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Joe's Crab Shack ~ Eatontown


I understand the chain is opening a franchise near Monmouth Mall soon. Any Ideas when? I looked at there website but there are no specifics on it.

I did notice the online menu has no prices listed. Must be too fancy for the likes of us to go to...

  1. Still a lot of construction going on. I'd guess at least another month or two.

    1. Joe's crab shack is far from fancy. If you like salt, I would suggest going.

      7 Replies
        1. re: Tapas52

          I'm still not sure why the main page on their website appears to feature a diverse crowd of people gathered around a table that seems to feature a pot containing a roll of toilet paper.


          Does not bode well for the aftermath of a meal there...

          1. re: equal_Mark

            Almost fell off my chair reading your post equal_Mark! The roll of toilet paper you talk about is actually a roll of paper towels that they have at all the tables because some of the food they serve can be quite messy to eat. While not a fancy place to eat, it's a fun and festive restaurant.

            1. re: Check17

              I saw that about 2 weeks ago. My wife suggested it (drive by). I jumped at the chance. Never been there. Looks like it had a way to go. The next restaurant was Olive Garden. "Nooooooooo!" I screamed.

              We ate at Houlihan's. Got my favorite Thai Chili wings.

              And this past weekend, my wife got her Olive Garden fix.

              1. re: MarlboroMan

                they are currently scheduled to open 12/27. they came by where i work and dropped off some flyers. this wed , thur and friday they are having mock service, the food and non alcholic drinks are on them, you just needed to call and make a reservation, but that booked up really fast

              1. re: scubadoo97

                I'll pass - just like I do with most Mall chains. I'll give my $$ to the local entrepeneur - so we defer to the Sitting Duck etc as to Mr. Flay. Olive Garden - don't get me started here ;-)))))))). And this Crab Shack is easily replicated at the house after visiting Jody's, Esposito's etc or should I want to dine out - at places like Mr. Shrimp, Kleins etc.

                Enough of the vanilla in this world. Is that what the shore is turning into these days? Say it isn't so as last week I was in the middle of MD and all it was was chain food, all over.

        2. We once went to the one in Lawrenceville with friends. It's not worth your time or money.

          4 Replies
          1. re: jkling17

            We gladly drive by Joe's in Lawrenceville to get to locally owned Blue Claw Crab Eatery in Burlington. So much better and no annoying singing servers / cabaret to endure.

            1. re: Foody4life

              We love the Blue Claw in Burlington

            2. re: jkling17

              agree. went there once. Not terrible, just a typical chain restaurant meal.

              1. re: yCf

                All salt and no soul.

              1. re: stickman731

                I trust opinions of chowhounders over a paid reviewer any day

                1. re: scubadoo97

                  Zuh? Dave Willis is an awesome and highly respected business journalist. His article is about the restaurant opening, not a review.

                  1. re: wereboar

                    You'd have to read the article to know that.

              2. I am ready to be crucified so let me have it. Dare I say I want to try this place? I like a good casual bucket of crabs and it is pretty sad that there aren't many places where you can go for this, especially sad since I am not far from the shore. I have seen recommendations for Red's and the Shrimp box on these boards and I have to say it was over priced mushy crap. The only respectable fry shack I've seen on these boards is Mr. Shrimp. (And certainly not a shack, a pretty nice place.) So steer me elsewhere if you can but I will probably grab a late lunch here with the family soon.

                3 Replies
                1. re: angelo04

                  Only snobbery, or worse, anti-snobbery (the snobbiest of them all) would crucify you for wanting to experience something new. Looking forward to your thoughts on the place.

                  1. re: angelo04

                    The Lawrenceville location I tried certainly wasn't awful. I definitely prefer Joe's over Red Lobsters. I definitely enjoy that they sold T-Shirts that says "Got Crabs?".

                    1. re: yCf

                      I'm definitely not a restaurant snob and have eaten at most chain restaurants out there, but the Joe's Crab Shack in Lawrenceville is pretty awful. It's worst than most chains, just crap food, annoying servers, and...bleh. I actually would agree that it's better than Red Lobster, but since Red Lobster is down at the bottom of the barrel that's faint praise. You can find some decent meals at most chain places, but I'm not sure how anyone does so at Joe's or RL. But hey, to each his own.

                  2. Went here last night to the new Eatontown location. Overall it was really good. I am generally not a fan of chains. I think like any place, if you go and order what they are good at/known for, you have a good shot of at least getting a decent to great meal. That said do go to Joes for Crabs. Do not go for burgers, steaks, chicken or even their fish dishes with sauces or pasta.

                    We started with an order of fried oysters. They were excellent. It came with a nice, slightly spicy remoulade sauce, a good crispy seasoned coating and fried to perfection. For Entrees, My wife and I both ordered the The King and Queen Crab Steam pots. My wife's was steamed with garlic and herb butter. I had the fire grilled which tasted like a marginally spicier version of Old Bay seasoning. My daughter had the kids Steam pot which had 3 shrimp and snow crab. My 5 yr old, who is not quite the hound my daughter is, had the kids burger (Yuk)

                    We arrived around 5:15 and waited about 20 minutes for a table. There were a few hicups with service but nothing unforgivable or unexpected in a place that just opened. I had a cocktail, kids had 2 kid desserts. All in with 20% tip, $120. A little pricey for what it was but overall a good meal. However, The way I see it, I could buy King Crab for $19.99 a pound. I would estimate i Had about a 1 1/2 lbs which equate to the $30 I paid for my entree. And I didn't have the mess in my house! So well worth it.

