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Down N Dirty Seafood Boil – Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Down N Dirty Seafood Boil on Fourth Street in Albuquerque

Seafood boil in the Duke City!  If the notion conjures visions of heading to Tingley Beach and embarking on an unappetizing repast of catfish, trout and silvery minnows boiled together in a large pot of green chile seasoned water, you’re in for a treat.  As of September, 2013, it’s possible for expatriates from any of America’s coastal regions to indulge in authentic seafood boil…and it’s very good.  

If you hadn’t heard about Down N Dirty Seafood Boil, it’s because Albuquerque’s very first seafood boil restaurant launched to very little fanfare.  The event should have been celebrated with ceremonial splendor and rejoicing.  Think about it.  Among the dozens of  restaurant openings in the Duke City every year, very few actually serve an untapped market.  Even fewer fill a real niche and offer a product unique to the marketplace, something that can’t be found anywhere else in the area.

The homey interior of Down N Dirty Seafood Boil

The homey interior of Down N Dirty Seafood Boil

Expats who’ve lived along coastal waters know of what I speak.  As they read this, they may even be experiencing involuntary salivation at their memories of seafood boils in their past and the prospect of recreating that experience within easy driving distance.   Others not fortunate enough to  have ever experienced an authentic seafood boil may be scratching their heads and wondering just what a seafood boil is and why the launch of the Down N Dirty (no double-entendre intended) Seafood Boil is such a milestone event.

A seafood boil is, first and foremost, a social event, a gathering of friends and family to celebrate and luxuriate in succulent shellfish.  In coastal areas, seafood boils are held on Memorial day to herald the start of summer and they’re held on Labor Day to wish summer a fond farewell.  Optimally, they’re held on the beach where the heady aroma of briny seawater mingles with the smoke from the fire surrounding a large cauldron or stockpot of boiling water (or beer) in which the bounty of the sea is prepared. 

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Lobsters and crabs in tanks

Regional variations not only dictate what shellfish is prepared, but the spices and nuances that give that region its culinary personality. The seafood of choices in New England are clams and oysters served with Portuguese sausage.  In Georgia and in the “Low Country” of South Carolina, it’s shrimp and smoked sausage while Louisiana seafood lovers prefer the triumvirate of crabs, crawfish and andouille sausage.  Blue crab, Chincoteague oysters and clams are all the rage along the estuaries of Chesapeake Bay.

There is no one standard “recipe” for a seafood boil.  Chefs and cooks have freelanced for generations, tweaking local variations with a pinch of this or a dash of that but never deviating too far from tradition.  At its basics, a seafood boil is little more than seafood, water (or beer) and spices.  The seafood is typically boiled whole and if you’re fortunate enough to experience it along the coast, extricated from the net or trap and tossed directly into a boiling pot.  There is nothing like the just-caught flavors and brininess of fresh seafood!

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Scallops, potatoes and corn

Obviously, the Duke City and landlocked New Mexico are at a disadvantage when it comes to just-caught, fresh-off-the-boat seafood, but modern transportation has made next day delivery of fresh seafood a reality.  The other elements–foamy waves crashing along the beach, pristine sands as fine as talcum, marine layers of soupy fog in the morning–we’ll just have to imagine.  Though it does sport a thematic seaside decor, stepping into the Down N Dirty Seafood Boil restaurant on Fourth Street won’t transport you back to the coast.  The seafood boil just might!

The menu invites you to “get dirty by the pound” offering at market price all the seafood it takes to sate expats from coast to coast.  Blue crab, clams, mussels, crawfish, scallops, shrimp, rock shrimp, Dungeness crab, snow crab legs, Alaskan king crab legs, crab claws and even lobster are available.  While you’re free to mix and match to your heart’s content, it’s got to be in full pound increments.  You can’t, for example, order a quarter pound of rock shrimp, a half pound of crab claws and three-quarter pounds of mussels.

