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May 6, 2002 05:36 PM

Island Jim's Crab Shack and Tiki Bar

  • l

Okay is this place as silly as it sounds? Again, still coming to town with a group of sales guys - and looking for a low key crabshack place in DC - can't make it all the way to Kent Island unfortunatly !!!!

thanks for the help! when in SF I'll gladly repay the debt.

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  1. Do not eat there. I got violently sick, as did everyone in my group who ate them, from some bad mussels there. May have been a fluke, but why risk it. I've never been back nor will I.

    I don't know of many crab places in the District itself, but if you don't want to drive to the kent narrows/bay bridge area then you can always take a short metro ride to Bethesda. Steamers in Bethesda is pretty good....does not rival eastern shore but nothing really does....and they have a nice deck to sit outside on. it's a fun place to get cocktails and beer too.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Kathleen

      The Dancing Crab is a very short cab ride up Wisconsin Avenue in the District. Can't speak for the quality of the crabs (especially this early in the season), but they definitely have Old Bay Seasoning, pitchers of draft beer, picnic tables, brown paper and wooden mallets if that's what you're looking for.

      1. re: Bill

        I was obviously typing my answer at the same time as you!! Great minds, etc.....

        1. re: Terrie H.

          island jim's is not very good. i've been unimpressed by the food. and have heard of several catholic U students who've gotten sick off their food.

          another suggestion is just to get your crabs to go from a seafood mart like Camerons or Seafood in the Buff (out rt 29) and find a picnic table.

    2. The only "crab house" with that brown-paper atmosphere that I know of in D.C. proper is the Dancing Crab, which is on Wisconsin Ave. near Tenley Circle (NW part of town and there is a metro stop). It should be just fine for what you are looking for, but call ahead to make arrangements (no matter where you go - a large group needs reservations and, since it isn't high season for crabs yet, you want to make sure they have them for you).

      There are others in the close in suburbs, like Bethesda Crab House (in Bethesda) and Ernie's in Alexandria.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Terrie H.

        The Quarterdeck in Rosslyn is very close to DC.

        1. re: Lori D

          and a better option.

          1. re: Tugboat

            I've never eaten at the Dancing Crab, but I used to hang out at the bar above it when I worked in the area, and once coming down the stairs by the Dancing Crab entrance, a mouse ran over my foot. Maybe it was just a random rodent encounter, or maybe the kitchen is less than sanitary, I don't know. I just though I'd mention it.

            1. re: Ronna

              I hate to slag a place, but I agree. It seems that it smells all of the time. Good seafood should not smell like it does there.

              1. re: Tugboat

                Try Crisfield's on Ga. Ave. They hose it down everynight. No stink! Great seafood, although I'm not sureabout crabs. Most places that do a lot of crab andshrimp business have an authentically funky aromathat increases during the warmer months.

                1. re: flavrmeistr

                  Crisfield's does have great seafood. It is also low key. But, even if they do have hard shell crabs (which I'm not sure about), it's not a "brown-paper" place.

                  BTW, it's just over the DC line, in Maryland (Silver Spring). And there are two locations - my understanding is that the one on Georgia Avenue is better (I haven't been to the location on Colesville Road).

        2. re: Terrie H.

          Wow. I'm really sorry for suggesting the Dancing Crab. I had no idea that things there seemed so awful these days. It was the only truly D.C. location that I could think of that worked for Lee's specifications and was just trying to help.

          I'm certainly glad that Asun has found the ideal spot! I've never heard of the that restaurant and it sounds like a great solution. I also don't know the Quarterdeck restaurant, and it also sounds like it is located ideally for Lee's party.

          Lee, let us know where you go and how it turns out!!

        3. I just confirmed that the Annapolis Grill (1160 20th St. between L & M; 202-296-1522). They also have brown paper on the tables and the requisite mallets. If you call in advance, I'm betting that they can set up you and your sales party with a real crab feast Maryland-style right in the middle of D.C.

          You might want to check out their website:

          1 Reply
          1. Wow, this was many years ago. I remember eating at this restaurant So sad that they closed down.