Worth a Try: Shrimp and Grits

The Fish House, Pensacola, Florida

The Fish House (photo courtesy of Maria Goldberg)

In 1998, local real-estate brothers—Collier, Burney, and Will Merrill—joined Chef Jim Shirley to open The Fish House, creating one of the Gulf Coast’s culinary landmarks. On the menu since day one, Grits à Ya Ya, their unique version of shrimp and grits, has been served to every sitting Florida governor since the restaurant opened. This original dish boasts Gouda cheese grits for a great smoky flavor served with their “Ya Ya” sauce—an applewood-smoked bacon, spinach, mushroom, garlic, shallot, cream, and white wine sauce—and topped with fresh grilled Gulf Coast shrimp. Visit and get the full flavors of the Gulf as you enjoy The Fish House’s scenic patio overlooking the Pensacola Bay and Seville Harbor, and savor some of the most delicious cuisine the coast has to offer. 

Yo´ Mama´s, Birmingham, Alabama

Denise Peterson raised her family by traveling all over the United States and sampling the wide variety of flavors the nation has to offer. In 2014, she took her culinary skills to the Magic City and started dishing out some Cajun-style Shrimp & Grits at her family restaurant, Yo’ Mama’s. The name comes from Denise’s desire to run the business with her own children, serving up each delicious meal to customers as if they were her very own kin. Her Shrimp & Grits include grits mixed with a variety of cheeses, a savory sauce, and Cajun shrimp and spicy sausage to top it off. And with food this good, it’s no wonder that the restauant was named “Best Lunch in Birmingham” within a year of opening.

Urban Grub, Nashville, Tennessee

Photo courtesy of Urban Grub

If you’re looking for fine-dining food in an unpretentious atmosphere, Urban Grub in the 12 South neighborhood of Nashville is just the spot. Located in a former car wash, the restaurant’s casual ambience, outdoor seating and fireplaces, and incredible menu invite guests to enjoy a delicious meal. Included in the Southern Specialties section of the menu, Urban Grub’s Shrimp & Grits dish starts with grits milled in-house from locally sourced yellow dent corn. Plum tomatoes, caramelized Vidalia onions, green onions, and tasso gravy add loads of flavor, and the dish is topped with four black tiger shrimp for an enticing presentation. opening.