertosrestaurant.net/

An old general store that faces the levee in the bend in the Mississippi River seems like an unlikely candidate for inspired Louisiana cooking.  But if you are looking for elevated local fare, Roberto’s River Road Restaurant is worth the trip.

The drive down River Road is intriguing in its own right. A mountain of earth flanks one side of the car keeping a the big river at bay while pastures full of cows and horses sit off to the other side. The landscape is green even in the winter, but parts of the drive are so desolate you feel like the only person left in the world. The road itself also keeps the driver on their toes. It is constantly curving with the river. There is no shoulder and the occasional wayward cow also helps throw in a bit of excitement. DBG highly recommends taking the spin in a standard. Her 1972 Datsun 240z really suits such an occasion.
There is no pretension at Roberto’s, even though the food is worthy of snobbery. The parking lot is gravel. The interior walls are held together with repurposed wood. Old mirrors, fishnets, and Christmas lights serve as decorations. The lunch crowd is a mix of plant workers, locals, and city folk who made the drive.

For an appetizer try the shrimp and grits or the eggplant crab cakes. They don’t disappoint. For an entrée, the Shrimp Roberto is a must. Everyone has had stuffed shrimp before, but Roberto’s wraps theirs in bacon, deep fries it, and plates it on a white wine butter sauce. Every element of this dish is perfection, but that is what makes Roberto’s so special. If it isn’t perfect, it is not on the menu.

 

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