Joe’s Stone Crab
Joe's Stone Crab is one of those classic Miami restaurants. Not that I have been to Miami more than a handful of times but I know that people love Joe's. I kind of felt like I had to go and so we did.
They do not take reservations at Joe's and I get the feeling it is crowded every night. The building, literally, has a variety of areas to sit and have drinks while you wait for them to call your name over the loud speaker. The restaurant in itself has 500 seats and 40 waiters. There are 300 people that work there. Those numbers sort of say it all.
There is definitely something very old school about the place. Most of the waiters have probably been there years. We decided to split a few things on the menu and only order the items highlighted with a crab. Those are the specialties of the house.
Of course we ordered the stone crabs. I grew up in Maryland picking apart crabs that had been boiled in Old Bay seasonings. You have to work pretty hard to get any meat but it was part of the charm. Stone Crabs are a different breed. You are served the pre-cracked claws with a mustard sauce for dipping on the side. I am sorry to say, I don't get it. Tasteless. Could have been the weather, see the sign above that was at every table but I doubt it.
We also had the fried tomatoes with the waiter assured us were a must-have. There was a crab next to the side dish on the menu so we went with it. Velveeta cheese over some herbs and a slice of tomato and then fried. Not for us. One bite was all we needed.
Crab cakes. Big, round, deep fried and actually quite light. The crab cakes were pretty good. More crab than anything else which I really liked. Not filled with a variety of seasonings but a straight up crab cake.
Hands down, the best thing was the fried oysters. They were excellent. Super crispy, lots of flavor and the perfect sized oyster inside. We could have easily ordered another plate.
Our waiter said we made a huge mistake not ordering the key lime pie for dessert. He guaranteed it was the best in the world. Not so sure I believed him.
Glad we went. For us, I'd say it will be a once in a lifetime experience.