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Crab Trap, Somers Point - disappointing

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For years, my husband and I would take our annual pilgramage to the "Jersey Shore" and stop for dinner at a local seafood restaurant, called the Crab Trap - located in Somers Point, NJ (just outside of Ocean City, NJ). While in prior years, we've thoroughly enjoyed our meals, I wish I could say the same for our visit this weekend.

For starters, we've noticed a significant jump in prices. Granted, everything has gone up, but meals have definitely become more expensive. I had two deviled crabs ($17.95) and my husband had the "Second Mate" (mixed seafood) platter which set us back $31.95.

Not to be total doom and gloom, the Maryland-style crab soup is still to die for! It's so good, but a small bowl is now $4.95. Ouch. My deviled crabs were very good, but my husband was disappointed with his broiled seafood platter. He had one (1) shrimp on his plate, (1) deviled crab casino (or so we think that's what it was), a very small piece of fish (we think it was flounder), maybe 4 small scallops and a half of a lobster tail with claw. My husband claims his food was all over-cooked, somewhat tough, and very salty. I suggested he send it back, but he's "too nice" to send food back.

I also noted that none of the tables had oyster crackers in a bowl together with a jar of horseradish is long gone. Perhaps a sign of the times - sanitary purposes or simply a budget cut.

If you like a crowded place, typically with a long wait, then by all means - visit the Crab Trap. I guess they're doing something right, though, considering how crowded the restaurant was.

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  1. First time I went to the Crab trap(and last) I asked if the Scallops were "dry packed" the waitress did'nt know so she asked the kitchen who immediately informed me they were not! instant sign of poor seafood. ordered the alleged best of crabcake...yuck. why can't you get good seafood in Jersey? to much regulation I assume. In Florida Rest can buy right off the fishermans boat! very far superior

    6 Replies
    1. re: FISHINC

      I had a similar experience at a horrendous place called Jack Bakers in Point Pleasant. This restaurant is maybe 50' from the docks where the fishing boats come in. I ordered the scallops and they were clearly old and frozen, absolutely stinking of ammonia and undercooked. There were 3 of us and every single entree (one other person ordered the scallops), was equally disgusting. 3 years later we still refer to that meal as the single worst meal we have ever had. It was just that bad.
      No excuses for a place at the shore to have frozen seafood, imo.

      1. re: mschow

        We've had similar experiences at Jack Baker's and will stay away from the Crab Trap thanks to the reports above.

        I'd also add The Lobster House in Cape May to the list of Jersey shore places on the docks, with lines out the door yet guaranteed to serve you tasteless seafood. The rubberized lobsters we were served were inedible, yet this place continues to thrive! As the old saying goes, a place on the water is a license to print money.

        For anyone wanting consistently excellent (always fresh) fish, check out the Blue Point Grill in Princeton. Never disappoints and there isn't a dock or seagull in sight.

        1. re: Foody4life

          You're correct about the Lobster House in Cape May, lousey seafood. It amazes me when i see the seafood trucks from Phila. down at the shore, it seems they all get seafood from Phila. Maybe it's a Jersey thing after all you still can't buy fresh Striped Bass in Jersey

          1. re: FISHINC

            You CAN indeed get fresh seafood in NJ, including fresh Striped Bass. Reference Blue Point Grill in Princeton as Foody4life suggested. I've had the whole Striped Bass there and it's outstanding. Always the highest quality and freshest seafood...but you will pay for it. Wish you could get that quality at the seafood shacks along the shore, like you can in other eastern seaboard areas, and not have to go to a frou-frou landlocked college town and drop half your paycheck to get it.

            1. re: frackit

              I Think the Striped Bass you reference at the Blue Point grill is actually farm raised not wild striped bass. Wild is illegal in NJ

          2. re: Foody4life

            Totally agree with the choice of Blue Point Grill in Princeton. Here is a thread from last year.

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/547267

      2. we ate here last sundaysunday at approx 330- the rest. was fairly empty. Our waitress copped a major attitude once she saw the two toddlers at our table.
        We ordered our dinners-it took over 30 mins for our salads and not soon after our salads were dropped our dinners came out. Our table was never prebussed so our waitress was fumbling to clear plates as we tried to make room for our dinner plates.
        One of our dinners was cold, I had the rib special and they were beyond fatty. I informed the manager of our bad experience and he did nothing except give me a business card. When i told our server abou the ribs (which i didn't eat) and how fatty they were, she said nothing.

        We would have tipped extra becuase we had toddlers. Our server would disapper- I have been a server, and this is one of the WORST places i have ever eaten all around.