Laughlin Buzz

May 11, 2013

Bubba Gump in Laughlin

Just a short time ago Joe's Crab Shack closed in the Golden Nugget Laughlin.  Bubba Gump replaced it and opened on April 12, 2013.  

We made our first visit to Bubba Gump a couple weeks later.   Unfortunately it was a bit too windy for us to sit on the deck, which is right on the Colorado River.  This is one of the only places you can have lunch or dinner right on the water in Laughlin.

They were only moderately busy when we arrived.  Despite the hostess podium they have just outside the entrance we had to go into the restaurant to find someone to seat us.

No Host or Hostess at the Entrance 
 A couple of girls working there seemed unsure who was doing the seating and we ended up standing there for too long.  On an positive note they were bubbly and friendly but still didn't know what they were doing or even if they should seat people.  A line started to form behind us and finally one of the girls who seemed to be waiting and looking for the actual hostess to seat us told us to follow her.  She grabbed a napkins and utensils and menus and showed us to the closest table.  Then she proceeded to do the same with the others in line.  She seemed very frazzled, didn't even say anything as she seated us and ran off.  She simply left the menus and utensils in a pile on the table.   

Sometimes we wonder if it is just us or if poor service just seems to run common in most of the Laughlin restaurants.

Another server finally showed up at our table, very friendly again.  She did apologize for the confusion on seating and took our drink orders.  Many of the drinks come with a souvenir shaker (plastic) glass you get to take home.  There are many good sounding drinks on the menu to choose from.  The CoronaRita was on special too!

Given the expected size of the entrees we skipped the Appetizers.  They looked good though, especially the new Crab Stuffed Mushrooms and soups (Clam Chowder and Shrimp Gumbo).

Since it was our first visit and this is the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., we went ahead and ordered the two signature dishes.  The Shrimper's Heaven and Forrest's Seafood Feast.

The Shrimper's Heaven features 4 kinds of shrimp: Hand Breaded Coconut Shrimp, Chilly Shrimp,
Fried Shrimp, and Japanese style Tempura Shrimp. Plus fries. Three dipping sauces accompanied it: Asian, Cocktail and a Cajun Remoulade, which was the best one.  We had to get an extra cup of it, it was that good. All the shrimp very good and fresh.  Honestly though, the shrimp are about on par or maybe a little better than you would get at a place like Red Lobster during Shrimpfest.   They were nicely  presented on newspaper and served in cones.   $20.99, perhaps a bit high but given it is a theme restaurant it was about what is expected.

Forrest’s Seafood Feast includes Southern Fried Shrimp, Seafood Hush Pups, Fish & Chips, Coleslaw and three dipping sauces, Tartar, Cocktail and the Remoulade.   We actually preferred this dish to the Shrimper's Heaven.  The fish was juicy, light, and tasty.  The batter was good, not thick or overwhelming, had a nice crunch.  The Seafood Hush puppies were a big improvement over normal every day dry hush puppies.  Moist and delicious, we both loved them (and one of us normally doesn't like hush puppies).  The presentation was nice again, on newspapers (detailed as if the paper came straight from Forrest's hometown paper in Alabama).  The coleslaw was a nice mix of fresh cabbage with a vinegar based dressing. The Feast was $19.79.

This was a very big set of entrees for two people, we shared and had to take some home as we couldn't finish it.  No room for dessert either.  Many other items on the menu seem worth trying, so we will be back to visit again.

The dining room is the same as Joe's was, now just with a different theme.  And a more pronounced theme. Everywhere you look is about Forrest Gump, signs, sayings, and even the movie playing on the TV.  Drinks are displayed on Forrest Gump ping pong paddles.  The servers even come around and ask Forrest Gump trivia questions.

In spite of the rocky start to our service, the rest of the time everything went smoothly.  We didn't even have to use the sign provided on the table.  If you need something, you can flip the blue Run Forrest Run sign over to the red side to get the attention of your server. 

The restaurant has the obligatory little gift shop at the front, with T-shirts, glasses, etc..  If you get a drink with the souvenir glass you pick it up at the front gift shop desk on the the say out.  A clean, new one of course in a Bubba Gump bag to go home.  Right up to walking out the door all the staff was very friendly and bubbly.  They try very hard and succeed at giving the entire visit a Forrest Gump theme.

Expect a meal for two with a drink to be a bit high in price, more if you get appetizers, dessert, or more than one drink.  We do recommend it as long as you enjoy this sort of theme style restaurant.  We look forward to trying some of the other (lower priced) choices.

But, yes, Joe's Crab Shack is still preferred over Bubba Gump by us and will be missed.

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