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Joes Crab Shack

wmmulvey Jun 22, 2011 12:03 PM

I have never been there. One opened close to me and I was thinking about going.

What is your opinion of the place (rate it 1 - 10 and reason)


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  1. equal_Mark RE: wmmulvey Jun 22, 2011 12:11 PM

    Is it located in New Jersey?

    1 Reply
    1. re: equal_Mark
      bgut1 RE: equal_Mark Jun 22, 2011 01:26 PM

      One in South Plainfield and Lawrenceville with one about to be built in Eatontown at the Monmouth Mall.

    2. j
      joonjoon RE: wmmulvey Jun 22, 2011 01:28 PM

      Nice, I always wish we had one of these whenever I see one of their commercials on tv.

      1. BeeZee RE: wmmulvey Jun 22, 2011 03:48 PM

        not particularly good...unless you like all kinds of fried stuff and really salty preparations

        2 Replies
        1. re: BeeZee
          Tapas52 RE: BeeZee Jun 22, 2011 06:07 PM

          Is this some kind of Chain restaurant...?


          1. re: Tapas52
            equal_Mark RE: Tapas52 Jun 22, 2011 06:24 PM

            If it is in multiple locations and they provide a search function that involves entering a Zip Code, this would seem to be the case...

        2. srsone RE: wmmulvey Jun 22, 2011 07:27 PM

          i would compare them to seafood as olive garden is to italian

          1. pamf RE: wmmulvey Jun 22, 2011 08:31 PM

            I have tried branches in various parts of the country some were definitely better than others. I liked the one in Austin, TX and the one in the Atlanta suburbs. Colorado springs, not so much.

            They do have a lot of fried seafood on the menu. I like their steamer pots though.

            The prices seem to vary by location. They opened one in San Francisco, in a very touristy area, and the menu prices seem much higher than what I remember from the other locations. I would never go to that location because there are so many other options available.

            In the suburbs of Atlanta, with more reasonable prices, it's about a 5 or 6.

            1. p
              pollymerase RE: wmmulvey Jun 22, 2011 08:57 PM

              No qualms with giving it a 1.

              Don't do it. Any option has to be better. Food is terrible and over priced. The decor is obnoxiously fake and service is straight from a script. They also break into song and dance. Seriously one of the worst meals I have ate in my life.

              1. r
                ricepad RE: wmmulvey Jun 22, 2011 10:42 PM

                Depends on the alternatives. In a land of 1s and 2s, JCS will tower over them with a solid 3. The food is unremarkable, rarely bad (if bad = inedible), but never great, either. Expect to see the staff whooping and hollering over somebody's birthday while you're there.

                I have never willingly gone to JCS - it's always a group thing where the retiree/birthday girl (it's never been the birthday boy) has chosen the place. I disagree w/ srsone: it's way worse than Olive Garden.

                1. Samalicious RE: wmmulvey Jun 23, 2011 04:21 AM

                  Too expensive. Food is forgettable to terrible. You will wait for a drink refill until the staff finishes dancing. Smells like old fish inside. Otherwise I love it.

                  15 Replies
                  1. re: Samalicious
                    equal_Mark RE: Samalicious Jun 23, 2011 05:45 AM

                    Might it compare to Red Lobster? Another retirement/birthday destination...

                    1. re: equal_Mark
                      Fibber McGee RE: equal_Mark Jun 23, 2011 07:32 AM

                      Red Lobster with better (more) lighting.

                      1. re: Fibber McGee
                        tzurriz RE: Fibber McGee Jun 23, 2011 07:47 AM

                        Oh, I disagree, it is way better than red lobster. Yes, it's kitchy, but that's the point. Their steampots are tasty (if a bit on the way salty side), and I've always found the service to be attentive. It's a chain restaurant - with everything that goes along with that (again, read: salty), but it's head and shoulders above red lobster.

                        1. re: tzurriz
                          Fibber McGee RE: tzurriz Jun 23, 2011 09:37 AM

                          Unfortunately, my experiences have not been that good there. Underwhelmed is how I would describe it, although I have not tried the steampot. That's for service and food, but all chains have their good and not-so-good locations. The crabcakes I have had were about as good as what one can get shrink wrapped at their grocery store. Kitsch does not bother me at all, sometimes it can be fun when you're in the mood for it.
                          I do believe everything is worth trying. I'd give it a 3 or 4.

