Monday, May 18, 2009

Crab Pot

Our first trip to Crab Pot was in Seattle, Washington back in 2005. We were in Seattle for a high school journalism conference, and Wesley asked our advisor if we could go on our own private date. He agreed and that began our relationship with this seafood, feast style restaurant. It was before Boiling Crab even existed!

When we got back to Los Angeles, we felt lucky to know that there is a Crab Pot in Long Beach, California. After years of going here, we decided to spread the word about one of our favorite restaurants. Actually, scratch that—former favorite restaurant. Let us tell you our story.

We started our meal with two appetizers, the calamari and clam chowder. The calamari strips ($7.25) includes lightly battered, crispy and slightly chewy strips of calamari topped with shredded parmesan cheese and parsley. Ideally, if this dish was executed better, the cheese would slightly melt on top of the calamari. But because the cheese was not sprinkled across the calamari and probably not right after it was fried, the cheese clumped together and did not melt. The calamari was good, but it would have been more appetizing if every piece of calamari had some cheese melted onto it. The calamari is also paired with cocktail sauce and lemon.

The Crab Pot in Washington also served a loaf of sourdough bread at no extra charge. We were sad to find that the Long Beach location charged for the bread. Recently, however, this location began serving a loaf of bread to its patrons. Careful, though. The bread is addicting and can fill you up quick!

After we finished our appetizers, the waiter provided us with a bib and tools necessary for our feast.

We ordered the Alaskan Seafeast ($34.95 per person). This feast includes King crab, Dungeness crab, Snow crab, shrimp in the shell, steamed clams, Pacific Mussels, and Ouille Sausage, Corn on the Cob & Red Potatoes in their Jackets. We also ordered extra corn and sausage, which was also tossed into the bunch.

The food is brought out in a big tin bowl and tossed onto the butcher paper. It is spiced with Crab Pot’s own concoction, which adds a punch of flavor to the seafood and sides without overpowering the natural flavors. Lemon and butter is also provided. Be prepared to eat like a caveman—only with your hands!

When we received our order, we were really excited. Our last visit to Crab Pot was almost a year ago, and we have been craving this place for quite some time. Sad to say, we were really disappointed by our meal. The pro of our meal is that the clams and mussels which absorbed the flavor of the spices. The cons of our meals are first, the extra corn we order was not sweet. The white corn was bland and undercooked. We ended up not eating most of the corn, which we had to pay extra for. Second, they skimped on the seafood. There was a lot less seafood in comparison to what we had before. Lastly, and most importantly, the crab was overcooked. The crab meat was tight and chewy and much of the crab’s flavor was gone.

At $35 a person, we expected quality seafood cooked to perfection, but we didn’t experience that with our main course. We were optimistic about our dessert, though. We always order the “Home Style” Strawberry Rhubarb Cake-in-a-Pan ($6.95) after our feast.

But, we were again disappointed.

The menu reads “cake-in-a-pan,” which is usually the way it is served. As you can see from the picture, the cake was not in its pan. When served in a pan, the pound cake and rhubarb is warm enough to melt the rock hard scoop of ice cream. The rhubarb, which lines the bottom of the pan, is kept warm by the cake. We enjoyed using the wooden spoon to scrap off the extra toasty sides of the pan. Served without the pan, the dessert looks sort of disgusting. We asked our waiter why the restaurant has decided to take it out of the pan, and she told us that it was, ironically, for presentation and because it was easier to serve. Serving it this way, though, the dessert loses the toasty top that forms when you bake a cake. Also, the rhubarb is not as warm, and the cake is was more flaky than fluffy.

We had quite a bad meal that day at Crab Pot. Wesley says he would go back for the ambiance and great view, but Evelina would rather go to Boiling Crab.

Crab Pot
215 N Marina Dr.
Long Beach, CA 90803
(562) 430-0272

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