500BestSquareBarbecue Shrimp @ Pascal’s Manale

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It’s quite an achievement for a restaurant to create a signature dish so good that half the people who dine there order it. But the ultimate boast may be that such a dish becomes a classic of the local cuisine, served by many other restaurants. That’s the story of Pascal’s Manale’s barbecue shrimp. It was created in 1954 by Pascal Radosta, after one of his customers asked him to reconstruct a dish the diner had in Chicago. Pascal didn’t know what it was, exactly, but he gave it a shot. Starting that very night, the dish became a phenomenon. It’s simple, really: big heads-on shrimp, a little garlic, a bit more paprika, and a tremendous amount of butter and pepper. A mess to eat, but a great pleasure. Other restaurants have improved on Manale’s barbecue shrimp, but that doesn’t make them less than lusty eating.

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Pascal’s Manale. Uptown: 1838 Napoleon Ave. 504-895-4877.

This is among the 500 best dishes in New Orleans area restaurants. Click here for a list of the other 499.

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