Sandwiches in Review: The Red Hawk Grill’s Peanut-Crusted Shrimp Burger

February 7, 2013

Growing up in Ann Arbor, I’ve walked past the Red Hawk Grill countless times. I actually get my hair cut around the block, so I’ve spent literal years walking past it. But it wasn’t until a recent recommendation by a friend that I decided to actually head in and give it a shot. And boy, am I ever glad I did. The Red Hawk Grill serves most bar & grill standards (burger, steaks, some seafood and pasta), but with a modern, inventive twist. A number of their offerings include Asian or Southwestern elements, and while I wouldn’t quite call it “fusion cuisine” (the atmosphere isn’t nearly austere enough for that moniker, for one thing), they have a number of clever, clearly carefully planned sandwiches and burgers. While I’d normally start with a basic hamburger of chicken club sandwich, the Peanut-Crusted Shrimp Burger caught my eye. A burger made of shrimp!! Could it be?

I know it sounds crazy, but just go with me here for a minute.

I know it sounds crazy, but just go with me here for a minute.

I wasn’t disappointed. My key concern, the amount and quality of the shrimp, was perfect. The core of the burger was a large patty made of shrimp meat, with a thin, subtle crust of chopped peanuts. The meat was high-quality, not scrapped together from cocktail shrimps as I had feared. It also had a nice, full texture, and was firm enough to hold together as I ate it. It came topped with a chile mayonnaise and a sweet and sour cucumber relish, which were tangy and flavorful, but still toned down enough for the shrimp to shine. I’ll need to head back soon to see how they do with actual ground beef and chicken breasts, but this burger pulled off something I previously would’ve called impossible.

Burgers and sandwiches at Red Hawk generally go for $8-9, with an extra $2 for fries. This burger, at least, is a steal at that price. Next time you’re on State Street near Liberty, I’d definitely recommend checking it out. I can’t wait until I’m there again to try something else new, this was a first impression that did not disappoint.

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