Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Crabby Oyster

I'd heard great things. Great. Granted, the great things I heard were paid radio advertisements... so what are they going to say "come here! It sucks!"? Nope.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The Crabby Oyster is located in King George, Virginia about 30 miles from Fredericksburg. I know, it's a little out of my restaurant zone, but I ate there and felt the need to share. Here goes:

King George happens to be right smack at the mid-point of my house and where a friend of mine lives. We decided to have lunch, so that location just made sense. Now for those of you who have never made it to the tourist mecca that is King George, Virginia, let me just tell you: There's Dahlgren Naval Surface Warfare Center (and one would presume this would bring a plethora of sailors and eye candy, but one would be presuming incorrectly), a Burger King, a Wawa gas station, a Food Lion and the Crabby Oyster. And I think some Chinese place. At any rate, since there were no hot sailors around, and since Keith isn't really INTO hot sailors, we opted for the seafood.

The atmosphere is very casual, kinda cute... kinda cafeteria-y. They had some interesting t-shirts for sale, and the salad bar was large. The booths were comfortable and the bathrooms were clean.

We weren't drinking anything exciting, just tea and coffee. Refills were a little hard to come by.

Keith ordered oyster stew and a clam strip basket. I chose the fried scallops basket. We were one of two or three tables in the restaurant, and the food came quickly. The oyster stew was runny, and there was something not quite right about it. I think it was the 1/4 inch layer of what appeared to be butter or margarine or motor oil that covered it. One quarter of an inch. Hand to God. Keith fished through the oil slick and pulled a couple oysters out, and then pushed the bowl away. I didn't ask for a bite. About this time, our entrees arrived. Things were looking up... but I was still pretty grossed out by the exxon stew. When the server brought our entrees, she also had in her hand a cup of oyster stew for the table behind us. No butter. It looked like normal creamy tasty oyster stew. Curious. The baskets we'd ordered were served with a generous portion of french fries and a tiny to-go ramekin containing coleslaw. The scallops were tasty. The clams were a little overcooked.

Ok, so we stayed there for three hours. Clearly I've developed a habit of sitting at a restaurant for an exhorbitant amount of time... this time I wasn't there for the food or the wine list. I was there for the conversation. In this case, it worked out. It was quiet, we were able to talk without much interruption. That part was good. The food? eh.

So, the usual questions... will I go back? Probably not. I have no doubt that The Crabby Oyster occasionally turns out some pretty decent seafood... but based on the oyster stew alone, ain't no way this cracker is going back. The baskets were passable, but I can't believe the waitress had the balls to trot that mess out to a table. I refuse to serve something to a table that I wouldn't eat myself and there's no way I would have expected someone to either eat or pay for oyster stew with sludge. I was going to say something but I didn't want Keith to think I was a persnickety bossy beotch. (even though I am...) And he's just too nice.

Final cost for lunch was just over $34, and we left a $6 tip. As I said, we're nice.

Should you go? Eh... that's entirely up to you. If you're in town and feeling brave, go for it. As I said, they probably do ok sometimes. Try something broiled though... or maybe a dinner. If you really want seafood, Burger King's fish sandwich isn't half bad...

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