Which is the best shrimp burger?
The one that’s delicious and nearby enough to enjoy on a fairly regular basis.
From my perspective here in Raleigh, then, the nod goes to Silver Lake Oyster Bar in Wilson.
Those of you who know me well clearly understand my passion for the Calabash Seafood Hut’s shrimp burger. (In fact, my mouth starts watering at the mere thought of being able to enjoy one next month when I head to North Myrtle Beach.)
But I’m not writing to compare Silver Lake to the Seafood Hut. They each have their merits.
Tonight I’m lauding a shrimp burger that’s a mere hour’s drive distant — an easy evening jaunt for a good cause: my satiety!
Silver Lake has been in operation since 1969, most of that time under the management of the late Buck Dixon. When the Wilson icon passed away a few months ago the restaurant’s ownership passed into the capable hands of his four daughters.
A couple of friends and I visited last Friday night in part to show our support for friend and co-worker Deborah Dixon Dion, who was on hostess duty over the weekend. Our other motive was the shrimp burger.
For those of you who haven’t had one, it’s just fried shrimp on a bun, supplemented with whatever condiments you choose (for me, it’s cole slaw and tartar sauce). Simple, yes. Which is why the shrimp must be outstanding: the right size, the right seasoning, the right frying style.
Deborah and her siblings are working to update the menu and try out some new specials, and I’m proud to claim the shrimp burger suggestion. They tested it over Father’s Day weekend and its popularity has kept it on the specials board ever since. (I’m crossing my fingers it’ll achieve a spot on the permanent menu …)
Silver Lake boasts a large repertoire of seafood dishes cooked in a variety of styles. As the name implies, it features an oyster bar where shuckers serve the bivalves up fresh. (I don’t care for raw oysters so can’t personally vouch for the bar, but it was full last Friday night.)
I’d enthused so much about shrimp burger delights that all three in our party ordered one. (However, Toby gets demerits for requesting buffalo sauce for his. He’s not from around these parts.)
Oh-so-tender, very lightly fried shrimp that tasted of the sea. Good cole slaw. Plain ol’ burger bun. Old-fashioned, house-made hushpuppies on the side.
I won’t make the trek all the way to the North Carolina coast solely to get a Seafood Hut shrimp burger. But I will drive to Wilson and back as long as Silver Lake keeps serving them.