Joe's Stone Crab
Joe's Stone Crab
11 Washington Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139
Joe's Stone Crab is an institution and basically a landmark in Miami. Located near the southernmost point of Miami Beach, and on the foot of South Beach, Joe's Stone Crab looks more like a hotel than a restaurant from first glance, but carries itself like no other restaurant does. They do have a dress code, but don't enforce it much. No matter what you're wearing, I would imagine the staff is wearing something much fancier than you are. You bum.
Regardless, Stone Crab season runs from about October to May, so try to plan ahead if you are looking to make this a stop. Now, I've lived in Miami ever since my mother popped me out at Miami Baptist Hospital up until she kicked me out (gently pushed me) away to college. During those 18 years, I never once stepped into Joe's Stone Crab. Mistake.
For all the touristy trap crap that this place gets lumped in with, it definitely has some damn good food. The fried chicken here is actually f'in incredible. You get a half fried chicken for less than $7!? You can't even get that good a chicken off the street, let alone at Joe's. The Lobster Roll is meh. It was good and all, with nice little lobster chunks stuffed into an (overly) buttery roll. However, for $17, you might rather try something else.
Now for the Stone Crabs. They were great. Not amazing, like most people will tell you, but definitely something to come for. The claws come in 4 different size plates, and the size you get determines the quantity of claws. We got the large crab claws, which come about 5 to an order and boy, were they some big claws. The meat itself is not as tender as imagined, but I actually enjoy a firmer, meatier claw. Dipping it in their house made mustard is mandatory as it's pretty darn good. I can describe it as a rich, creamier mustard that took on sort of a mayonnaise base and consistency. With or without, the crab claw stands as a must order.
Free parking is located across the street as long as you are there for Joe's. Now, I hear the wait can be quite unbearable for some. Come off-hours if you need to. Joe's does not take reservations, but they have quite a bit of seating (place is HUGE). Try coming when they open around 11:30 am and you will be fine. Worst case scenario: Go next door to Joe's Take Away and have a picnic on the beach. Either way, it's hard to be disappointed and you'll be able to see why Joe's Stone Crab is listed on many of Miami's Top Restaurants list.
Ambience: A | Service: A | Price: B | Food: B+