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Where can I get Stone crabs in Miami Beach besides Joe's (who served me frozen claws twice)?

I've been to Joe's 2 times before and both times thought I was served frozen claws. I looked into this afterward and read a review where somebody said if they don't know you, you may very well be served the frozen stuff. I am not eager to return. Can anybody let me know who else is serving them right now? Would appreciate it.

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  1. I've found it's more a function of when you go than who you go with (though what do I know? I'm usually going with folks who are semi-regulars). If you're there towards the beginning or end of the season you're more likely to get claws that have been frozen, b/c of supply issues. Still, though you'll find stone crabs at many other places during the season, I don't know of any other restaurant that has as consistently good quality.

    If you feel like you're getting the second class treatment, get take-out from Joe's Takeaway next door. The claws are right out there on display and everyone's getting from the same place. Or to compare and contrast you can try Monty's South Beach - but I've always preferred Joe's.

    1. I would like to add that the cost of maintaining such a conspiracy would be pretty high for a restaurant that turns 1800 tables a day and employs north of 100 people. As frod said, it is availability if anything that determines frozen vs fresh.

      1. I should rephrase to avoid discussions of conspiracy theories. (For whatever reason) I do not want to dine at Joe's. Are there any suggestions for a sit down stone crab meal? Would be much appreciated.

        Also, I ate in season and waited an hour+ to dine on frozen. Just saying.

        1 Reply
        1. re: chowhounder411

          I haven't been to Monty's in a few years but I always received fresh stone crab from them. They also had all you can eat options (generally for medium claws) that can be quite a bargain.

        2. Just curious what made you think they were frozen?
          Went to Joe's in Las Vegas a couple months ago and never occurred to me they might be frozen.

          2 Replies
          1. re: monku

            I just remember the one time how watery they were and appeared small (shrunken like) in their shells

            1. re: chowhounder411

              ask the waiter what the freshest catch is. if you tell them they taste frozen, they'll bring you more

              edit: but if you want a new stone crab experience, the best thing to do is drive straight to the keys, get to the docks, and eat the stone crabs fresh (necessarily served hot)

          2. The steakhouses (meat market, P112, possibly Red) often have stone crab as a special when it is in season. Pubbelly sometimes has them. You should call in advance for these options to make sure they have them.

            Other than that, what Frod said...

            1 Reply
            1. I just had the same experience. I was going to say something but I was with a group and I didn't want to cause a problem. I was shocked. I've never been served frozen stone crab before at Joe's or Monty's or Jakes (in Boca Raton) or for that matter at Whole Foods.

              Now that I have confirmation, I'm truly upset.

              -----
              Joe's Stone Crab
              11 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

              2 Replies
              1. re: Buzzy2

                You have now contributed to the conspiracy theory!! I'm either going to try Monty's or Joe's take out next. Thanks for the suggestions everybody.

                1. re: chowhounder411

                  I am guessing that Joe's takeout would have frozen product also. If you eat it there at least you can tell them it's bad before taking it home.

                1. If you're willing to travel to Hollywood Bch, Billy's is good.

                  1. I am surprised that Joe's would not make amends if such a situation occurred. They are very particular about their service and their food. Should you decide to visit them again, I recommend you bring it to their attention immediately; they appreciate knowing when service is not meeting their high standards.

                    1. I've been Joe's "attorney" here and it's because I've eaten there at least 100 times in my life (51) and have NEVER been disappointed with the food quality or the service. At least 100 times and that's a conservative number. In the restaurant, take-out - - - never one issue.

                      You can eat stone crabs in a 100 different places....and I have...and they NEVER taste the same....and that's odd considering that Joe's also wholesales to area restaurants!

                      My friends have discussed what makes Joe's crabs taste better and we happen to believe it's all about the serving temperature. Could there be a frozen one occasionally? I'm sure. But if you mention ANYTHING to a waiter that you're not happy about - - - it will be made right and FAST! Did you complain? I'm thinking you didn't. And at those prices, I would complain.

