I had never been very fond of seafood and I have always explained this by the fact that I grew up in Ohio, far from either coast and fresh seafood. My husband by contrast spent his early years in Washington and California and loved seafood.
I have always found it difficult to get fresh seafood and even more difficult to cook it. When I tried to cook clams, shrimp and fish my efforts usually resulted in dried out rubber. The fine line between cooked and over-cooked seemed beyond my efforts. Then a Joe's Crab Shack opened near our house and my husband suggested we try it.
Well, the name suggested that crab was on the menu and crab was definitely the one kind of seafood that I have always enjoyed so I agreed. WOW! Not only does Joe know crabs, the kitchen staff sure does know exactly how to prepare seafood of all kinds! I have even had fried oysters that were not rubbery and not gritty but delicious, melt in your mouth morsels.
The grilled salmon was wonderful and the crab stuffed shrimp was great. Before Joe's Crab Shack I would have laughed if anyone had suggested I would like most seafood. That's probably because I just hadn't found a restaurant that consistently prepared seafood the way it should be prepared. We find the seafood fresh, expertly seasoned and a treat for the taste buds.
The appetizers are so good it's difficult to make a choice. The stuffed mushrooms, the clam strips, no the blue crab dip.... I could make a meal of the appetizers! Then the entree.... try a special or go with a favorite? Decisions, decisions. The one certainty is that no matter what decision I make, I'm sure that I will enjoy my meal.
The atmosphere is definitely different with colored lights and so many different displays on the ceiling and walls that it's easy to be distracted and the displays change constantly (always something new or something I haven't noticed before). The wait staff is young and enthusiastic and they provide a dinner show of sorts by dancing once every hour. They also 'pick on' people who have the courage to go to Joe's for a birthday or anniversary. Audience participation is encouraged. Take someone to Joe's for a birthday meal you will never forget.
This is one restaurant in Colorado where seafood is fresh, expertly seasoned and absolutely delicious. I also love adding 1/2 pound of crab legs to any entree. My husband usually adds 1/2 dozen shrimp to his entree because he insists that there is no such thing as too much shrimp.
The wait staff exhibits an energy level that is astounding. They are uniformly cheerful and helpful but the turnover seems to be rather high. This might be due to the fact that many of them are students and rather young but they are good. The manager or assistant manager often stops by our table to check on the quality of food and service.
The decor is crazy. There are strings of lights and all kinds of objects on the walls and ceiling. Everything has a nautical flavor and it seems to constantly change. Someone with an inventive and creative sense of humor must be in charge of the decor. We appreciate it.
Special Notes, Tips or Menu Recommendations:
If you don't get there early be prepared for a wait but the food is worth the wait. The only thing I've ever eaten at Joe's that was only so-so was fish and chips. But you can get fish and chips anywhere. Try the specials because they are usually something different and not on the menu.
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