Tuesday, August 26, 2008

One man's take on the shrimp system: A guest column

Dear dedicated readers, I hate to repeat a subject so early on but my pal John Thornton has collected his thoughts on my shrimp system and on the joys of shrimp and white wine. I figured it's appropriate to share with you since he and I are once again off to Shrimp Lovers' Tuesday tonight. Here it is, unedited, in the words of the observer.

John Thornton on the shrimp system

It must've been about ought five or six when I was first introduced to Nate's shrimp system. I was a loud-mouthed young buck in those days, veins full of piss and vinegar, thought I knew everything there was to know about eating the various shellfish, including shrimp. Nasty Nate (as we called him those days) invited me to accompany him to "Shrimp Lovers Tuesday" at the local Red Lobster. Owing to my fondness for the Cheddar Bay Biscuits, I agreed.

What I witnessed next changed my dining self forever. When our shrimp arrived, I sat in awe and watched a seasoned master practice his craft. Nate's efficiency of dissecting the little crustaceans was marvelous. Each move of the fork methodical, not a single wasted slice of the knife. It was as if he was channeling Black Flag's "The First Four Years" into an eating system. It was easily the densest batch of jams I had ever seen.

This was my introduction to "Nate Rogers' Shrimp System." Each time I dine at Red Lobster, I use this system.

*Cue "Like a Rock" by Bob Seger*

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The shrimp system / Shrimp Lovers' Tuesday

Back in college, my friend John and I used to regularly visit the Red Lobster in Ypsilanti to partake in Shrimp Lovers' Tuesday -- a magical event this side of Cheddar Bay when you can get 40 pieces of shrimp for under $20. I always ordered all scampi.
Well, John is back in town before heading off to grad school, so we hit the Red Lobster in Madison Heights, not only for old times' sake, but also to document the shrimp consumption system I developed over the course of those magical nights. Here it is, fully documented for the first time.

How to get the most out of your shrimp with my shrimp system:

Order as much shrimp as you possibly can. On a Tuesday at Red Lobster, that means four orders, or 40 shrimp. You must order a baked potato and you must order it without sour cream. You’ll see why.
If you are a particularly unreasonable person, you can order more than one meal. The only proper beverage to wash it down with is a white wine, because everyone knows shrimp and white wine go great together. I prefer the Riesling.

1. The first step is to eat all of the shrimp bodies and set the tails aside. Don’t worry; you’re saving all the tail meat for later!

2. As the trays of delicious garlic butter become devoid of shrimp, you can use them and their contents to saturate your baked potato.

This is where the system really starts to work. Pay close attention.

3. Take your fork and stab it through the shrimp tail just behind where the meat runs out.

4. Insert your butter knife under the end of the tail to pry up the shell. Pull the fork away.

5. Holding the end of the knife at the base of the meat where you initially inserted the fork, use the fork to extract the delicious meat.

6. Enjoy the meat that you have successfully saved to savor without getting your hands dirty. Now as a reward, dig into that garlic-butter-saturated baked potato. If you can’t finish it and your friends call you out, remind them to shut their fool mouths because they sure as hell didn’t just eat 40 pieces of shrimp.

So, there you have it folks. I encourage you all to transport your taste buds to the sea shore with a delicious order of shrimp scampi, and to get the most out of it with my shrimp system. Bon appetit!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


My name is Nate and I really like food.

Fun facts:

I ...

  • ... live in Ferndale, Michigan, a northern suburb of Detroit.

  • ... get paid to write advertisements about cars, but I think I would be better at writing ads about food. Or songs about food.

  • ... weigh 135 pounds and have weighed that much for as long as I can remember. I am about 6 feet tall.

  • ... love popcorn. I could eat a steak dinner then go out to a movie and still eat popcorn. I wouldn't share it and I would be done eating it before the feature presentation starts. My office just got a movie theater style popcorn machine and I eat at least two bags a day. It's becoming a problem.

  • ... love pizza. I will never get sick of pizza. I used to come home every day after high school, eat a Stouffer's pepperoni French bread pizza and burn the roof of my mouth. I ate a $5 pizza from little Caesar's on 9/11 (not saying I didn't care, that's just my memory of that day. Also, this was when $5 pizza at LC's was a weekly special).

  • ... strongly dislike most dairy products. The only exceptions are cheese on pizza (unless there is too much -- then I gag) and nacho cheese (because, let's face it, that's not real cheese any way).

  • ... apparently really like parentheses.

  • ... do not have a copy editor. Sorry.

I love to eat and I find food to be amusing in general. It logically follows that you will love this blog and find it to be amusing in general.

For now, though, it's nice out, so the updates will be on the "lighter fare" side until I get stuck inside. Until then, check me out on Twitter.