                      Stone Crab season ends soon....very, very soon......

                      EMac
                      Ft. Pierce, FL

                      1. I've only been to Joe's about 50 times, so I don't have the ranking of a centenarian (LOL) but I've eaten stone crabs many hundreds of times and to misquote Jim Morrison, "I eat more shellfish any man ever seen!"

                        My opinion is that there is a lot of variation in individual taste, in quality, in preparation and in storage. From my POV, the best stone crab is crisp, not limp or chewy, sweet and full of flavor, and it doesn't stick to the shell or appear shrunken within the shell. Given that this is what I prefer, I am disappointed when I receive tasteless, limp stone crab meat from any restaurant, and over the past few years I have had exactly that perhaps 3 times at Joe's.

                        During the prior decade I was quite happy with my crabs almost every time. Having investigated the problem, I am now of the opinion that it is likely that during the last few years Joe's has SOMETIMES either purchased frozen product, frozen their product on purpose or accidentally or left their product sitting around, perhaps in liquid, for much too long. Any of these actions could yield the poor quality I experienced. If you cook stone crab and put 20 pounds of it in a plastic bucket with some ice, chances are that some of the crab will be soaking in liquid for a while. That's not good.

                        The last time I was at Joe's I had much better quality Jumbo stone crab, but still not close to the best I've ever had. It was a little better than just OK, and I was fine with that. Actually I had eaten so much bread and other food to begin with that my tastebuds may have been compromised.

                        Joe's stone crab is still worth a visit. And, as more than one person has mentioned, they will try to correct any problems, so if you get stuck with watery and limp crab, let them know about it.

                        1. Buzzy.....you are aware that they cook the stone crabs right on the boat (according tor Florida law)?

                          EMac
                          Ft. Pierce, FL

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: LargeLife

                            So I have heard. I'm not sure that I understand your point though. Please explain.

                            1. re: LargeLife

                              The crab boats that supply A.P. Bell in Cortez do not have cooking equipment. Daily catches go directly into Bell's cooker, and soon thereafter they are sized and chilled. I have watched the process many times, wharf rat as I am. The pretty orange and black contrast on the shells only appears after cooking.

                            2. OK, I'll guess at your intention. :)

                              Stone Crabs can be overcooked, more likely than undercooked, and this will affect their taste and quality. Once cooked, they are packed. When they are delivered to restaurants, they might or might not be repacked right away, but even after being unpacked and inspected, they are not always served immediately. Thus there are plenty of opportunities to degrade the quality even if the Stone Crab was never technically frozen. They could be packed in ice and partially or completely frozen by the ice. They could sit in liquid for hours or even days. The liquid might come from the crabmeat or melting ice or condensation. If it comes from the meat then we are talking again about poor quality stone crab. If it comes from other sources, you start wondering not only about the effect of water on crabmeat, but you also have to wonder about microbes.

                              So, all I am saying is that I have eaten stone crab at Joe's that has suffered from one or more of these problems, but I am not suggesting that they haven't done anything about it. I am also not suggesting that they buy frozen product because I couldn't substantiate such a claim. All I know is that a few times during the past few years I ordered stone crab that was not sweet and crisp the way I believe it should be, and the poor quality was likely (IMHO) due to one or more of the scenarios I described.

                              I'd go back though, even just for the hash browns. :)

                              1. Fair enough buzzy. I guess when you consider that based on the sheer number of stone crabs that Joe's harvests (with their own boats) it's plausible that 100% of the claws will be absolutely perfect. Of course, based on the prices at Joe's its reasonable to expect perfection and I get that. I do.

                                But based on the amount of times that I've eaten there and it's over 100 - - - I've never been disappointed....and I would have to say that their incidence of success is probably as close to perfect as can be - - - while realizing there's no such thing as perfect.

