The Shack: casual cajun cooking that packs a delicious punch

by | August 30, 2010 | 17 Comments

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The Shack Seafood & Oyster Bar is located at 303 NW 62nd Street in Oklahoma City (map). They are open 7 days a week from 11am to 10pm (11pm on Friday and Saturday). Call them at 405.608.4333 or visit their Facebook page.

At this Cajun food restaurant, the servers wear shirts touting “It’s Just a Shack,” and they aren’t kidding. But this is a good thing.

The first thing you notice when you walk through the door at The Shack is its incredibly unpretentious atmosphere. Don’t expect fine wine sipping here. The casual, nautical decoration gives the place a laid-back feel that is welcoming. The tables are comfy and well-spaced, flat screen TVs are conveniently placed and give the place a little class, and the noise gives the restaurant a full feeling without being too loud for conversation.

On a Friday night, the place was packed with locals who parked on the surrounding grass when the parking lot filled up to get a taste of what some had previously told me is the best casual seafood in town.

Be aware, the place doesn’t look like much from the outside (see a picture). It is definitely off the beaten path, and people driving by likely wouldn’t think of the building as a prime restaurant space. But what the space lacks aesthetically, it makes up for in taste.

We ordered an appetizer of hush puppies ($2.50 – see a picture) and my husband was thrilled to see they had Abita beer — a win in the truly authentic Louisiana Cajun department. The puppies were crisp on the outside and warm and soft on the inside, so pretty much what you should expect. But the true star on this plate is the red sauce with a kick served with the hushpuppies. Dipped in that sauce, the ordinary hushpuppies became a real Cajun treat.

I ordered a bowl of red beans and rice ($5.95) and a side salad ($2.99) with the house dressing. Note: being on a diet while reviewing a restaurant is a daunting task. But, I figure people are interested in some healthier options anyway.

The salad was pretty average, a decent size and mix. Certainly nothing special. The house dressing was pretty original — some olive oil mixed with a variety of olives. It was fairly oily (obvious, I know) but the little bits of olive in the salad really brought together all the flavors for a great bite. Overall, I was just happy to see a unique house dressing and was pleased enough with the salad. I think if a bit of balsamic vinegar had been thrown in to cut the oil, it would have been better.

The red beans and rice were memorable and would definitely call for a return trip alone. The broth was thick, the beans were cooked well and the rice came on the side allowing you to combine it on your own to prevent mushiness. Personally, I would have preferred less sausage in the mix since the meat didn’t have much flavor of its own. I picked most of the sausage slices out. But the beans and rice had a great flavor and the perfect amount of kick so I could eat the whole bowl without my mouth being on fire.

My husband got the seafood jambalaya ($13.99 – see a picture), and I can say without a doubt that this is the best I have ever had. The rice was sticky but not mushy; the chunks of seafood were big, fresh, and well-cooked; and the grilled onions and peppers gave the dish a little kick while adding some needed texture. The dish came with a side of French-style green beans. They were flavorful, though I wish they offered a choice of sides of instead of a pre-selected one.

I will say, this was not a cheap meal. We spent about $55 on two entrees, an order of hushpuppies and two beers, and my meal wasn’t even a seafood dish. While I think the quality of food was worth the price, the cost alone will likely limit my appearances. That said, I think it is on par with similar offerings around town (Pearl’s, for instance).

The service was present when needed but not overbearing. Our drinks were never empty, and really, on a busy Friday night, what more can a patron ask for?

We were too full for dessert, but I liked the whimsy of having root beer floats on the menu, along with other more traditional offerings.

Honestly, I can’t wait to go back. Have you been? Let us know what you think about The Shack in the comments below.

You can view more pictures from The Shack Seafood & Oyster Bar in our Facebook photo album.

The Shack, Seafood and Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon

This article was posted by Jennifer Monies on Monday, August 30th, 2010. It is filed under:

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  • Lesa says:
    August 30th, 2010 at 7:46 am   

    We were there Friday night as well, I have to agree with you about the food. We had all apetizers and the Crab bisque is to die for. It is spendy I will give them that. We also had the boudan it was nothing to write home about. Next time I will listen to our waitress and get the stuffed jalepenos. We will go back but this is not a place that you can go to every weekend. As stated before spendy.

  • Kacy says:
    August 30th, 2010 at 8:03 am   

    I had the chicken and sausage jambalaya and I was in love. I think it’s the best Cajun I’ve ever had. I didn’t remember it being so expensive, but I’d have to say what I ate was worth a heftier price tag.

