Tropic of Capsaicin

An Exploration of the Hot Dishes in a Hot City, Or Where to Go When You're Not at Waterloo Park

Salt and Pepper Anything at T & S

10014 N. Lamar, 339-8434

Daily, 11am-3pm; also, Wednesday-Monday, 5pm-1am; Tuesday, 5-10pm
T & S Seafood Restaurant is 45 miles and one hour from my home. And I don't mind the drive. I share this piece of trivia with you so you'll know how much I adore their Salt and Pepper Seafood. When I want the infinite pleasure of sizzling my taste buds until they cry for help, I get in the car and travel all the way to T & S. Then, depending on how rich I feel, I order either the Salt and Pepper Mixed Seafood (shrimp, squid, and scallops for $9.50) or the Salt and Pepper Soft Shell Crabs ($13.95). No matter which I get, the same scrumptious presentation awaits. A delicious batter with ingredients that remain a secret (a minuscule amount of coconut, perhaps?) and a sauce made from oil, garlic, salt, and thin-sliced fresh green and red jalapeños, all resting on a bed of wilted greens. The first bite brings the fresh smells and sweet flavors of the ocean. Linger over it for a moment, and you'll find every square centimeter of your tongue enlivened. Then the heat hits -- just enough to start feeling sweat trickling through your scalp. From there, every bite gets better and better. I might as well try to stop a roller coaster by dragging my feet as stop without cleaning the plate. There's a reason that lots of Austin's best chefs go to T & S on their day off: great food at reasonable prices. If you love picante flavors and fresh seafood, don't miss this dish.

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