I’ve eaten at Aw Shucks a zillion or so times — both my brother and I actually worked there during our school years — but there’s one menu item, that until the other night, I had never sampled: the hush puppy.

I’d always considered the hush puppy a seafood side note, like an unimpressive dinner roll at an Italian joint, worth neither the space on my plate nor the extra carbs. But, the other night before a show at the Granada, I sat at Aw Shucks sharing a 12er of oysters and a shrimp cocktail with my spouse, knowing I needed more sustenance. Neither one of us wanted to shell out another $15 on crab legs or a shrimp platter so he (not exactly a calorie counter) suggested the $1.95 basket of hush pups. I unenthusiastically agreed. That was when everything changed. With each layer of that puppy — from the crispy outer crust, through the sweet cakey inside, right down to the doughy, creamy corn middle — I was more certain I would never look at my old shellfish staple the same way. Of course the oysters and shellfish at both Aw Shucks, located at 3601 Greenville Ave. and the younger, larger (and closer to Lake Highlands) Big Shucks, located at 6232 Mockingbird, are the best around in my opinion. The Buffalo wings are to die for, and the do-it-yourself cocktail-sauce making stations are wonderful too. The staff is top notch. A few of them even remember me from my high school days (and they have been paid to keep their mouths shut about that).