Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
"Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna to get"
"I want to try something different." That's what my sister said when we were trying to decide what to have for lunch at Navy Pier. There was a McDonald's, a Greek spot, a hotdog stand, pizza, Harry Caray's Margaritaville, and Bubba Gump. Margaritaville was packed and I've tried Harry Caray's, the good wasn't all too great. So Bubba Gump was our pick.
Being an island girl who lived in front of the sea for most of my life, I doubt I'll ever get tired of seafood. We had fishermen passing by our house to sell freshly caught fish, oysters by the sack, and shrimp bigger than my hand. So I was all too happy to order the Shrimper's Heaven with bundles of shrimp cooked four different ways. My sister and her smaller appetite ordered the tilapia with lobster butter sauce. Both dishes were wonderful and our server was the nicest lady. She asked us trivia about the Forrest Gump film, offered dessert, and checked up on us often enough. Eating shrimp out under the sun with a cold beer and looking out at the lake was the highlight of my Saturday.
We were seated outside at a table with an umbrella sticking out of the middle. The seating area was well spaced out and gave each table enough room to back up their chairs and enough privacy for personal conversations. If you happen to be at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. on a beautiful day, I would highly recommend sitting outside.
The service was great! Our server happily helped us with our choices and gave her own recommendations. They have a stop-and-go system with each table being equipped with two flippable car plates. On one was "Run Forrest Run" in green and on the other was "Stop Forrest Stop" in red. The green plate informed servers that your table was being taken care of and did not need any assistance. The red plate did the exact opposite. As someone who absolutely hates when servers constantly pop by the table to check up on everything, I thought it was a wonderful idea.
What we ordered:
Jenny's Catch with Lobster Butter Sauce
Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae
The food was great! I think the Shrimper's Heaven is going to be become my go-to order for any trips to Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. It included breaded coconut shrimp, chilly shrimp, fried shrimp, and Japanese style tempura shrimp along with dipping sauces (tangy Asian, Cajun marmalade, and zesty cocktail). The fried shrimp was a bit too oily for my liking. It was shiny and quite bland without any sauce. The coconut shrimp was interesting in a good way. The coconut flakes had a nice subtle taste that went well with the shrimp. I tried it with a squeeze of lemon and butter sauce. The chilly shrimp was good but didn't have quite the kick of spiciness I was looking for. Next time, I'll sprinkle some pepper or hot sauce over it. Last but not least, the tempura shrimp was perfect. The breading wasn't too thick and the shrimp was tender. It went perfectly with any of the sauces.
My sister, Julia, ordered the Jenny's Catch with Lobster Butter Sauce. It was pan seared tilapia over mashed potatoes and spinach with the sauce drizzled over it all. To be honest, when they set her plate on the table, there was a pang of regret that I didn't order the same thing or something similar. After a bite, that feeling faded away just a bit.The fish and the sauce were great but the spinach didn't do much for it. The mashed potatoes were also lovely but I would have liked for them to be set on the side instead of mixed into the pile.