                          1. re: Fibber McGee
                            tzurriz RE: Fibber McGee Jun 23, 2011 11:55 AM

                            ahh, see I've only ever had a steampot or crab there. Never tried their cakes. :)

                      2. re: equal_Mark
                        ricepad RE: equal_Mark Jun 23, 2011 12:37 PM

                        I think of JCS as the bastard love child of Red Lobster and a cowboy bar. If you like the ambiance of cowboy bars, you'll prefer JCS over Red Lobster. If you don't like cowboy bar atmosphere, you'll prefer Red Lobster over JCS.

                        1. re: ricepad
                          Duppie RE: ricepad Jun 23, 2011 12:48 PM

                          So basically the illegitimate offspring of Texas Roadhouse and Red Lobster concieved in the parking lot of a Oliver Garden after a drive through dinner from Arthur Treachers?

                          1. re: Duppie
                            srsone RE: Duppie Jun 23, 2011 01:45 PM

                            theres an arthur treachers somewhere still?

                            1. re: srsone
                              Duppie RE: srsone Jun 23, 2011 02:10 PM

                              Until about a year ago in my neighborhood, it's now a El Pollo Tropical.

                              1. re: Duppie
                                srsone RE: Duppie Jun 24, 2011 05:54 AM

                                i havent seen any in years....i remember going there when i was a kid...
                                i liked their hush puppies

                                1. re: srsone
                                  Fibber McGee RE: srsone Jun 24, 2011 06:20 AM

                                  Ohio has some and more are on the way, evidently.

                                  1. re: Fibber McGee
                                    huiray RE: Fibber McGee Jun 24, 2011 06:35 AM

                                    ...and some folks apparently really, really like their fish recipe!
                                    :-) ;-)

                                    1. re: huiray
                                      srsone RE: huiray Jun 24, 2011 06:47 AM

                                      yes i vaguely remember the crispy fried fish

                                      (this was probably the late 70s...very early 80s tho)

                            2. re: Duppie
                              tzurriz RE: Duppie Jun 23, 2011 02:28 PM

                              That is the perfect description!!!

                              1. re: Duppie
                                HollyDolly RE: Duppie Jun 27, 2011 07:40 AM

                                Oh that's funny Duppie! Haven't eaten at one in a long time, the Joe's that is.I noticed their prices have gone up, so I tend to buy seafood from H.E.B.Grocerystores here in San Antonio and cook at home.Only time I recall them singing was for somebody's birthday, don't recall any dancing.

                        2. Duppie RE: wmmulvey Jun 23, 2011 07:39 AM

                          Unfortunately the best I can say for Joe's is that they sell cool baseball caps.

                          1. r
                            ryback RE: wmmulvey Jun 23, 2011 09:58 AM

                            Don't go. Ever.

                            1. twyst RE: wmmulvey Jun 23, 2011 02:01 PM

                              I went to the one on the lake in new orleans 15-20 years ago when it was a brand new chain and it was really good. Never made it back as there are too many other good places to eat in the city, but the seafood was GREAT.

                              Ive had it a couple of times in other locations since I moved away from new orleans in the last 5 years and it is absolutely abysmal. Like a 2/10 is being generous. Stay far far away now, its REALLY gone downhill since it's infancy. It used to be honest to goodness fresh seafood, now it is most definitely not fresh.

                              1. r
                                redfish62 RE: wmmulvey Jun 23, 2011 02:16 PM

                                Ate there once and was never tempted to go again, the food imo was below average. Nothing I ate was particularly good and the portions were nothing special.

                                I think it is owned by the same company that used to run Morrison's Cafeterias.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: redfish62
                                  chefdaddyo RE: redfish62 Jun 24, 2011 04:51 AM

                                  In central NJ, I returned a rental car in the building next to a Joe's Crab Shack. We never frequent chain restaurants, but gave it a shot. The only good part was that the bartender packs the bottled beer on ice. Corona's were frosty. My steampot of crab leg trio was a waste of time and money. And I guess I'm just too old to appreciate the server's dance routine. However, their parking lot is packed every time I drive past.

                                2. majordanby RE: wmmulvey Jun 24, 2011 06:57 PM

                                  went to one in oceanside, ca. tourist dump - overpriced, sub par food, dancing staff. only thing that was good was the view. i went there 3 times - 3 times too many (was forced by family - at least i didnt pay). got a steamed bucket all three times. crab was dry, shrimp salty, but the mussels were fine. if you have one in the area that was cheap and there was limited seafood options - worth a try. otherwise, avoid.

                                  1. g
                                    gator28 RE: wmmulvey Jun 28, 2011 01:56 PM

                                    I find it pretty revolting. I've been to one in Long Beach, CA about 3 times. I don't know what possessed me to try the crab stuffed shrimp (or was it shrimp stuffed crab??) last time but I felt quite ill that evening. I promised myself I would never go back.

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