Red Crab’s Food Belies Chain Restaurant Status

The Red Crab restaurant on Garden Street here in Palm Coast offers an interesting alternative to some of the area’s local seafood places (Red Crab is a chain) that are here and in Flagler Beach. Although we have yet to try many of the restaurants at the beach, the ones we did sample were not really very good.
Some of the places we tried here in Palm Coast were no better so we made a trip to Red Crab recently and were pleasantly surprised. This wasn’t because we were expecting a bad experience and were surprised that it was good, but because we had no real expectations going in.
We didn’t read reviews and didn’t even look at their website beforehand so we had no idea of what to expect, which is sometimes a good thing. In a nutshell, the food was well done, the prices were reasonable and the service (by Ivy) was attentive and friendly. There’s not much more you can ask of a restaurant than that unless you’re seriously into the atmosphere of a place. Quite honestly, Red Crab isn’t a Valentine’s Day spot, the ambiance having a bit of that chain feel to it, but once we were seated in our booth that didn’t really matter. The food took center stage at that point and everyone at our table was more interested in what was on the plates than anything else.
We ordered a lot so we could taste enough of the food to have a good idea of what they’re all about here and also have plenty to eat the next day. And we accomplished both.
Two of our entrees were from the specials side of the menu, the Low Country Boil which our South Carolinian friend had to try, and which included half a pound of snow crab, half a pound of shrimp and half a pound of sausage, and also the Weekend Special combo that included a lobster tail, half a pound of snow crab and half a pound of shrimp. Both were nicely presented and both were quite tasty.
The two other entrees we ordered were the pasta with shrimp and the fried scallop basket. The scallops were easily the best we’ve had in the last several years and the shrimp dish was also very good and, like the scallops, was a large portion size. At $14 for the scallops (eight pieces) and $13 for the shrimp they represented great value for money, always our most important metric for any restaurant.
We didn’t try the everyday seafood combo dishes they offer here, which entails picking the seafood you want — blue crabs, shrimp, mussels, lobsters, Dungeness crabs, crawfish, King crab legs and more are offered — then picking a sauce and, if you like it spicy, picking your spice level. That will have to wait until next time, but the dishes we did try, along with the side dishes we ordered, gave us a really good idea of what Red Crab is all about. All we can say is “We’ll be back.” Chain or not, Red Crab’s food, and value, is worth your attention.
Red Crab, 60 Garden Street S., Palm Coast, 386-585-4245