                                A couple of years back they were harvesting in cooler than usual temperatures and the shells were sticking to the crab meat and a placard on the table indicated as much and I thought was very well intentioned on their part.

                                But if anyone things that Joe's is slingin' skanky crab claws down there on south, south beach - - - you're be mistaken.

                                EMac
                                Ft. Pierce, FL

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: LargeLife

                                  Hi EMac,

                                  Thanks for the reply. I can't make any generalizations based on a few bad experiences. After all, they represent a statistically insignificant sample size. I do regret not complaining at the time, however, because I think you are absolutely correct and they would have tried to correct the situation. Stone crab should be sweet and crisp, almost snapping as you bite into the larger part of the claw. It should not be limp or chewy and it must have a very pleasant sweet flavor. If it doesn't meet those criteria, wherever I order it in the future, I will send it back. I'm making myself hungry for stone crab now. :)

                                  1. re: Buzzy2

                                    You probably know this has been the second consecutive year of a poor harvest. The season ends in 12 days.

                                  2. re: LargeLife

                                    I kind of doubt Joe's is buying pre-frozen crabs, but I have little doubt that they freeze their own, and that those frozen crabs make their way on to some platters. They have a charity event called "Claws for a Cause" every year the day before season opens - so what, exactly, could they be using other than last years' frozen claws?

                                    And this purely anecdotal, but when I've occasionally gotten a "dud" claw in a batch (watery, clingy meat, muted flavor), it tends to be early in the season - when I suspect they are probably mixing some frozen ones in with the fresh until supply is at full capacity.

                                    1. re: Frodnesor

                                      Probably not last years' , but if they have more than a 3 day supply of fresh they may freeze some. Catches are often weather related and not consistent day-to-day.
                                      I agree that frozen is a 4 point deduct on a 10 scale.

                                      1. re: Veggo

                                        They serve stone crabs the day BEFORE season opens. It seems to me the two alternatives are either (1) they are breaking the law; or (2) they are serving last year's claws.

                                        1. re: Frodnesor

                                          They are either really fresh or really old. I know the Columbia restaurant in Sarasota traditionally serves them on opening day, and I doubt the traps were pulled that morning. And they are deliciously sweet and fresh.

                                  3. You're right Buzzy.....all this talk about Stone Crabs is making me hungry.....I've only been to Joe's once this season and there's on 14 days left before the season ends.....I'm thinking that I'll be hitting Joe's Take Away......aka TAKE OUT....lol....

                                    At Joe's Take Out they also serve a shrimp dill salad with a little kick and love that as well. Then there's the chopped salad, the garlic cream spinach, hash browns and bread......and...and...and....

                                    EMac
                                    Ft. Pierce, FL

                                      1. re: jpr54_1

                                        Two great suggestions. I hadn't heard of either one, being a bit north of that area, but now they are on my list. Thanks!

                                      2. This is a true review. I ate there last season with friends and if you aren't a regularregular our they don't know you, you get poor service and the frozen claws. Joe's isn't all its cut out to be so don't wait the long hours and pay crazy prices for mediocre food and service. There are so many other great stone crab pages in South Florida.

                                        1. All stone crab claws are frozen. By law, they are caught, immediately cooked, then frozen.

                                          25 Replies
                                          1. re: BlueHerons

                                            > All stone crab claws are frozen.
                                            > By law, they are caught, immediately cooked, then frozen.

                                            Indeed, Stone Crab Claws are cooked and immediately cooled/chilled - you know, like much pasta, or shrimp, or etc etc.

                                            But there's a HUGE difference between cooled/chilled and frozen.

                                            1. re: CFByrne

                                              Joes freezes their stone claw crab. I know this for a fact.

