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Jun 2, 2010 07:37 PM

Stay away from the Barking Crab

My husband was craving crab and we were still celebrating his birthday week, so five of us went to the Barking Crab on Saturday night. What an awful, disgusting, offensive experience. It was overpriced, the food was terrible, and I really felt like this tourist trap of a restaurant was taking advantage of its patrons.

Let me start with the positive - our waitress was phenomenal. She was friendly, sweet, and a real asset to the restaurant. I wish I could remember her name because a real restaurant should come and scoop her up.

Now the bad. Four of our five dishes were inedible or ridiculously overpriced. I'll start with my own dish, the lobster roll. I'm so glad that I had eaten a late lunch or I might have cried when it came out. Literally I wondered where the other half of my sandwich was. There were probably 3 pieces of lobster on a sub roll that couldn't have been more than three inches long. (see the photos with the fork for point of reference). It was ridiculous. And for $18 just so overpriced. I'd rather get a lobster roll at the Dog and Claw stand in front of the Aquarium. While not gourmet, it's a decent lobster roll for a decent price.

Two of our guests had soft shell crabs - one as a platter and one as a sandwich. Both of them got crabs that were not soft. And by not soft I mean they literally had to pick hard pieces of shell that were completely inedible out of the dish. I was shocked. How can you possibly serve soft shell crabs that you can bite into?

Finally, the birthday boy got his crab bowl. At $80 this is four pounds of crab in the shell, served in a big bowl with crackers. There were 3 types of crab (and I don't even want to bother going to their website to figure out what kind they were). Two of them were good, one tasted rotten. But still, it was just cold crab in a bowl. $80? Really??

Drinks were weak and also overpriced and I just felt so ripped off and offended. I went in knowing I wasn't going to have a great culinary experience, but this was just the last straw for me. Given all the other great places in the Boston area to get seafood and all the other caring restaurants serving great food at affordable prices I'm just dismayed that this place continues to pack them in. So heed my warning. Stay away.

The Barking Crab
88 Sleeper Street, Boston, MA 02210

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  1. Sorry you had such a rotten experience here - one that seems to be mirrored by a LOT of other folks, both here on the board, and in my personal experience. I would feel pretty cheated at a bowl of cold half-rotten crab for $80.

    I think the BC is good for having a beer or two and enjoying the nice weather. But that's it. Plan to go somewhere else for dinner. :)

    Have you tried to tell anybody (e.g., manager) about your poor experience? I wonder if they'd even care... And if they did, they may offer you a gift certificate to come back.. run away! :)

    1. I've always found this place offensive in a multitude of ways, but yes, your lobster roll really takes the cake. They seriously served you that? It's embarrassing!

      1. That lobster roll is a disgrace.
        Someone needs to write a strongly worded letter

        1. The Barking Crab is maybe the most egregious of many local examples of how a waterfront place can be completely terrible yet trundle along for years. I don't think it was ever anything but awful: a fratty pit smelling of stale beer with nasty food. The incident where their own restrooms' sewage was getting sucked into their lobster tanks always encapsulated the place perfectly for me.

          The Barking Crab
          88 Sleeper Street, Boston, MA 02210

          1 Reply
          1. re: MC Slim JB

            Some people like the stale beer smell.

            I was confusedly disappointed by the lobster roll I got there a few weeks ago. (I went only because I had never had the roll at BC, and felt it was only fair to give it a shot.) While I had more lobster on my roll than lypp, it just didn't taste that great, and I couldn't figure out why. The lobster didn't appear to be frozen, and it wasn't over-dressed, so what gives? Also, the fries were mediocre, to be kind. Well, I gave them their shot; never again.

          2. This is a sad experience but your picture of the lobster roll with the fork as a reference metric is wonderful! =)