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“A lot of choice, good service”
Review of Joe's Crab Shack - CLOSED

Joe's Crab Shack
Price range: US$0 - US$30
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly
Dining options: Reservations
Level Contributor
165 reviews
115 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“A lot of choice, good service”
Reviewed 9 June 2014

When we entered the first set of doors there was an employee standing there holding the doors open for us. She had on a tie dye t-shirt with a peace sign on it. She walked with us the few steps to the hostess podium where he lead us to a table. At first glance it appeared there were only three booths total but around the corner where we were seated there was a row of booths. We were sat cramped by another table although only one of the booths were occupied. By a couple, sprawled out on the large circular booth. Throughout our time we would watch that same host continually give tables of three or more a table while giving couples or individual people the booths. I have never known a place with young children in their party to be seated at a table if a booth was available, and most places ask.

There is a lot of interesting décor, mainly crab and fishing themed. They have tye die t shirts with the restaurant logos and such around the front of the store.

The table has a large bin in the center for shells or what not. There is also a large roll of paper towels and a cup with silverware. What appeared to be one of those red disposable cups sits on the table. The host mumbled something about ordering a drink and getting to keep the cup. The cup was actually a thicker plastic and was heavy. It had the restaurant logo on it. There is a decent drink menu as well. A lot of them look really interesting but we were just interested in water today. Our waitress came and took drinks, using some of the paper towel, she wrote her name on a square. She explained the table and that it was a slower evening, so we could take our time in ordering.

Our waitress, Jade, was very upbeat and professional. She was very helpful and seemed to jump on any opportunity to explain the menu. Drinks were always refilled promptly and we were never without anything. We had the sampler appetizer and it did not disappoint. The balls of fire could easily become my new favorite snack. The crab dip is very good and seemed like a nice change from the spinach artichoke dip so many places have. The calamari was cooked well.

This Caribbean Feast platter sounds like it is too much food but it is amazing how light it is. The Mahi Mahi had a more sweet flavor with the mango than had been experienced before and it worked very well. The seasonal vegetable was broccoli. It seemed a little under steamed but was alright. The rice was cooked well. The coconut shrimp, an appetizer we enjoy frequently, seemed to shame our most recent ones we had eaten. They were plump and cooked very well, a golden brown color. The chipotle shrimp had a nice taste that was somewhat more mild than expected. Overall it seems to be a very good meal that does not disappoint. At a quarter shy of $20, it shouldn’t.

The blackened Mahi tacos where not as good as I envisioned. I somehow had the idea they would be crunchy instead of soft tacos. Three tacos and a large pile of chips. The sauce was very light which was a shame since it tasted very good. The limes it was served with were somewhat dry. I would get many bites that were flavorful and amazing, even with a mushy soft taco. A few times all you can taste is the cilantro, which was kind of odd. Then, there were too many bites, like the last one, were there was no sauce and it was just a really fishy taste on a flour tortilla. . I am really not too fond of fish. While there is a lot of seafood I like, fish is generally something I will avoid unless it sounds really good. This dish was just not for me. Though my husband did enjoy a taco. I was not too keen on the chips that accompanied it. While they are decent enough chips, the sampler came with plenty. Its too bad that was not something you can substitute.

My son really enjoyed his choice. Captains catch. A lot of different things, the popcorn shrimp and the mozzarella sticks did not last long. He really liked the fish as well. Somehow he did not like the fries too much. They are a thicker cut and had a nice seasoned taste though they also have a hint of fish as well. The kids menu actually has a lot of choices at decent prices.

For an appetizer, two meals and kids meal, it was around $50.

I think it was a good meal and some of the staff was very friendly. I don’t understand the seating thing. Most of the booths sat empty but the tables were filled first. The décor is neat. The tables are not in the best condition, screws kept coming out of the chair our son was sitting on, but the concept is pretty cool. I think I would return if I was in the area.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank utopianidealist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

85 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
57 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“A Great Find”
Reviewed 28 May 2014

we have passed this place many times and only recently popped in for lunch, a really pleasant surprise.
The food is great with a huhe choice of fish dishes of all types. The staff are friendly and very efficient although it was not very busy on our visit.
We would go back.

Visited May 2014
1 Thank JohnCoScotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Level Contributor
67 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Good crab but lousy service”
Reviewed 24 April 2014

We had the crab bucket (spicy boil), Sam Adams steampot and steak. The food was quite good. The spices in the spicy boil were really good. The preparation overall was thus quite good. I have eaten at Joe's in Ft. Lauderdale and the spices in the spicy boil at the Tucson location were more flavorful and hotter than the one in FLL. However, I'd give the edge to the crab in FLL. Perhaps it is a function of proximity to the ocean and/or consequent freshness.

The beer and wine offerings are really limited. It is surprising that they didn't have a better selection of wines to pair with the food, especially considering that they serve fairly expensive seafood.

The food is pricey but I believe it is worth it for the quality, at least for the crab. I recommend the queen crab over the snow crab. I recommend the spicy boil (if you can handle the heat) over the garlic herb boil.

The service is an entirely different matter. The waitress who serves us was nice enough but she was extremely incompetent. Certainly she knew nothing about wines (e.g., she had never been asked which year is the wine X you are serving). She did not know how to serve wine. The bottle of wine came already opened rather than being opened tableside. She checked back only once during the entire dinner (so water wasn't going to be refilled if we needed it). This lousy service could have been explained if the restaurant was crowded. It was a Wednesday night and there were at most 3 other tables occupied and there were a couple of other waiters walking around. As best as I recall, the FLL locations had much better service. So, I was keen to go back here but on the service front, I was quite disappointed.

Overall, you can go here for the crab/food but you should be prepared for lousy service.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank V V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
148 reviews
61 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Birthday Dinner”
Reviewed 24 March 2014

We celebrated two birthday dinner's! It was a fun night. Food was great. Service even better. Loved that they sang happy birthday to our friends (including costumes). Will visit again.

Visited March 2014
Thank sdbraund
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tucson, Arizona, United States
Level Contributor
99 reviews
61 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Overpriced, bad tasting food.”
Reviewed 2 December 2013

The last time my husband went to this restaurant, he felt the food was mediocre. We thought we'd give it a second try. The food was dreadful. First our waiter told us that all their fish is frozen--very strange for a fish restaurant.My husband had fish and chips. The fish was pollack--the cheapest fish there is. He ate one piece with this doughy coating and the fries (the fries were good.) Later in the evening and to the next morning he had a stomach ache. I had the Malibu, grilled shrimp. The shrimp had no texture and was doused in salty buttery sauce..Likewise, the broccoli looked good but was so coated in butter and salt that you could not taste broccoli. I could only eat half my meal. The place was not crowded (I understand why.) Our server was nice--but service was just average.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Azsunshinelover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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