Al Sawyer, 72, owns King Neptune’s with his wife, Diane. He can peel a shrimp faster than you can say, “Forrest Gump,” and he’s happy to share his expertise with first-time diners.
“I teach a lot of people how to eat shrimp,” Sawyer said. “I can eat four or five shrimp while some people are trying to peel their first one.”
That’s not surprising. Sawyer was born and raised in the area, and he has been eating, selling and cooking seafood his entire life.
Unlike typical Gulf Coast shrimp, royal reds live in very deep water. Only experienced shrimpers can catch the elusive crustaceans by dragging a net along the sea floor. Sawyer depends on just one boat to supply his restaurant. That means there’s only so much to go around, so savor every succulent bite.