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Joe’s Crab Shack in Eatontown

I was in the Monmouth Mall when I decided to check out the latest chain to hit the area. To be fair, I am not a big fan of chain restaurants. They kind of are what they appear to be, consistent decent food but never anything great. Ok, I decide to try this place for lunch accompanied by my wife.

We enter a nice looking place, it looks a little like a picnic area. A big room full of long wooden tables, very comfortable. The waitress comes right over and puts a big silver bucket on the table and a roll of paper towels, I like it already. She explains that the bucket is for the shells and the paper towels are napkins, now I really like it. This means to me that the place is ok with me making a mess, enjoying my meal!

We get the menu and decide to order one of their meals for two. It was a steam bucket with shrimp, crab legs, corn on the cob and sausage. Now, can we go wrong with that combo? I didn’t think so. My initial reaction was that might not be enough food because I have been known to eat crab legs for hours at a time.

We started with their lobster bisque. This was delicious. My only problem with this creamy soup was the portion. This might have been the smallest cup of soup in America. It really was just a tease.

Now our main course comes out. Again I am thinking, I just saw a small cup of soup, are they going to give me enough food? It comes out in a big black kettle loaded with shell fish. I take a look and see a PILE of food. This was a great looking meal. The crab legs were huge and plentiful, there were a couple of big sausages and every time I moved some crab I found steamed shrimp. Not to mention the full ears of steamed corn. So my first fear was gone. There was plenty of food! Now, how did it taste?

We started on the crab and enjoyed every bite of it. Dunked in drawn butter it was awesome! Hot and tender and easy to get to. If you have ever tried to attack king crab legs, you know how much of a pain it can be to get to the meat. They gave use a tool to open the shells. This tool really worked! Written on the tool was a message, “this was stolen from Joe’s Crab Shack”. Now I am thinking, should I steal this for use at home? I didn’t (probably should have, next time I’ll definitely grab one). Now we move on to the shrimp. It was steamed perfectly and peeled easily. Again I dunked it in butter. Very tasty. The sausage had a very smokey flavor. I enjoyed it but if you are not a big fan of the smokey flavor, this might not be for you. The steamed corn was covered in black pepper that accented the sweet flavor of the corn.

Although I didn’t have a cold beer with my meal, they looked great. Served in a frozen pint glass. They offer a full bar and a couple of beers on tap. You can also sit at the bar and eat.

Total tab for a couple of soft drinks, cup of soup and our steamed shell fish pot for two was about $50.00. Not a bad bang for the buck considering I left full and satisfied. I will return to try the rest of the menu.