Shrimp kabobs, shrimp gumbo, shrimp stew, shrimp potato chips, shrimp tacos or shrimp creole might come to mind when you think of Bubba Gump's; but the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company on Cannery Row offers much more than just shrimp. You would be amazed by what this southern-style seafood hub offers including sweeping views of the Monterey Bay from almost every seat in the house!
I just so happened to be on Cannery Row when a friendly greeter outside of the restaurant began talking to me about the menu and the restaurant's ties to the famous movie, Forest Gump. His friendly southern hospitality and all the talk about shrimp intrigued me into staying for lunch.
I first entered the souvenir shop and my eyes were immediately fixated by all of the Bubba Gump swag that they had display; there is even a photo opp where you can pose in Forest Gump's Nike running sneakers.
The coziness of the south permeates throughout the rest of the "shrimp shack" with a montage of vintage license plates, Americana décor and an aroma of mouthwatering fried foods. Pumping jams from Creedence Clearwater Revival and Lynyrd Skynyrd immediately took me to scenes of outdoor BBQs and summer block parties.
The cool coastal breeze was a bit too much for the outdoor seating area but an indoor window seat provided an equally expansive view of the bay. The kayakers just below us were having a grand old time pointing out the nearby sea otters that were playing in the kelp while I was trying to figure out the rotatable license plates on the table. A nearby waitress saw my confusion and noted that when the plates read "Stop, Forest, Stop" then you needed assistance from staff; I could see kids really getting a kick out of this.
After my slight distraction, I turned my gaze to the menu and to my surprise there was bounty of choices! Shrimp was definitely on the menu; however, other items like a BBQ Burger and Chicken Scampi were also up for grabs but Bubba's Accidental Fish & Shrimp immediately caught my eye.
Our friendly waitress quickly brought out delicious and cheesy garlic bread along with some Forest Gump and Bubba Gump trivia questions. Did you know that the Monterey location was the very first Bubba Gump Shrimp Company to open its doors?
After getting my brush up on Forest Gump trivia, my charbroiled Mahi Mahi came out piping hot from the kitchen. The flaky white fish was served atop a bed of jasmine rice accompanied by pieces of Cajun shrimp. The lemon butter sauce on the fish was out of this world and literally made the light fish melt in my mouth; it was also the perfect accompaniment to the spicy shrimp, I just wish I had more!
Not wanting to leave I decided to order a piece of chocolate cake while continuing to take in the fun ambience and incredible views of the Pacific Ocean. A dark chocolate cake came with fresh whipped cream and a hefty dose of chocolate icing and syrup. Just the perfect note to end such a friendly meal, I just wish Bubba or Jenny were able to join me.
This summer Bubba Gump's is also offering a new Summer-sational menu featuring specialty drinks like George Peach Iced tea, Strawberry Mango Chiller and the famous Coronarita. So "run, Forrest, run" to Bubba Gump Shrimp Company before this limited time menu expires, I know I will!