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Has anybody been to Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab?

The Yelp reviews are all over the place, I trust Chowhounders more. Thanks.

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  1. I find it interesting that their website mentions only locations in DC, Las Vegas, and Chicago. No mention of the original location in Miami Beach, though the logo is the same.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Steve

      Not entirely true, Steve. The website for the original location is http://www.joesstonecrab.com/, and the website for the chain is http://www.joes.net/

      1. re: DanielK

        Yes, I know, the Miami Beach location has its own website.

        I was pointing out the fact that the chain website does not cover the original location, hence different management. Not that this is a bad thing.....

        1. re: Steve

          They partner with Lettuce Entertain You for the chain, but the original stands alone.

    2. I've been to Joe's Stone Crab in Miami and was less than impressed. The crabs were rather bland and the sides were uninteresting. None of it was bad but it didn't meet my expectations considering how enthusiastic people are about it.

      1. Heading there for my first time tomorrow, 7:30 resee. Sietsema has a review up on washingtonpost.com. 2 Stars. Interestingly, he doesn't like the stone crabs or the oysters rockfeller. He does like the chopped steak and the fried chicken though.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Pappy

          Thanks, I was waiting for that review. Interesting. Was also going to go Fri or Sat, but now I am not so sure. Had my heart set on the stone crabs.

          1. re: KevinS

            Does Tom not like stone crabs in general or just the ones at Joe's DC?

            1. re: Worldwide Diner

              the ones at this place. He said he loved them at the original in MB, among other places.

          2. re: Pappy

            The problem I have with star system is the disconnect with the review. The review makes it seem pretty lousy except for the burger (I mean, chopped steak) and fried chicken.

          3. We're going to suck it up and go anyway. I've never had stone crabs, but heard great things about them. I'm not sure what to expect. I will certainly watch for mushiness and stringiness, that doesn't sound good.

            2 Replies
            1. re: KevinS

              When they are good, they are terrific. Claw only, big n' meaty, served cold and already cracked.

              1. re: Steve

                I hope Pappy posts a review.

                According to a friend, and Open Table, getting a table there on the weekend is just not going to happen. I will go early next week during the workweek. Also, I called them and they serve the full menu at the bar area.

                This seems like the kind of place you have to go to once. At least once.

            2. Yes. I was taken there for my birthday last month. Being in an old bank, the high ceilings and marble makes a very impressive setting. Two people had the crab bisque and it was glorious. I will get it next time. The Grilled Fisherman's Platter was ample. The Maryland Colossal Crab Cakes were not. (Get those from G&M.) The sides are shareable. The bread is also good and the service was great.

              1. Had a Saturday lunch at Joe's Seafood (Chicago) a couple of years ago. The food was OK, not memorable in any way---I don't remember what I ate--- but they served the best iced tea I have ever had. Brand was China Mist. I then ordered some online.

                1. I have eaten a small mountain of stone crabs and I feel able to speak about the topic. When they are fresh, not frozen, because they will be served within 3 days, they are a succulent mild flavor, and all 3 'chunks' (claw and 2 knuckles) slide out perfectly. You know when they are fresh. And you know when they have been frozen, a 4 point deduct on a 10 scale. They become stringy, the flesh clings to the shells, and they lose half their flavor. Wharf rat as I am, I have carefully examined the fresh supply and the frozen, usually destined for greater distances. I prefer the large/jumbo. A little Florida secret is that most of the 'colossal' claws are air freighted to Las Vegas or to the Arabian peninsula, where they fetch top dollar. Joe's in Miami Beach has it's own fleet of crabbing boats, and this is the second year in a row when the harvest has been very poor and pricey.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Veggo

                    Agreed on the catch this year.

                    I visit family every Thanksgiving in SoFla, and we always go to a small family market that gets great local claws. Prices were out of control this year, and they just weren't as good as previous years.

                    1. re: Veggo

                      I bought some at Balducci's earlier thus year. They didn't taste fresh and I had it throw them away.

