A Lesson in Crabs

For dinner, we went to one of Miami’s claims to fame, Joe’s Stone Crab. I was not aware of these gems before visiting this establishment, but I was about to get schooled. The first clue that we were on to something good was the two hour wait … when people are willing to starve themselves for that long in anticipation of some crabs, they gotta be good! Signs all over the restaurant warned:

Yet, when I got my menu and saw the homage paid to the title and star character:

I knew I couldn’t leave without giving it a whirl. We noshed on some bread while we waited for the food to arrive:

**I’m still trying to become better at taking pictures without the flash, but sometimes they still turn out a little blurry. I think I need to work on steadying my hand!

The wait was well worth it. The food looked and smelled like heaven. We supplemented our main dish with some healthy sides. Some greens:

And a dry baked potato for a lil bit of a carb fix:

But, obviously, the crabs were the MAIN EVENT:

It looked glorious. And … difficult. Once they arrived at the table, I realized I had no idea how to crack these crabs. Luckily, our server gave me a fabulous lesson and demonstration. He likened it to pulling a shell off a hard boiled egg, and advised me “not to fight with it.” By the end of the process, I was supposed to end up with a bite-sized crab-sicle. I was told to dip that in the mustard sauce and then take a sip of the Sauvignon Blanc the waiter had recommended to get the full effect:

As he looked on with interest, I IMMENSELY enjoyed the first taste (that he had prepared for me). I couldn’t wait to dig in for more. The only problem was … I couldn’t remember his instructions! I made several failed attempts and then just opted to pout. Luckily, another member of the restaurant staff passed by at that moment, and we flagged him down. As I sat through my second lesson, our server walked by, looking a bit hurt. He asked, “Was my lesson not GOOD enough!?” I tried to apologize, but he wasn’t having it. Luckily, the end result was that I was able to feed myself:

I was proud of myself and on a roll. I crushed the rest of the meal handily.

All I left behind was a pile of empty shells:

And a lemony hand bowl that really did the trick in cleaning my hands:

The key to any perfect Miami night is a plateful of stone crabs, if you ask me.

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