                                            2. re: BlueHerons

                                              Completely incorrect. The Florida Administrative Code states the following:
                                              68E-27.022 Requirements for Boats Used for Harvesting or Transporting Seafood.
                                              (1) Boats used only for the harvesting or transporting of seafood shall be excluded from the requirements listed under Rules 68E-27.014, 68E-27.015, and 68E-27.016, F.A.C. but shall have facilities for protecting cargo from the sun and weather and from bilge and other contamination. All boats shall be provided with false bottoms and bulkheads fore and aft to prevent cargo from coming in contact with any bilge water, or other contaminants.
                                              (2) Seafood holds, pen boards and shelf boards shall be smooth and constructed to facilitate proper cleaning.
                                              (3) Seafood pens, pen boards and shelf boards shall be shelved where necessary to prevent crushing of the cargo.
                                              (4) Seafood being transported shall be washed to remove excess blood, slime and viscera prior to stowing.
                                              (5) While cargo is on a boat used for harvesting or transporting fresh seafood, finely divided ice or adequate refrigeration shall be used to preserve the quality of the seafood.
                                              (6) Decks, holds, pen boards and shelf boards shall be thoroughly cleaned as soon as the cargo has been discharged, and shall be disinfected when necessary.
                                              Specific Authority 379.407 FS. Law Implemented 379.3313 FS. History–New 9-30-75, Formerly 16B-27.22, 16N-27.22, 16N-27.022, 62N-27.022.

                                              Thus, all stone crabs that are commonly purchased in Florida are NOT frozen by law. Whether they are frozen or not has nothing to do with Florida law. The Florida law has no requirement to freeze stone crab. However, the problem that consumers face at Joe's and other outlets is that sometimes the claws are inadvertently frozen or left soaking in melted ice or they are not cooked properly, etc. Worse, there are probably cases where some outlets buy frozen product. As noted above in other comments, if the crabs don't taste, smell or look correct, send them back, regardless of where you buy them. They should be clean, not fishy and they should be crisp and snap when you bite into them. The meat should not adhere to the shell. Speak up!

                                              1. re: Buzzy2

                                                Joes Stone crabs are frozen and all commercial fisherman freeze them. They would loose too much of their harvest if they don't. It is industry standard.

                                                I suggest going and talking to a few of the commercial fishermen. They could give a rip that you want them fresh and not frozen.

                                                My husband runs a chain of restaurants in South Florida and routinely purchases thousands of pounds per season. I do know what I'm talking about.

                                                1. re: BlueHerons

                                                  I don't know where you get your information, but you are completely wrong about there being a law in Florida that stone crabs must be frozen and you are completely wrong in stating that all commercial fishermen freeze them and that this is an industry standard. Yes, you can buy frozen stone crab, just like you can buy frozen lobster and frozen soft shell crab and frozen versions of most fish. However, anyone that understands and appreciates quality fish knows that fresh product is generally much better than frozen product. Some would argue that fresh is always better. All of the leading restaurants that I know that serve stone crab make it clear that they sell fresh, not frozen, stone crab, in spite of the fact that there are concerns that they are not always telling the truth. Fresh stone crab meat comes out easily, doesn't stick to the shell, doesn't smell fishy, has a snap to it and is sweet and flavorful. Frozen or poorly prepared or poorly stored product is completely the opposite and often limp and tasteless.

                                                  With the possible exception of superfreezing some fish such as tuna for sushi, normal freezing causes cell damage that affects the flavor and texture of fish, including crab and lobster.

                                                  The best restaurants serve fresh fish, not frozen fish. Low quality restaurants might serve only frozen fish. I've been to restaurants in South Florida that serve horrible fish, but that's an entirely separate thread.

                                                  You can look into Legal Seafoods and Whole Foods and Monty's Stone Crab and other sources of Stone Crab and you will see that they state that they provide FRESH product. If you Google stone crabs you will find that there are plenty of commercial fishermen that state that they sell fresh product. It took me a minute to find lots of examples. I really don't know where you are getting your information from.

                                                  I almost always buy fresh fish to prepare at home or when I am at a good restaurant. You are wrong if you think that all fish caught by commercial fishermen is frozen. Maybe you are confusing keeping fresh fish on ice with fish being frozen.

