Jul 22, 2009

Joes Crab Shack

The picture above is from Joe’s site. Joe’s is part of a chain that is based in over 20 states. The one we go to is in Fredericksburg, VA in a glorified strip mall called Central Park. This Central Park has nothing in common with the one in NYC. It is notably lacking in greenery, and in good design. This post, however, is not about CP, but about a restaurant there.

We’ve tried several restaurants in the Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania area. There was a Thai restaurant in the historic district of Fredericksburg, that we didn’t like. Then there was a Thai restaurant in CP, that was pricey, but good. Unfortunately that went out of business. Sammy T’s or Basil’s or some of the coffee shops in the historic district are good places to drop in when you’re sightseeing in the area. Joe’s and CP are on the Spotsylvania/Fredericksburg border.

The fare is primarily sea food. Prior to having a gastric band installed, my favorites were a Tie-Dye, four cocktails that were red, white, green, and blue, layered on top of each other. The effect is not unlike that of a pousse-cafe, in which liqueurs are layered. The picture over on the left shows a pousse-cafe. Note that the liqueurs are neatly layered. Joe’s Tie-dye was anything but neat. The cocktails had a bit of layering, but for the most part the layers swirled around, up, and down, and interpenetrated each other. Sadly, Joe’s revised their cocktail menu, and the Tie-Dye is no longer offered. So I’ve switched to the Patron Margarita, which I described earlier. On the occasions when I’ve had an appetizer, I’ve tried the calamari appetizer, which was tender and as I recall served with a marinara sauce. The clam dip is tangy, and quite filling. A double dip of clams, and a spinach and artichokes is also quite tasty. The Great Balls of Fire, balls of crab, shrimp, and jalapeno peppers is tangy, with a moderate zest for the spice impaired. On our most recent visit we both had a create your own appetizer trio. This has the crab dip as a common element. I choose the great balls of fire and popcorn shrimp. My wife choose the mozzarella sticks and the peel and eat shrimp.

The menu for the main courses changes frequently, so your favorite might be on there the next time you visit. There are a variety of platters that can serve as samplers.

The wait staff is young, and generally enthusiastic. From time to time service will stop, and the wait staff will join in singing along with some vintage disco song.

If you’re on a restricted diet, and must eat small portions, try one of the appetizers, and take some of it home.

Over all an enjoyable place for birthdays, anniversaries, and such like festivities.