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Stone Crabs in St. Pete for lunch?

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Trying to find a place in St. Pete that has stone crabs on the lunch menu...any suggestions? Thanks

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  1. Can you get over to Billys on Tierre Verde?

    1. How about the Crab Shack on Gandy? Probably even Mid-Peninsula too but I would call first to make sure MP has them in.

      Crab Shack Restaurant
      11400 Gandy Blvd N, Saint Petersburg, FL 33702

      1. Thank you both so much for your suggestions, but I am an admitted fanatic and pain in the a** when it comes to stone crabs...the last time I went to Billy's and The Crab Shack (so close to my house...why why WHY can't they be good?) the fat on the crabs was all oxidized and not the sweet stone crab experience I crave. Sorry--again thanks for the suggestions--just commenting on my last personal experience at those places! (Still love Crab Shack for their funky FL atmosphere and Billy's for their great free boat ride at sunset).

        I did find some great stone crabs this afternoon at I.C. Sharks Seafood Market up on Gandy...$15.95 a pound with nice housemade mustard sauce and fish spread to start with. They were so fresh...I stood at my kitchen counter devouring my first stone crab of the season like a cavewoman--slurping noises, moaning and grunting with pleasure. (Yes, it was embarrasing and and yes I would do it again in a heartbeat.:-) They are SUPER fresh there. Not a restaurant, but well worth stopping at Vegas Fine Wines for a decent bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, picking up a pound of stone crabs and some of I.C. Shark's fish spread (again housemade and very tasty) and taking to the Redneck Riviera beach on Gandy for an impromptu picnic. $30, dinner for 2 on the beach, 'nuff said.

        Crab Shack Restaurant
        11400 Gandy Blvd N, Saint Petersburg, FL 33702

        11 Replies
        1. re: laboheme

          Yeah I usually buy them at Cox Seafood and eat them at home.
          I had them at Billys a few years ago and they were good.But I have learned you get more bang for your buck if you buy them at one of the good seafood markets.

          1. re: laboheme

            That being said, I get mine at IC Sharks also and eat them at home. Good choice. And I have to agree with you on Billy's.

            1. re: laboheme

              i bought them once (first time) and couldn't get them open when I got home. crackers (the kind i use for lobster claws) didn't work; even tried covering them with a towel and smashing the heck out of them with a hammer. no luck. ended up tossing them in the trash.

              i finally had them at middle grounds grill on treasure island...and i could finally understand what all the hoopla was about. can't wait to have them again...but would love to have them at home. what's the trick? bolt cutters?

              1. re: Manderley

                Ask your fishmonger to crack them for you. The guy at I. C. Sharks was happy to do it.

                1. re: Manderley

                  I wrap them in a towel an use a hammer on them. A real hammer. Not a seafood hammer. I pop them more than slam ;-)

                  1. re: rhnault

                    Same here, a real hammer. A claw hammer. Isn't that how it got it's name? I don't use a towel because I want to see where I'm hitting. I pick up the shrapnel on the dining room floor later.
                    There is a "hump" in the center of the inside of the claw, about the size of a nickel, and you want to whack it right on the hump to get nice spider cracks. Judging the right force so as to crack the claw and knuckles without squashing the meat is an art form. My friends are delighted when they come to dinner and see a hammer and a pizza tray cushioned by newspapers on the table.

                    1. re: Veggo

                      Oh I don't just randomly smack them inside the towel. I pop the hump and each knuckle.

                      1. re: rhnault

                        A master! Evidence of a life lived well.

                  2. re: Manderley

                    It kills me that you had to throw those away!

                    You can ask the fishmonger to crack them for you, but usually they do only a preliminary cracking, and there's SO MUCH MEAT in those knuckles. But you can also use the back of a butter knife. Hold claw in your hand like an egg (put an oven mitt on your hand if you think you'll miss!), and crack all over like an egg. Pull shell off, and if you're good, you'll get great big claw piece plus assorted knuckle chunks.

                    Or you can buy the $49 cracker implement for real ease, but it is an investment. They do work because the keep the crab from being crushed, as the lever does not come down all the way.


                    P.S. You can also ask about "floaters" Alot of folks pooh-pooh these, but really they're just recently molted crabs - with a thinner shell, and less meat - but they weigh less and are easier to crack. Usually sold at a discount too...but of course limited supply.

                    1. re: joan

                      I like joan's cracking method (with the knife handle)...it always works well for me and makes a minimal mess. We had some fine stone crab claws from Land and Sea Market last week. Stone crab claws are my ruffies! <3 I want some more, now.

                    2. re: Manderley

                      They should crack them for you where you buy them; there's a bit of an art to cracking them without pulverizing them, as Veggo points out, but hey, if they can do it well enough at Publix, they can do it anywhere. The goal is to get them cracked enough so you actually don't need to use a cracker yourself.