                                                  If your husband runs a chain of restaurants that sells frozen stone crab, I hope that I never eat there.

                                                  1. re: Buzzy2

                                                    George's Stone Crab, which is one of the better known South Florida suppliers, is pretty clear on their website:

                                                    "George will ship them to you overnight – never frozen."

                                                    "George Stone Crab doesn’t believe in freezing its claws."

                                                    http://www.georgestonecrab.com/about-us/

                                                    Several other retailer websites - including some with their own fleets - also say they sell fresh, never frozen stone crab, e.g.:

                                                    http://www.charliesstonecrabs.com/abo...

                                                    (note the description there of them being "ice chilled" after cooking - which is not the same thing as freezing).

                                                    Because stone crabs are typically cooked immediately after being harvested, it makes sense that the product doesn't have to be immediately frozen (though of course it does need to be kept cold which is why they are stored on ice).

                                                    So clearly - not all commercial fishermen are freezing stone crabs, and if any chain restaurant is buying thousands of pounds of frozen stone crab per season, that's on them, not because it's all that is available in the market.

                                                    1. re: Frodnesor

                                                      I agree. I mean, anyone that appreciates quality stone crab or lobster would NEVER choose frozen product over fresh product, properly prepared and handled. Even King Crab - which is mostly available frozen in the US - if you have ever tasted fresh cooked King Crab you would never want to go back to the frozen product. I'm getting hungry...

                                                      1. re: Frodnesor

                                                        Triar, in Hollywood, says their stone crab claws are never frozen.

                                                      2. re: Buzzy2

                                                        Keep thinking that. I see you get your information from google whereas I get my information firsthand.

                                                        You are completely wrong.

                                                        In a perfect world, the stone crab would not be frozen, however the chance for product loss is just too high.

                                                        1. re: BlueHerons

                                                          So multiple reputable retailers like George's and Triar are just outright lying, including in easily documented fashion on their websites?

                                                          OK.

                                                          1. re: Frodnesor

                                                            Captain Jim's in North Miami, another reputable seafood supplier: "#neverfrozen"

                                                            https://twitter.com/CaptainJimsMIA/st...

                                                            Also lying?

                                                            In case it's not clear: I highly, highly doubt it.

                                                          2. re: BlueHerons

                                                            Hi BlueHerons, you've mentioned previously that your husband is in the restaurant industry, so if your information is coming from him, we'd appreciate it if you'd share where he works so your fellow posters understand where you're coming from.

                                                            1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                              Hi Chowhound Team, yes, would be happy to. My husband was with corporate OSI for 15 years, then went on to consulting for ten, ran a small upscale chain (14 restaurants) out of SWF, and recently took over as DOO for a chain out of South Florida. Due to some really flaky responses I've gotten in the past (you can see my history) from 'foodies', I'd rather not say exactly where now. If you inbox me, I'd be happy to share the details. Again, my knowledge comes from first hand experience not google. Many, many suppliers claim that their claw crabs are not frozen but that is logistically impossible unless a restaurant has its own fishing boat.

                                                              1. re: BlueHerons

                                                                Why is it possible for thousands of restaurants all over the world to get fresh produce, fresh fish, fresh meat...

                                                                All of these perishable...

                                                                But seemingly "impossible" to get non-frozen stone crab?

                                                                Something clearly does not add up here...

                                                                1. re: CFByrne

                                                                  Stone crab is caught by catching the crab then pulling off one claw and throwing the crab back into the ocean. Stone crabs regenerate the claw.

                                                                  Most seafood when caught you catch the entire animal. You can keep other seafood alive in fishing wells and cook it or kill it when needed.

                                                                  When the claw becomes unattached to the stone crab, the protein immediately starts to decay which is why it needs to be cooked immediately.

