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.

2010-02-23 21.13.07
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. 

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Comments (Archived):

  1. bridgetwi

    Ahhh, the curse of being a New Yorker. We know good food. And I don’t mean just fancy. I mean good BBQ, a good hot dog, a good lobster roll…a good fried tomato. We are doomed. Stick to the Cuban hole in the wall places down there!

  2. olivialy

    Next time you MUST order the fried chicken. It’s deliciously crispy and only $5.95 an order.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Based on the oysters, I figure they have the deep fry thing downjoanne [email protected]

  3. BB

    I had a good friend who ran a hotel in Miami. He used to regale us with stories about dealing with his staff, a challenge because while beautiful, the population is by and large , to quote Rahm Emanuel: retarded. My friend would describe watching staff run around the Four Seasons, which by most standards is a hotel with impeccable service, and the expressions were of an earnest desire to please, but execution fell hopelessly short. This is all to say, good luck, and maybe think about lowering your expectations a bit. I find the best experiences in Miami to be the less ambitious. My favorite down there is a sweet little Haitian place called Tap Tap. Hope you at least get great weather while you are there…

    1. Gotham Gal

      I’m putting Tap Tap on the list for next time. The Mondrian was staffed with people who were not exactly on top of the service part of the job. Alas. The weather was good!joanne [email protected]

  4. daryn

    I grew up in Baltimore, and honestly, no other crab will ever beat my memories of picking meat out of old bay encrusted Maryland blue crabs. That said, we do have some pretty fantastic Dungeness crabs out here in Seattle, I just wish they were steamed and spiced instead of just boiled, but no one seems to do that.

    1. Gotham Gal

      I grew up in MD too. Nothing beats the Old Bay spice. Good on chicken and shrimp too!!joanne [email protected]

  5. jsepoch

    never liked stone crabs and especially ones from joe’s. you go for the strange cultural experience not the food.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Certainly a strange cultural experience!joanne [email protected]

  6. ellen

    Gosh, I haven’t been there in about forty years. The only thing I did like was the key lime pie. Being from New England, I don’t usually like seafood that is served elsewhere. There is nothing like fresh seafood served in Boston or surrounding areas.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Maybe we should have had the key lime pie? Agreed, there is really nothinglike the seafood in New England.

  7. maverickny

    After spending 2 happy winters in Miami Beach, I concluded that the best food was in the hole in the wall cafes, but darned if I can remember their names! ‘Fine dining’ in South Beach is sloppy, over rated and over priced.The best thing about Joe’s was the Take Out; much better deal and you don’t have to wait ages, plus there is the fun of the impromptu picnic. There is a nice wine shop one block south, so you could put your order in dash to get a decent bottle of chilled white wine and dash back in time to pick up your order. Eating it all on the condo balcony watching the sun go down was great fun.I liked the crab cakes, key lime pie (plain, skip the ghastly whipped cream bottle they give you with the box) and the fried oysters. The claws are juiciest and tastiest in Dec-Jan, by end of Feb they seem to be a bit tasteless.

    1. Gotham Gal

      We obviously should have had the key lime pie from all the comments. Whatyou have described is absolutely the call. I have heard that the whole inthe wall cafes are the best but you need to know a local to help you findthem. Your assessment of Miami, IMHO, hits the nail on the head.

  8. Rufusrtoyota

    Nobody’s in the ballpark with Joe’s in the Key Lime Pie department.