Jamie Walker is the king of seafood in Charlotte.
His mobile operation, Seafood Connection, currently sets up shop at King of Spicy, an Indian and Nepali restaurant on Albemarle Road.
At noon on a Friday, there are about 50 people waiting on seafood platters with a line snaking around the bar.
Walker is in the kitchen dropping corn on the cob and hefty scoops of potatoes into row after row of styrofoam boxes. Mountains of seafood shipped in from Savannah line the counters. The boxes — 200 to 300 of them on an average day — will get topped with custom combinations of shrimp, crab legs and lobster for the hungry fans out front.
Walker runs the prep table, dousing each platter in butter and his top secret signature seasoning blend.
Over in the dining room, King of Spicy is running its standard and (completely different) lunch operation. It’s a hell of a collaboration.
The unconventional restaurant within a restaurant has a cult following.
Seafood Connection has 13,500+ followers on Instagram and a Facebook group of 30,000+ fans who follow along to find out when Walker and his crew will be open for business.
And dedicated repeat customers aren’t the only ones keeping an eye on Seafood Connection.
Walker’s girlfriend Yashica Russell, who runs front of the house and behind the scenes operations, says major retailers have asked them to get their addictive seafood salad on the shelves. But Russell says it’s not happening. “Keep it in the family,” she said.
The menu features steamed, fried and grilled platter options.
Printed prices range from $15 for a shrimp platter up to $38 for a shrimp, lobster and crab legs combo.
It’s important to follow them on social to keep up with any last-minute changes. On the day we dropped in, they weren’t serving the grilled menu but had announced it ahead of time online to avoid confusion.
Seafood Connection has been at King of Spicy for about two months now.
They had their own food truck but it was damaged in a fire and they also set up shop at a local church kitchen for a while.
Walker has active plans in motion for a permanent space of his own opening as early as Summer 2017 but doesn’t want to share the exact location just yet.
In the meantime, catch him at King of Spicy at 5546 Albemarle Road.
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