Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Oh Pineville - we miss Joe's Crab Shack!
Here's a funny thing in hindsight: we blew by another Joe's in Nashville back in April. You can scroll back and see that we chose Wildhorse Saloon for lunch that day. Why Joe's now? You can't go 3 feet in Myrtle Beach without tripping over a crab/calabash restaurant. Pancake houses serve calabash. I think even gas stations sell crab and calabash. Maybe not, but they might.
So my wife has recently been eating more seafood thanks to sushi. Of all things SUSHI! Nothing like some beginner seafood in the form of fish sticks or shrimp scampi... Nope. Roll it up and eat it SUSHI. Well I am happier for it - that's for sure.
We went to Alligator Adventure (viewing not eating) and my wife says we should get some seafood while we are there. Sure enough, we park to see some gators and saw the Joe's sign. There are several great names there like House of Blue, Wild Wings, etc... even Rossi's and Chucks down the road. I was not going to pass up the chance to eat seafood this day. No sir! After the gator adventures, we stroll out and can't find Joe's. The signs all pointed to those other places. I was not ashamed to ask directions (my daughter was soooo proud). The problem is he did not know where it was either and he worked at Wild Wings. This tourist trap is so large it has a map. Ah...Joe's was just over their inland lake that the Broadway at the Beach has made. They had a nice plank walkway across the middle. It was a great walk on a gorgeous day.
We arrive at Joe's and initially want to sit outside. Us and oh, about 400 other visitors on a busy Sunday. Hmmm. Inside works. Apparently their AC does too - it was a little chilly in there. We are told the wait inside is 10-15 minutes so we hit the restrooms. 3 minutes later we are seated. I like their clock!
Now this place is mobbed. Slam packed and wall to wall. Servers are all over and moving quickly. Ours shows up on que and gets our drink orders. The menu is a lot to get through so we hold off on an appetizer order right away. He makes a recommendation, but we hold.
Our daughters first solid food many moons ago was calamari at Frankie's in Charlotte (R.I.P.) and she has been all into it ever since. We order that and a salad for her (we helped a little with the squid). My wife ordered the popcorn shrimp and I ordered the Sunset Fire Steam pot. It has a smokey bay seasoning on the shrimp, dungeoness and snow crab, corn, potatoes and sausage. I was a little set back by the $26 price tag, but there was enough to share.
Unfortunately the calamari was breaded to heavily; as if it were a chicken strip. It was cooked a little too long. When the tentacles are really crunchy - you just know. The popcorn shrimp had the same coating but it made more sense on there. The crab pot was a big ol' pile of yummy goodness. Those type seasonings are always a little on the salty side, so that was expected. The paper towel roll and scrap bucket got some heavy use.
To crack the crab at Joe's, you have to master this little yellow tool that simply says - STOLEN FROM JOE'S. The waiter explained that it has to be worked through the shell and then split the shell open to access the meat. I have never used one before and it seemed to corny. Well, a couple legs in and we have ourselves a fun little task really. It's like an old hand can opener that you just run the side, pulling up and pushing down. It really worked. He claimed that he "would see" if he could find some of the metal crackers for me to use when I ordered, and sure enough he showed up with them for me and the table next door. I sent him packing with a cleaned out snow crab leg. We got this!
Through all of the people traffic inside, our waiter was really on his game. All of the staff dance on command, they were checking tables like seasoned pros - crab seasoned pros to be exact. Good service, good food, fun atmosphere in a great location. This was a great stop - thanks Honey.