  • Elegy444 says:
    August 30th, 2010 at 8:52 am   

    Been there for lunch a few times. Excellent every time. The en brochette is fantastic.

  • Michelle says:
    September 1st, 2010 at 3:00 pm   

    Not a looker on the Outside but Gourmet inside!
    My family has and will again visit the The Shack on (4) four occassions and I must say. EXCELLENT each time. The first time my husband, mother and 2 sons went, we were in HEAVEN. My children each had the Crawfish platters for children which they loved, more than they could eat but loved it. My mother and I were on diets at the time and we had the grill seafood platters….EXCELLENT. My husband ordered King Crab legs and when brought to the table it was only about 4 legs for $40 bucks….Don’t worry the owner, who is so cool came to the table and made everything fine. The best of the best seafood resturant in Oklahoma as far as we were concerned…Pricy but your not at Long John Silvers either. The second time we went, myself and husband, we had the Oysters on the half shell, very fresh and excellent quality. We also had a bowl of gumbo and Bisque, both were Heaven…Our goal is to sample everything on the Menu….I can’t stress enough, if you love seafood, I mean really GOOD seafood the only place to go is..THE SHACK!

  • Holley says:
    September 2nd, 2010 at 11:50 am   

    I work pretty close to the Shack. I’ve only been there once and the food was all around the place. I loved their gumbo-it had huge shrimp in it. The stuffed shrimp I got kind of tasted like soap though. It was pretty soon after they opened, so perhaps I need to give it another shot once the weather gets cooler.

  • Shannon says:
    September 4th, 2010 at 11:34 am   

    I had the fired seafood platter it was awsome. Who would have known I now like frog legs.

  • Bridget says:
    September 9th, 2010 at 3:11 pm   

    Try the Cajun King…yummy!

  • Lesa says:
    September 9th, 2010 at 3:34 pm   

    Bridget what is the Cajun King?

  • Tim says:
    September 9th, 2010 at 3:49 pm   

    Lesa, Cajun King is a cajun / soul food place around NW 63rd and MacArthur. It is a buffet only. We’ll likely have a review of it in the not-too-distant future.

  • Cajun food says:
    November 15th, 2010 at 8:21 pm   

    Wow! they say simplicity is beauty. Well, in this restaurant it’s simple yet they got the delicious punch.

    That’s pretty cool!

  • Steve says:
    December 20th, 2010 at 10:22 am   

    I moved to OKC from Louisiana 3 years ago. The Shack is like going to a really good local restaurant in South Louisiana. The chicken and sausage gumbo really hit the mark.

  • Debbie says:
    April 23rd, 2011 at 1:36 pm   

    Tried The Shack for the first time today for lunch with my husband. It was very good. We had onion ring appetizer – a pile of thin, lightly coated & flavorful rings – so good they were gone quickly. Husband had the fried catfish dinner with fries – so many fries he couldn’t eat them all. I got a side order of hush puppies since I hadn’t had any in a long time. The order was 8 – I ate 3 & brought 5 home. I got the seafood jambalaya (spelling?) – it was a huge portion & came with green beans as side. It was very good. I shared some with my husband, ate a lot, & still brought home enough for lunch tomorrow. We enjoyed it & will definitely go again.

  • We says:
    March 29th, 2012 at 4:02 pm   

    The food was great, getting the appetizers at half price during happy hour was even BETTER! (kind of expensive otherwise) Only issue I had was that the servers, and even some of the cooks don’t know what WHEAT or WHEAT GLUTEN are!
    This is one of the top food allergies. Everyone in food service should at least be aware of what this is!

    For those of us who are gluten sensitive or allergic, this can be very scary. One wait staff person asked another if wheat or wheat gluten was used in their menu items. They both agreed that NONE was used in ANY of their food items… apparently neither knowing what bread, cake, breading, or pasta are made out of. Be afraid, be very afraid! And ask for them to check the labels for you if you are gluten sensitive. If you are allergic, just enjoy the drinks and avoid ALL food.

  • Lesa says:
    July 11th, 2012 at 4:40 pm   

    We have been back several times since my post in Aug of 2010. It is one of our favorite places to eat. The staff is wonderful as well as the food. We love the stuffed grilled jalapenos. I really haven’t found must I don’t like. If it says it is fried they usually can still make it grilled or steamed. Great place!!!

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