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Looking for place like Rustic Inn in Ft Laud or several great places in Lantana that serve blue crabs.

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  1. Blue crabs are pretty widely available all over Volusia. I'm not familiar with Rustic Inn, but most people around here love JB's Fish Camp in New Smyrna Beach. The rest of their seafood is great, too, but I'd avoid the grouper. A recent News-Journal secret-diner DNA test showed they served basa and called it grouper. (The article's no longer online, but I can email a copy to anyone that needs it.) But you can tell by looking if your crab is blue or not. ;-) Other than that's it's highly recommended by just about everyone I know; I just haven't made it down there yet. http://www.jbsfishcamp.com/

    Some others recommended Hull's in Ormond Beach, 111 W. Granada, 386-673-8888. It used to be just a seafood market, but they have a small restaurant now, too.

    I had some friends who worked at Our Deck Down Under, which has a good reputation for very casual, very fresh seafood. From Port Orange, take the Dunlawton Bridge east to the beach, then just as you exit the bridge make a RIGHT U-turn and go under the bridge. Avoid the seafood place to the left (north) that has a number in the name.

    As for Chinese, it's seriously awful down here. The takeout places are abysmal. I've heard a rec or two for Chi-Ling, a combo Chinese/Japanese place on Ridgewood Ave (US 1) in Port Orange, but the thought of those two cuisines combined turned me off at the start. Avoid any takeouts in Holly Hill, I've tried them all. Also avoid the takeout place in the Bealls plaza in Port Orange at Nova and Dunlawton -- gross.

    The lack of NY-area immigrants to Volusia County as opposed to South Florida leave the Chinese options very lacking. Not to sound stereotypical, but I'd look around in mainland Ormond Beach, where the largest area Jewish population is.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Covert Ops

      For chinese, try Leannhs on Beville Rd. It's in a strip mall on the south side of the road, across from the golf course. They serve lunch and dinner but the real secret is the Vietnamese they serve only for dinner. Wonderful food, great family cooking and wait staff.

    2. Covert Ops, thanks very much for your helpful suggestions.
      BTW, are you sure that Our Deck Down Under carries blue Crabs?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Larry Racies

        I don't know that for sure, Larry, as I've never eaten there and their menu isn't online. But I would think any place that sells fresh seafood would have them. Give them a call when you're down here: 386-767-1881, 78 Dunlawton Ave., Port Orange.

        EDIT: You might also like the Wreck Bar on Main Street beachside. It's party central during bike events, but there's nothing like that going on when you'll be here (though the hot rods from Turkey Run do occasionally come beachside to cruise, I've been told). They only have a partial menu online, give them a call about the blue crabs. http://www.wreckbar.com/default.asp

      2. Covert Ops, as promised here's a report on a crab shack my son located in DeLand. It's called the De Land fish house and is located behind Lowes in De Land. It's run by two nice guys named Scott and Chris and has been opened for only three weeks.

        We ate there today and had steamed garlic Blue Claws, raw oysters, King Crab legs, stone crab claws, fried clam strips and onion rings. All very tasty.

        They have both indoor and outdoor tables. Highly recommended.

          1. re: noodelfinger

            Noodel, OpenTable hasn't quite made it to Volusia County yet -- the only restaurant in Daytona Beach on there is Baleen in the Shores Resort, and that's hardly what Larry would consider a "crab shack."

          2. Try sunshine fish camp off Hontoon road just west of DeLand. The only thing to get there is the crabs. You call ahead, let them know how many you want and they have them cleaned and ready for you, served in a big plastic dish tub. I haven't been there in a couple years, but they've always been good in the past.

            1 Reply
            1. re: janebold

              Just a quick correction. It is called Sunrise Fish Camp(1905 Hontoon Road). I will disagree about the part of the only thing to get there is the Blue Crabs. I have enjoyed Roy's steaks, shrimp, blue crabs and his chowder is to die for!!! Check on the availability of Blue Crabs by calling first. 386-736-2970

            2. Thanks, triplesajk, I'll try the chowder.
              As for Chinese, the best I've found in West Volusia is in Orange City, Jade Garden on 17-92. The salt and pepper shrimp are good, as are the dumplings which they usually run out of by the weekend.

              1. Howdy All!
                Report from the field: Hull's not even mediocre. Flourestcent lights, tired "grouper", expensive for a plastic basket place (over $45 for two). As Gen McArthur said, "I shall not return". On the other hand, Sunshine Fish Camp was wonderful. Funkadelic place on a river, wooden tables, great waitress. Grouper to die for--the real mccoy. The waitress said their former fish supplier has slipped some catfish into the grouper (a la JB's fish camp--fishy!), but the stuff from their new guy was superb. The waitress mentioned a very good place up the road, which was mobbed while we were enroute to Sunrise and also on the way back. Crammed with locals, Emma Tot is closed Monday and Tuesday and features German food (Rouladen, Goulash, etc.). Another find, Big Rig truck stop in Deland--great greens, field peas, grits, fried and baked chicken, etc. Their breakfasts can be overwhelming, like the Trucker's Special, with 3 eggs any style, 3 sausage links, 3 bacon strips, 2 slices toast, home fries or grits & one biscuit & gravy--plus a discount at the town cardiologist. Or the Big Rig Breakfast Deluxe, with a mere two eggs, 2 breaded pork cutlets covered in (unbelievably thick) sausage gravy, home fries or grits, toast, english, biscuit or cornbread (this last is very good!). I think you get the idea. It's on N Spring Garden Ave, in Deland. For $10 you can even buy a t-shirt with Big Rig on one side and "Got Grits?" on the other.

                2 Replies
                1. re: barbeedoo

                  MAN that sounds good.
                  Crazy about the grouper. With all the recent publicity about fake grouper around here, you'd think places would be careful. For the record, Houligan's in Ormond has a great fried grouper sandwich (and awesome wings too).

                  I don't make it out west often, but that Big Rig place sounds great.

                  1. re: Covert Ops

                    Further research: I'm back in the Bay Area so I don't know addresses or phone numbers but I can recomend:
                    Sherry's Buffet, the orginal in Deland (N. Woodland I think), and a scond one in Daytona. Not the most enormous all you can eat array but the fried chicken, okra, cornbread, and greens is A-OK. Also, has anyone mentioned Boondocks in S. Daytona? Great grouper, cool setting on the water with roll up windows. I had the scungili salad. Also I went back to Sunrise Fish Camp and had the fried frogs legs.

                2. Try Sweet Melissa's Raw Bar and Grill in DeLand located on West New York Road. Looks like a shack, but everything I've had there is great. Sweet Melissa's husband or significant other use to work in Ft. Lauderdale at Southport for years! Go enjoy.

                  1. OMG the Rustic Inn is probably one of my favorite places to eat while in Ft lauderdale.....although we own a little place in Deland called Sweet Melissas Raw bar & Grille, its nice to eat at great places while we travel and this place definately sets the standard for great seafood! You must eat here while in town!