There are certain dishes I just crave. I don’t eat them often, but when they pop into my head, I have to have them. The fried chicken tenders at Franke’s, cheeseburger at Leo’s Greek Castle, and chicken nachos at El Palenque fall under this umbrella.

And so does the shrimp & grits at The Faded Rose.

It’s the perfect dish … for me.

Honestly, what’s not to love about plump shrimp in a spicy cream sauce? This rich, blond sauce covers two cornmeal crusted grit cakes, and along with the aforementioned shrimp, make up a dynamite dish. Granted, we have no shortage of shrimp & grits offerings around town, but there’s something about what TFR is doing that really stands out. Probably those grit cakes.

I found myself at TFR’s bar last Friday afternoon, polishing off a lunch portion ($11.75), and, per usual, it didn’t disappoint. I was probably the only person in the restaurant not having the Daily Special of chicken & dumplings, but that was fine by me. I had shrimp & grits on the brain.

I also appreciated the smaller, 5-shrimp lunch portion of this dish. The 9-shrimp dinner plate is just too much to handle in the middle of the day. The lunch portion, like the dinner, comes with Leidenheimer bread and a soaked salad.

In the end, it was a wonderful lunch at The Faded Rose, filled with top-notch service and a dish that always delights.