                                                                  Edited to add: I do not know for sure about Alsaskan Crab but it is my understanding that it is also cooked then frozen so it cannot be shipped fresh.

                                                                  1. re: BlueHerons

                                                                    Which is why everyone cooks stone crab claws immediately and then cools and holds them on ice. Once the claws are cooked & cooled (which I understand typically happens either on the boat or at the dock) the deterioration process has not been stopped, but has been slowed down (which is why they do it).

                                                                    But that still doesn't answer the question of whether it's then frozen or sold fresh. Once the fisherman has unloaded his catch and delivered it to a distributor (and been paid), he's no longer at risk of losing his harvest. It's solely a question of whether the distributor can move the product before it deteriorates, and there's a window of at least a few days before cooked, properly chilled stone crab would start to spoil. There's definitely enough time to get the product to a restaurant, retail shop or to ship overnight (as many places do).

                                                                    LOTS of distributors and retailers and restaurants say they sell fresh, not frozen, stone crab, and I don't see any reason to believe that isn't true.

                                                                    (I also don't doubt that there are chain restaurants buying frozen stone crab, but that doesn't mean everyone is.)

                                                                    Just to be clear: putting crabs on ice is NOT the same thing as freezing them. Holding something on ice usually means temps around 32°F-34°F. Frozen is 0°F or below.

                                                                    1. re: Frodnesor

                                                                      I agree with your comments completely. Fish does not have to be frozen to avoid spoilage. 'Fresh' fish is placed on ice or refrigerated to allow it to get to market before significant damage is done. Some fish is 'superfrozen' which avoids much of the damage caused by ice crystal formation, but I would rather have fresh fish almost all the time, whether at restaurants or when cooking at home.

                                                                      I have spent many hours learning about sushi, and I was told that there are situations where chefs recommend fish that is not fresh killed because the tissue can be tough and chewy immediately after death. Waiting a few minutes or hours or even days is considered best by some experts. In fact, when tuna (perhaps Bluefin) was served one or two hundred years ago in Japan, it was caught and then buried for perhaps 4 days in order for it to develop a better taste and texture, apparently. In fact, tuna was given the name 'shi-bi' which I was told means 4 days.

                                                                      So, fresh may be in the eyes and tastebuds of the beholder, but I certainly prefer my fish fresh whenever possible. Leave the frozen fish to Mrs. Paul's and her fish sticks.

                                                                      1. re: Frodnesor

                                                                        Small correction - freezing is 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit .

                                                                        1. re: barrykaplan

                                                                          Yes, the freezing temperature of water is 32°F, but frozen foods are kept at a much lower ambient temperature - 0°F or lower. When you see fresh fish kept on ice at the fish market, the ambient temperature of the fish case will be (should be) right around 32-34°F, but the fish is not frozen. Go check your home freezer: the temperature should be 0°F or lower, not 32°F.

                                                          3. re: BlueHerons

                                                            I'm getting a sense that the key to this disagreement are the words "chain of restaurants."

                                                            Some of us are talking about restaurants where Stone Crabs are the raison d'être, like Joes, Billy's, Dewey's, and, to a lesser extent suppliers like Triar, George's, Cap'n Jim's.

                                                            However, a chain operation might buy in bulk for shipment to their franchisees, who have to have the local favorite on their menu, but don't sell an awful lot of that product on a daily basis. In that case, freezing their 'over-abundance' might make some sense. Think of Red Lobster, or Bonefish, or Joe's Crab Shack. (I'm not saying those folks freeze their stone crab claws -- I'm saying I could understand it if they did, given that they're known for other things.)

                                                            Or, did I just open another can of frozen worms?

                                                            1. re: southocean

                                                              You are correct. There is no question that fish is frozen and purchased by restaurants and markets. The issue revolves around the claims that (a) all stone crab are frozen because it is the law and (b) no fresh stone crab is sold at any restaurant because it is always frozen.

                                                              Some of us disagree.