                    2. KevinS: You wanted it....so here it is. Sorry its late. I was out of town.

                      Big, beautiful spot. Real pros at the reception/host desk, not high school girls hired that morning. The first room is the large bar that TomS describes. Nice spot in a grand old bank building. Four sided bar, with high-top tables surrounding it and deep, leather upholstered booths lining the walls. Very busy on a recent Friday night. Lots of eating at the bar, not just drinking.

                      The adjacent room is the primary dining room. Not quite as regal, but well lit and well adorned. They did lead us to the typical bad table for 4, as seemingly all restaurants do now days. But when we predictably declined, the seater discretely radioed back to the main desk, and we were whisked to an enormous corner booth. That is a real improvement over standing around while the high school girl goes back to the host desk to "ask" if we can sit elsewhere. I also noticed more than a few large round tables with parties of 8 - 10 people.

                      While our waiter was perhaps a bit perfunctory, and service beyond him was team oriented, you couldn't find any room for complaint. They were also quite deft at table-side service such as splitting a sald amongst two plates or fileting fish. An owner (?) stopped by twice to chat us up, in a good way, which is rare.

                      The menu is exacly has you would expect. Additionally, a "Market" menu card is dropped on the table. It is here you will find the day's price for stone crab claws (large or select), dover sole, lobster, signature 24oz steak, etc. VERY nice to have that all in black and white.

                      While had full meals, we did not get deep into the menu. Salads were fine. I thought the steaks were great. The desserts were hit or miss. But here is what you wanted to know...skip the crab legs. I had an order of selects ($48) for my main course and wish I hadn't. They didn't taste fresh,not bad, just not sweet. And they were seemingly damp, really almost wet, rather than moist. And the "cracked" shells were more like smashed safety glass with many many very very small pieces. That made me think further that they might have been frozen, as I don't recall fresh stone crabs in Miami being cracked like that.

                      I'm not rushing back. Certainly a better environment than Mortons, Capital Grill, BLT, etc etc. But perhaps no better than JG, Bourbon, Grill Room, etc. No mystery here.

                      Warning: I swear it was more than 20 minutes to get my car from the valet, as they park blocks away.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Pappy

                        Great review, Pappy. We went and sat at the bar. Had the select stone crabs. Ours were somewhat sweet, and didn't seem mushy. But even with the cracking,it was an awful lot of work to remove the remaining shell to the point of eating them. I - might - try the large if I go again, but I don't think they are worth the money. We followed up with the grilled fisherman's platter which was delicious, if a bit heavy on the calamari.

                        I'd say it is worth going once, if only for the power scene. It was fun, and pricey.

                        1. re: KevinS

                          I agree on the 'select' size stone crabs, which are pretty small and a lot of work. Unless I can have large/jumbo or the occasional colossal, I pass. This is the second consecutive terrible year for stone crabs - size, quantity, and price.

                      2. I've been to the Chicago and Vegas locations and thought they were both pretty decent. At the original in South Beach, I prefer to get my claws from the carry-out window rather than go through the rigmarole of getting a table. As for ambiance, the original has it in spades over the knock-offs.

                        1. Haven't been to the local Joe's, but spent many a Sunday late afternoon at the original Miami location.

                          My hubby would "gift"the maitr'd (despite being informed that there was about an hour wait--yipes!) and we would be seated in less then 20 minutes. The stone crab claws were succulent and the service impeccable.

                          The first time I had sweet potato fries --if memory serves me correctly. I'm talking about nearly 30 years ago. Oh, how age has crept up.

                          Like lobster--stone crabs are out of my financial dining out budget, Even Imperial Crab--my all time favorite.

                          With a mention to our dearly departed JonParker. It saddens me to see that lovely person has left us on this earth. I can't seem to find the verbage to offer a tribute to such a wonderful person--in my opinion, he was one of the best posters. I am pleased that so many Ch's have posted their condolences. I believe that we are a tight community and really look out for each other via this website. FoiGras

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: FoiGras

                            I was sorry to hear of Jon Parker's passing. The man had soul.