It’s worth getting a little messy for this hidden dish on Buford Highway

Dish of the Week: Country boil shrimp at Lee’s Bakery

Lee’s Bakery is known for its banh mi sandwiches, but there is a hidden dish on the menu that rivals traditional outdoor seafood boils for flavor and spice. The country boil shrimp makes me want to bring newspaper, cover a table and order pounds of shrimp to top it … except I wouldn’t want to waste the sauce.

Head-on jumbo shrimp first are boiled in a proprietary mixture of spices, then tossed in a spicy buttery mixture. Leaving the peel on enhances the flavor, allowing the shrimp to be infused with peppers, spices, ginger, lemongrass and garlic. It’s a blended, balanced synthesis of Vietnamese-Cajun flavor superlatives. The tender shrimp swim in red ocher sauce, with the creaminess of the butter counterbalancing the Cajun spices.

You can’t help licking your messy fingers. Your lips tingle — how much depends on the level of spice you choose: mild, medium or extra spicy. And, Lee’s fresh-baked baguettes — with their thin, crisp crust and soft, airy interior — are perfect for sopping up every bit of sauce.