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: angelo04

                      Bravo for the post.....any chance you have been to The Crab House in Edgewater to compare chains?

                      1. re: fourunder

                        Never have been. Would love to know of a great local place for crabs though.

                        BTW - my rib roast anxiously awaits for dinner tomorrow. Fingers crossed as my oven is on the fritz!

                        1. re: angelo04

                          The Shipwreck Grill in Brielle is a great place for seafood, including crabs.

                          1. re: SusieQQ

                            Love the Shipwreck. I recall having an awesome lobster dish with a chorizo hash. I don't remember crabs on menu but will have to look again.

                            1. re: angelo04

                              Other than an occasional summertime soft shell crab special, I don't recall having seen crab on the menu there either. Dogfish Head 90 Minute for three bucks at Happy Hour, on the other hand . . . .

                              1. re: MGZ

                                I was pretty sure that they have crabs, so I just checked their online menu....shows Snow Crab Claws and King Crab Legs.

                                1. re: SusieQQ

                                  I see, thanks. Somehow, I never noticed them on the Raw Bar menu.

                        2. re: fourunder

                          The Crab House is much more upscale than Joe's.
                          If we are comparing chain steakhouses:
                          The Crab House = Ruth Chris
                          Joe's Crab Shack = Outback.

                          1. re: yCf

                            Thanks for the assessment....

                            would you put The Crab House on par with Legal Sea Foods & McCormick and Schmick's...or below? All three places are in my area, but other than an occasional drink at M & S, I never go to any of them for sea foods....should I change that?

                            1. re: fourunder

                              I haven't returned to Crab House for a while. It's not because I have a bad experience but simply because I no longer visit that area as much as before since my wife no longer work around that area.
                              From memory I would say they are on par with Legal and M&S.
                              The main thing I remember is the Crab House has an all you can eat salad bar with a very good selection such as crab & shrimp & mussel, etc.

                      2. If you have a craving for frozen portion controlled seafood, sourced from all over the World,(China, Indonesia, Vietnam, etc.) that may be years if not months out of the water, and are really a fan of the big food supply companies than this is the place for you!!!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: ospreycove

                          Ospreycove, sounds like you are not a Joe's Crab Shack fan. BTW you have some interesting posts on the ChowHound Florida board in and around the Tampa bay area. Are you on Yelp by any chance and if so what is your ID?

                          1. re: JerzeyShore

                            I hav not used Yelp in a long time; forgot my I.D. there. I am in the S.W. Florida most of the time previously was a Long Beach Island dog, tracking down the Striped Bass!!!!!

                            Joe's Crab Shack is owned now by J.H. Whitney Co. (operating as JHS Holdings) I believe. When it was owned by Landry's Restaurant Group, in my opinion, it was no more than a mass feeding hall. Needless to say I have not been in one in several years, but living on the West Coast of Florida, I never buy/eat foreign, frozen seafood.

                        2. A quick stop for lunch for a mahi mahi sandwich with a side of fries does not provide enough basis for much of an opinion on Joe's overall but I will say the fish sandwich was delicious.

                          The waitstaff antics (clapping and dancing to loud music) however must go - IMO.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: JerzeyShore

                            Sounds a lot like Texas Roadhouse. It'll hopefully tone down over time.

                          2. Let's see if I can ge this right.......I tried to post a reply to this topic the other day and wound up starting a new thread...NOT my intention. Here is the link to my review;


                            Hey!! I think I got it right this time!!!

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: jrvedivici

                              Stopped at this place today. Have to admit, the main draw was the pirate ship playground, which my 3 year old thoroughly enjoyed.

                              The lunch menu is very small, and consists of 6 choices. I went with the bottomless soup and salad. Started off with lobster bisque. Good, but not great. Very thin, for a bisque. Not one chunk of lobster meat. Second bowl was New England Clam Chowder. Much better, with lots of clams. Caesar salad was pretty good, but not the best I've had. My wife had 3 kinds of fried shrimp.. I ended up eating half of them, because they were too peppery for her. The cole slaw was also riddled with large specks of black pepper. I did not like it. Black pepper does not belong in cole slaw, IMHO.

                              For dessert, my 3 year old had "Paint a Crab".. this was a unique dessert. It was a rice krispies treat in the shape of a crab, and came with a palate of 3 sauces (chocolate, strawberry, and caramel), and a paintbrush! Great idea for a kid, though she soon resorted to fingerpainting instead.

                              Wife and I split the S'mores dessert. Wow.. talk about sugar overload. Waaaaayyyy too sweet. I was ready for a nap after that one.

                              All in all, we'd go back if we were in the area, but certainly wouldn't go out of our way to go there.

                              1. re: MarlboroMan

                                LMAO....you have to love page/line breaks, being from the area I know the Pirate ship well so when I read your opening line

                                "Stopped at this place today. Have to admit, the main draw was the pirate ship"

                                I did pause for a minute and think Holy Cr@p how old is Marlboro Man???
                                Anyway I'm glad your lunch was tolerable.......as the link to my review show's I have NO intention of ever going back to this place. But again they are doing the business so what do I know?!?!?!?!

                            2. We're going to close this thread now. It's fine to discuss news of a franchised restaurant opening locally, but the restaurant has been open for a while now and it's no longer news. Our Chains board at http://chowhound.chow.com/boards/32 is the best place to share reviews of the food at Joe's, since it's pretty much the same at all locations, and we'd prefer to keep this board focused on highlighting the unique local restaurants in New Jersey. Thanks!