Joe’s Crab Shack
We were strolling down Fisherman’s Wharf in noon time San Francisco, searching for this renowned bistro, famed for its Dungeness crab which I had narrowed down in a local food magazine when something caught my eyes…
Standing in front of me, I saw this signage with vivid pictures that immediately screamed – CRABS!! But what made me went inside Joe’s Crab Shack to peek a look were the scores of people going in and out of there; I could tell something special was going on there.
We took a lift up to the second floor which was where Joe’s Crab Shack was located and I was totally astonished when the lift doors opened…
The place was jam-packed till the brim with hungry people partaking in their crab indulgence. You could tell the place was very much alive and vibrant with happy faces. It was there and then that I decided, “To hell with that renowned bistro, I’m gonna have my crabby fix here at Joe’s Crab Shack.”
Joe’s Crab Shack – The Place
There were long queues of people waiting for their seats, but as there were only two of us, we were quickly ushered to an empty table without much waiting. I could tell that most of the diners were locals. I had previously mentioned before in Dim Sum Restaurant that if a joint is a favourite among the locals, you won’t go wrong following the crowd as it is most definitely the right crowd. As can be seen in the picture, there is a very nice view of the harbour from Joe’s Crab Shack.
I took some photos to share some of the many interesting pictures hanging around Joe’s crab shack. Some of them are downright lame but as long as it brought a smile to your face, who cares?
A young energetic guy with spikey hair and a million-watt smile introduced himself as our server and came to hand us the menu saying he will be back to take our orders.
I absolutely love crabs, and salivate at the sight of those yummy pictures with its huge portions of crabs. I couldn’t wait to gorge myself on them. The server came back in a jiffy and I placed my orders. Very polite and efficient service considered how busy Joe’s Crab Shack was.
The back of the menu also detailed how Joe’s crab shack came about with its story and timeline history. Interesting read while waiting for our food.
Out of the ordinary, all the floor staff lined up and a dance number was played. They jingled and danced to the beat amid cheers from the customers. They do a different dance number around every half an hour. It’s amazing in such a busy place, they could still find the time to dance and have fun. No wonder I could sense that energy when I first entered the place.
Joe’s Crab Shack – The Food
First to arrive were the calamari. I popped one into my mouth and you better believe it when I say it was one of the best goddamn calamari I ever had. It was meltingly tender and wonderfully flavourful. There were practically no resistance between my teeth when I chewed on those calamari. I never had calamari which was as tender as this, and this was coming from someone that loves squid and can be considered quite an authority on eating squids. The whole bucket of calamari vanished in an instance.
The poached prawns on ice with bay seasoning came right after. Prawns were well-cooked and the bay seasoning was flavourful providing that intense umami hit to the palate.
I ordered the Dungeness Crab in Joe’s famous BBQ style and the Fire-grilled Snow Crab. They came in buckets with corn and baked potatoes at the side. I ignored the sides and dug straight into the crabs and devoured them greedily. The crabs were delicious and I never regret dining at Joe’s Crab Shack instead of that so-called famous bistro featured in the local food magazine. The crabs were nicely cooked; but I prefer the fire-grilled style to the BBQ which I found a tad too salty.
I’m not a big fan of corn, but when my wife told me to try saying it was damn good, I couldn’t resist. It was real good, sweet and juicy. Very delicious.
On the whole, we had a great experience at Joe’s Crab Shack. The food was brilliant. Service was friendly and fun, and the bill was not shocking. I would say it’s a beautiful meal in an accidental restaurant.
Joe’s Crab Shack is what good food should be – delicious, happy and fun.