JOES CRAB SHACK          •AVOID•


JOES CRAB SHACK - RT 60 CLEARWATER


THE DISNEY OF SEAFOOD
This is like a trip to Disney, all expectation and a let down. The place is meant to look like a Crab Shack but the noise, the food and the prices reminded me of a headache I had in 2005 after nasal surgery. That was a bad headache.

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The food was one step above Long John Silvers, well maybe a half step. The buckets make you think you are getting something for the money. You had hoped it was value. It was just a heavy bucket and you can't keep it.

Other folks on line who ate there also felt no value, undersized portions and you can do better.  Noise level was high and we went there to eat, the floor show was not Vegas quality, nor was the talent.  Something instinctively told me this was all about themes and not the food and they screwed both up.

You are not getting value, they are overpriced and I walked out hungry, no breaded rolls or nothing for an appetizer or time killer like peanuts or dip. Nothing for their price structure.  I didn't expect steak tartare, but how about a roll and butter for a 25.00 pot or a small salad.  A fifty dollar bill at this place is just not worth it.

The POT, consisted of four crab claws, one string of juvenile king crab, about four legs and a dozen mini-clams which were hard. Oh, corn on the cob.  Thats it folks.  I have had more value in Seafood at my Chinese buffet which is all you devour for 12.00. Half of this abomination.  

The atmosphere sucks, it's loud, sometimes stupid, and more screaming happy birthday bullshit, loud music, noise and fake dancing and singing by the waiters. True morons will enjoy this. On their web page, many others said the same thing.  Best described as a tourist trap, locals don't favor this place. 

In droves, just check google. I was not alone, poor value, poor food, bad atmosphere and service tried but too bound by archaic company policies written by people who better learn like Disney, if you are going to charge that much, drop the themes crap and concentrate on the quality and presentation of the food, thats what people go back for. After all it's supposed to be a restaurant.

On two other occasions we still found the silly antics, annoying staff probably pushed by management that isn't in the food business.  They would have less complaints if they concentrated on the food and not the entertainment. After all you are going to a fairly expensive meal ticket with beverage cost of about thirty-five dollars per head and didn't want the "E" ticket for it's a Small World or to be the princess at Chucky Cheese.
We found the Red Lobster cheaper and a hell of a lot quieter.  
My associate who accompanied me on this excursion, thought it was a dump in terms of service, quality, presentation, value and…..


OTHER PEOPLE THOUGHT
We got the usual Disney lovers,  folks whose comments like, great, awesome, loved the singing and dancing BS etc. They would applaud cardboard if cooked tender enough.  They were less than 10%, But after digging we found a few other thoughts from the other 90%.

The best thing about this place is their "Aruba Salad" (which, ironically doesn't contain seafood). If you like a family-friendly, party-all-the-time type place, then this is for you. There are better places to get seafood in Tampa Bay, this is not one of them.

Pretty much Red Lobster... it's louder and more cajun flavors. I didn't taste much but butter. I personally think it's overpriced for what it is. There wasn't anything bad about the place but I don't leave thinking I can't wait to come back.

I have eaten at Joe's Crabs Shacks all over the USA. The ones in Houston,TX are the best. The farther away from Houston, the worse they become. First of all, on a Saturday night, we had a 1-1/2-hour wait. 

Then the food portions were smaller. Joe's use to serve larger food portions and salads, which they have cut out. My brother visiting from out of town had to order two dinners to feel full (He's a small fella). 

Why waste time looking for Joes, when you can get the same quality food at Red Lobster, and get a salad with your order and free biscuits too. Joe's have gone crabby and downhill in the last 5-years.

I can understand one dirty beer glass (barely). But to get two? I'm sorry.. maybe I'm expecting too much. The first one was really, really obvious... two big globs on the outside of the glass. What really irked me was that the 2nd one, although smaller, was inside the glass. The response? "Well, the glasses are frosted, so it's hard to see that the glass is dirty." 

From the bartender to the manager, that was the response. What ever happened to underpromise and overdeliver? My reward was a bigger glass of beer and a healthy dose of wariness. Looks like my shadow won't be passing over their threshold anytime soon


BOTTOM LINE - TOO EXPENSIVE TO RETEST

Find another place to eat, this place is overpriced, stress over load, over gimmicked, no sides, too little for too much, disappointed, and will not return as indication are we would be wasting money.

  

NO TIPPING
Then their latest gimmick, their staff will be paid and work on a no tipping policy. it was all over the press and TV about this radical approach to service.   Like their food, it failed to please many and they lost their staff.  They went elsewhere and the project was a complete failure.  As one employee said, it went over like yesterdays seafood left on the beach.


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