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Aug 31, 2012 02:57 PM

RUSTIC INN first-timer

Hi guys I'm looking for insight / advice regarding the garlic crabs at Rustic Inn . . . technically it's not my FIRST time at Rustic Inn (it's my second) but I've never had the garlic crabs there. My questions . . .

The smallest carry-out order is 3 or 4 lbs -- am I likely to eat that much by myself in one sitting? Are these good to put in the fridge for a day or two and eat throughout the weekend?

Do I need mallets and tools to crack and eat these crabs or can I just break them up with a strong fork? Are these serious shells like king crab legs have, requiring the real tools?

I'm eager to try them but I want to know what I'm in for, as this is a $50-60 learning experience, just for a takeout order . . . THANKS!

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  1. it'll depend on which crab you order. the king crab's leg is already cut half length. The golden crab has pretty soft shell, Blue crab is brittle. I think the hardest shell is the Dungeness crab claws. But I don't really use the mallet for any of them. I think the mallet is just a noise maker for the birthday bashing and fun. Most of the crabs are so juicy that pounding it with the wooden mallet just make the juice explode all over the table. I have good teeth, I just bite crack all of the claws myself. even the Dungeness crab claw is doable, you just have to be a bit careful,

    But I think the best tooth is the crab cutter that they give you. it cuts most legs open without making a mess. it's just a plastic tool, I think you can ask them for it for your take out our order.

    if you have good appetite, it is entirely possible for you to finish one order by yourself in one setting. Especially if it you only order the crab. I love the linguine there, I always order that along with the crab.

    if you can't finish it, just leave it in the fridge. it is still good the next day. You don't even have to heat it back up. cold crab is even sweeter and firmer. Now heat up the juice/sauce and make yourself an extra garlic pasta bowl, or as bread dip. There'll give you an extra meal.

    3 Replies
    1. re: keithtang

      THANKS for this insightful and constructive reply. Seeing your note that they do fine as leftovers was enough for me to make a move. My first time there I got the soft-shell crabs so i wouldn't have to handle all the shelling but I didn't like them very much. Still, I've looked forward to trying these because the place is always packed, plus they're always eating crabs on THE WIRE and I figured I've been missing out.

      I did a bucket of garlic blue crabs. I'll have to get better at handling them because this experience was glass-half-empty. I had done some homework on how to handle them and how to crack them etc for best results, but these crabs are a lot smaller than any I saw in my research, which seems to just make it more difficult to get the meat out. Also several of these were already cut before being packed in the bucket to-go. I'm sure the handlers know how + where to cut, but I found myself eating a lot of shell pieces and trying to retrieve meat that eventually had a consistency closer to peanut butter by the time it came out of the shell.

      On round 1, I ate more shell than meat, no question. Maybe round 2 I'll fare better, as the meat has chilled overnight in the fridge, hoping it's firmer as you mentioned. I'm guessing anyone can do this well with some practice so it's going to be a learning process. The linguine was a life-saver, very good and plenty of it as you suggested. Thanks again!

      1. re: jimmyodonnell

        Glad you liked it. You didn't ask for Recommendations. So, I did not volunteer, didn't want to get into any debate, they are all good. But reading your experience, I'd recommend for the Golden Crab for your next adventure.. Blue Crab is excellent flavor but it is the one with most work. The price isn't on the menu, they are all "seasonal" Market price. So I can't really comment on prices. But I think the Blue crab is the least expensive crab bowl. it is that because it is a local crab as well as the one with most work.

        Golden Crab is also a florida Crab, so it isn't expensive. But it is a large crab, it has more meat. and the shell is softer, much less work. The meat isn't so firm as the Dungeness Crab, but it has a sweeter taste. Since the shell is softer, juice get soak in a lot more than all other crab, it is very juicy and flavorful.
        Try that next time. it'll probably be a better experience.

        1. re: jimmyodonnell

          The key to succesful blue crab eating is: the bigger the better. Ideally you want to get large males. Of course, these are the most sought after and the most expensive. I don't know if The Rustic offers different size options. But if you see a deal on "cheap blue crabs" you can expect they are going to be small and thus a LOT of work for a LITTLE meat. If you pay more and get the bigger guys you'll find nice size chunks (lumps) of meat as your reward.

          For the truly blue crab obsessed, peak season in the mid-Atlantic is September and October. You can find places on the Eastern Shore that will ship say a dozen monster Jimmies down here. They won't be cheap but you can plan for a tremendous feast.

          Now that peak demand in summer is quieting down, these places will also offer deals as we get into October. I've had good luck in the past ordering from The Crab Place and Linton Seafood.

      2. My experience.... Never been to Rustic Inn but have been to several times. I know you are getting this is a takeout but, if you ever dine there with spouse, friends, whomever I found this the case. I love the garlic blue crabs, BUT, if one or more in your group does not and does order a fish sandwich they must be prepared to sit for a while after they are done.... In order to eat enough blue crabs to get full it is a long drawn out process. I guess I am saying go with someone who also orders the crabs.