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Joe's Crab Shack Gaithersburg

Last Friday night, we registered at 7:40 at the hostess desk at Joe's Crab Shack at the Rio, were seated at 8:20 (which I did not mind considering that every restaurant at Rio was crowded), but the remainder of the evening was a disaster. It took from 8;20 until 9:20 for the server to take our order and for her to bring any food to our table. To top it off, there were 5 of us and only four food orders arrived and one of the orders that did arrive was wrong and the fries were cold. Moreoever, the appetizer we ordered never showed up at all. The manager did not seem terribly concerned when I finally ran her down, but the general manager was very accomodating. After the general manager went into the kitchen to correct the orders himself, after he brought out the corrected orders, after the server insisted we order a dessert on "her," after she took forever to bring that dessert out, and after we had to wait for the check, we did not get out of there until 10:20. The general manager did strike the appetizer from the bill and deducted another $21.95, but IMHO he should have done more. Needless to say, none of us will ever go back.

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  1. Has there ever been a good meal served at that place? It's like a half step away from Red Lobster, but without the delicious salty biscuits.

    6 Replies
    1. re: reiflame

      Agreed, half step away, but I think that half step might be down, not up!

      If you're at the Rio, and in need of chow, walk the 10 minutes over to Taco Bar instead!!

      1. re: DanielK

        I should have noted that Joe's was not my choice, but from now on I will veto it should anyone sugggest it.

        1. re: DanielK

          Agree on the Taco Bar. Or, head over to Hershey's in Washington Grove for cheap cocktails, steamed shrimp, fried chicken and women's basketball on the big screen TV. That's what I call a night out!

          1. re: flavrmeistr

            Hershey's is entertaining, in a "nobody younger than 90 goes there regularly" kind of way, and the fried chicken is excellent (good to know about the steamed shrimp), but everything else on the menu (especially sides) is pretty bad.

            1. re: DanielK

              The steamed shrimp, the fried chicken and cheap drinks. At the bar. Tried the breakfast "buffet" one Sunday. It was terrible. As a neighborhood bar, it's hard to beat.

          2. re: DanielK

            I couldn't decide if it was up or down, so I just went with a half step away!

        2. why on earth would you go there in the first place? chain food seafood...feh

          1. The Yelp reviews of this place are HIGH-larious, particularly the guy who woke up with bumps on his butt.


            I've had two experiences with Joe's Crab Shack. One in Clearwater, FL (the place was closed at 9pm on a Saturday night) and the other near Dulles. Frozen seafood indifferently prepared by idiots in slow motion which, if that's what you're into, more power to you.

            1. My last experience at Joe's (San Diego) wasn't exactly great either. I ordered a bucket thing (Cajun I believe). It was tasty and ample but horrifically over cooked.


              1. cant believe that this even is on CH. Its like talking about Applebees

                2 Replies
                1. re: dining with doc

                  Oh, I love Applebees! Let's talk about Applebees! Hey, two for $20! Open 'til Midnight!

                  1. I think the first mistake you made before deciding to never go back is to go there in the first place. You're in MD and the best seafood place you can come up with is Joe's Crab Shack?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Rick

                      I have to agree with Rick its like traveling to Argentina and ordering chicken instead of beef.

                      1. re: Rick

                        See my above comment where I noted that it wasn't my choice.

                      2. it isnt just joe's that has bad service in the Rio. All the restaurants there have generally terrible service. It is extremely rare to get decent service in any restaurant in that center. The UJ in particular. The turnover rate must be daily. While I have on occasion seen the same manager at UJ, I have never seen the same server 2x. Not that I am there all the time, but you would think someone would stick around. The only person that I recognize is one particular bartender. he must manage the bar at this point. He seems to have been there forever and is the only one I ever recognize there.

                        And I don't really understand why now. Usually the level of service is inversely proportional to the state of the economy. Therefore, there should be excellent service. But it is as bad as it has ever been. And actually this is true of any of the UJ in this area - all bad service.

                        I have never had a good meal at any Joe's to which I have been dragged (multiple places around the country). i agree better off at the RL. I am at the Joe's only on rare occasion and have never had a good experience, with either food or service.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: lalajane

                          <I>And I don't really understand why now. Usually the level of service is inversely proportional to the state of the economy. Therefore, there should be excellent service.</i>

                          You're forgetting that many people are out of work or underemployed and only working tables as a last resort. Not a recipe for quality service.

                          1. re: monkeyrotica

                            yeah, but usually when they economy is bad, they have the pick of better employees, b/c people who would otherwise have better jobs have to take these ones. So you tend to have more people that care more, even if they aren't working their dream job. When the economy is better, and more people have jobs, it is only the dregs left to employ...and those are the ones giving terrible service.

                            This doesn't seem to be the case this time around.

                            1. re: lalajane

                              I ate at Joes in Clearwater in 2006 and again in Sterling shortly after the housing market collapsed. The overall dining and service experience was equally abysmal. Consistency!

                          2. re: lalajane

                            Have you ever seen the big restaurants at the Rio empty during peak meal times? I haven't. Who cares about service if you continue to fill seats?