Alligator sold all week ahead of Vol’s matchup with Florida

The Shrimp Dock says they’ll sell about 2,000 pounds of gator meat this week alone.
The Shrimp Dock say’s they’ll sell about 2,000 pounds of gator meat this week alone.
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 11:27 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2022 at 11:28 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - For the last 25 years, the Shrimp Dock sold alligator when the Vol’s play Florida, but the deep rooted SEC rivalry started well before this Knoxville tradition.

At the Shrimp Dock, manager Rex Bellomy said they ordered their gator early this year and got in about 2,000 pounds to be distributed between their Bearden, Alcoa, and Farragut stores.

It’s the only week they sell alligator, and it showed by how quickly it leaves the shelves and kitchen.

“If we make it to Saturday at noon with any gator left it’ll be a miracle,” said Bellomy who estimated they’ve already sold more than half their gator inventory by Wednesday.

If you ask the people inside ordering the food, it’s easy to figure out why.

“It’s gator hater week and I wanted gator,” said Dan Roden from Seymour who drove 38 minutes to Alcoa just to get his hands on some gator tail.

One first time gator customer said, “I’ve never had it so I wanted to come try it,” after buying a container of gator gumbo.

Marinated in buttermilk and hot sauce, the Shrimp Dock serves gator in many ways. According to Bellomy, they fry it, grill it, put it on a po’boy, eat them as nuggets, mix it in gumbo and even eat them as ribs.

The Shrimp Dock closes their kitchen every day at 5:30 p.m. and doors at 6:00 p.m., meaning that if you want any of the cooked food you’ll have to get there earlier, while items like gumbo or uncooked gator will still be available until close.