                                                              1. re: southocean

                                                                No, many distributers that say they don't freeze their claws are not telling the truth. The crab has a cooked shelf like of about 36 hours if not frozen. It is almost logistically impossible for the crab to be cooked, chilled, distributed to a restaurant, then resold to the general public within that time period. All the bacteria makes the claw break down much faster than most land based proteins.

                                                                1. re: BlueHerons

                                                                  I tried to get a truthful answer from Triar Seafood in Hollywood but not with any success

                                                                  1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                    I just received a reply


                                                                    Triar Seafood replied to your comment on their status.


                                                                    Triar Seafood
                                                                    November 6 at 2:48am

                                                                    Stone crabs are harvested fresh on the ocean, then cooked dockside at FDA HACCP certified facilities. Once cooked and buried in an ice/water slurry for approx 20 minutes, the crabs are ready for distribution/consumption. Our crabs are delicious and NEVER frozen!! C'mon by our plant and try some!

                                                        2. I've eaten away Joe's well over 100 times in my 50 years and have never had anything less than outstanding and nobody there knows me. They ice the crabs and its entirely possible they can reach near frozen temps and texture. If yours were in that state, did you bring it to your servers attention?? We're they promptly replaced? Did you allow them to attone? That's what most interested in. Remember, there's a reason why joes is a world famous eatery.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: LargeLife

                                                            Joe's will absolutely replace your stone crabs if you are unhappy with them. They provide good service and will even remove the charges for problem items or give out gift certificates to unhappy customers. However, I don't go there very often anymore because several times in a row I had poor quality stone crab that were either previously frozen, old or stored improperly (perhaps soaking in water from melted ice.) Whatever the reason, I was not pleased when I brought a group of ten people to Joe's, ordered hundreds of dollars of stone crab for them and found several crab legs to be of low quality. Of course I could not taste each leg to determine the quality and I did not want to make everyone at the table wait (all of whom had started eating) until I got the attention of the waiter and asked him to replace them and had them served again - not to mention creating a scene and perhaps making my guests uncomfortable. I simply do not want to be put in that position, so I don't bring guests there anymore, even though, as you correctly state, they would replace and atone.

                                                            I realize that I have eaten many hundreds of pounds of stone crab in my life and therefore I am probably in the minority regarding my ability to judge quality product. Yes, I am pickier than most consumers. I want fresh, sweet crab that doesn't stick to the shell and snaps when you bite into it. I don't get that every time I order stone crab, but when I do, I am on cloud nine. It is one of the most wonderful meals you can experience, and THAT is what makes me picky. :)

                                                          2. I just asked Triar Seafood to explainwhat happens after claw is harvested.
                                                            They have said that their claws are not frozen.

                                                            1. Can't we all just get along here?

                                                              Maybe we should switch the discussion to Blackbrick's authentic dim sum...

                                                              1. I find that often times the stone crabs from Joe's are just average. I've gotten from the market and not while eating inside and this is only when people insist on going there. I can't justify paying the outrageous prices they charge. Many better options all over town at 1/2 price or less. Many have been listed here. Two Bills Seafood off Griffin Road is great also for all seafood at great prices. A market that fills like your in the keys at the dock.

                                                                A little known secret is that Joe's has a secret. They have a highly guarded method of freezing stone crab claws so the meat doesn't stick and the flavor is decent. If you don't eat stone crabs often you might not notice the difference.

                                                                Also Jonah Stone Crab Claws look like Florida Stone Crabs but they are not. When you buy them they are almost always frozen. The meat always sticks to the shell and the flavor is bland.

                                                                They don't even compare to a FRESH UNFROZEN FL Stone Crab or even a frozen one for that matter. I had vendor years ago that had fresh ones flown in they were pretty good.

                                                                Any place that sells only frozen FL stone crab claws will get a bad rep quickly in FL.

                                                                I won't even respond to Blueherons I think she may be eating the wrong stone crabs. LOL.