Newport Beach and Oceanside
It must be good because we went twice!  Joe’s Crab Shack is the only large chain restaurant that we tend to visit on our driving trips south (except for maybe a Denny’s on the drive down) but the crab is good enough to bring us back. On this trip we visited Joe’s Crab Shack in Newport Beach in our first week and in Oceanside in our second week. We have been to Crab Shack before. All locations are pretty much the same inside with wooden picnic bench style and square tables, staff in colorful Crab Shack t-shirts and holes in the centre of all of the tables to hold a bucket for your shells and other garbage, plus great views. As soon as you order any type of shell fish meal that involves your hands a server promptly returns with all of the utensils you will need and a bib.

Great crab
We love crab and eat it often in Vancouver.  Not all of the crab that is served at Joe’s Crab Shack is fresh but those that are frozen still taste fresh. And it is nice to be able to try multiple varieties all at one time.  

 This is the Crab Daddy Feast ($30.99). On our first visit (in Newport Beach) we shared this bucket as it was later in the afternoon but not yet time for dinner. The feast includes Alaska King, Dungeness and Snow Crab, and a good portion of each. There are five flavour options and we chose “Joe’s Original BBQ” which was a hit. 

Same feast different look. On our second visit (in Oceanside) Jeff tackled the Crab Daddy Feast all on his own. The feast is served with a few roasted potatoes and an ear of corn but it is the crab that steals the show. Each restaurant presents the buckets in their own way but the crab and the Joe’s Original BBQ flavor was just as good.

I ordered off of the special “Third Coast” menu featuring items from the Gulf coast. My platter ($23.99) included Blackened Red Fish topped with spicy citrus scallops and shrimp, Cajan Shrimp and dirty rice and three Joe’s Stuffers – clam shells filled with a scallop, crab and clam stuffing. The fish and the shrimp were quite good but I found the stuffers a bit dry and pretty bland.

All Joe’s Crab Shack locations have a great view, usually of a marina. I ordered a classic margarita that was not so classic – too much sweet syrup mix of some kind but the beer is cold. We will visit again on our next trip thorugh the States for sure. We did not to get to try Queen Crab on this trip and hope it is available next time.

Jeff & Tara Ciecko of CK Golf Solutions write two blogs on their website, one is their 19th Hole Blog where they share personal experiences and the Biz Blog where they share business best practices and golf industry related opinions. They have owned CK Golf Solutions for 5 years and provide marketing, social media and business services to the golf and other industries.