Rock Shrimp, Potatoes, Corn on the Cob

Rock Shrimp, Potatoes, Corn on the Cob

After you’ve selected your seafood of choice, you’ll be asked to pick a spice flavor and degree of spiciness.  The spice accents include garlic butter, lemon pepper, Cajun and “Down N Dirty” if you want it all.  Spice levels range from none (garlic butter) to mild, medium and hot.  Your server will explain the process in as much detail as you need.  After your inaugural visit you’ll have the routine down pat. 

It wouldn’t be a seafood boil without the accompaniments which luxuriate in the fragrant stew of spices and herbs along with the seafood.  Popular favorites include potatoes, corn on the cob, sausage and Andouille sausage.  Down N Dirty will also fry up some of your favorites: chicken tenders, fish and chips, shrimp, catfish, calamari, soft shell crab and oysters, but let’s face it, you can get fried foods just about anywhere. 

Alaskan King Crab Legs, potatoes and corn

Alaskan King Crab Legs, potatoes and corn

There are a couple of cautionary statements you should heed when partaking in a seafood boil: (1) it can get pretty messy as in buttery liquids running down your chin onto your shirt; and (2) you’ll want to use the bib provided by your server to protect that shirt.  Better yet would be cutting a hole in a trash bag and putting your head through it.  That would be fitting because the seafood itself is served in a clear trash bag (which really should be called “treasure bags” considering what they hold).  Make that two trash bags (double-bagging).  The inner bag is tied at the top.  You’ll have to untie it then fashion it into a makeshift bowl before you can indulge in your seafood fantasy. 

2 November 2013: While the seafood options with a carapace (an exoskeleton) are tempting, if your hunger won’t wait or, like me, you lack the manual dexterity to safely extricate the tender seafood from its craggy shell, you’ll opt for seafood sans shell.  Scallops, the pearlescent beauties with a sweet flavor are a perfect choice.  Because scallops are so delicate in flavor, you won’t want to overwhelm them with an assertive spice.  The Down N Dirty spice, which can be made “mild” is perfect for scallops.  The reddish, stewy liquid in which the scallops are served is rich and buttery with minced garlic and spices swimming around. 

Two-pound lobster with potatoes and corn-on-the-cob

Two-pound lobster with potatoes and corn-on-the-cob

8 November 2013: Conventional thought is that most seafood boil seasoning mixtures come from a can, box, packet or decanter of some sort.  There’s absolutely no shame in using Old Bay, Tony Chachere’s or Paul Prudhomme’s seasonings, all of which are good.  It’s quite likely the good folks at Down N Dirty start with one of these pre-packaged mixes then “doctor” them to their liking, but they won’t reveal their “secret recipes’ to anyone.  Who needs to know what’s in the seasoning as long as they enhance the flavor of the seafood.  These seasonings do.  The Cajun seasonings on a pound of rock shrimp, for example, brought me back to seafood boils of yore on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. 

The accompaniment options are worthy of sharing trash bag space with the seafood. The thin-skinned new potatoes are boiled to perfection and soak up the buttery-garlicky mix.  The corn-on-the-cob is sweet and succulent, perhaps the messiest component of the boil because it’s hand-held.  At the opposite spectrum of the sweet, briny seafood is the Andouille sausage, a coarse, smoky and nicely spiced sausage.  The only thing missing is a baguette which would be perfect for sopping up any remaining liquid.  Alas, the owners don’t want diners to fill up on bread.  The menu also offers about a dozen and a half drinks by the can as well as bottled drinks.  If you’ve ever looked inside the tubing of a fountain drink machine, you’ll be grateful. 

Fried clams with French fries

Fried clams with French fries

11 November 2013: While the boiled seafood travels well, the fried clams do not.  Instead of the plump, sweet and miraculously delicious whole bellied clams I had fallen in love with during the two years I lived in Massachusetts, the fried clams at Down N Dirty are of Howard Johnson’s quality.  That is, they’re passable (barely) in New Mexico, but wouldn’t pass muster in New England.  Experience has taught me that not even in San Diego and Las Vegas are excellent fried clams to be found.

The Down N Dirty Seafood Boil is located at the former site of several failed restaurants.  There are enough expats from coastal regions and enough adventurous seafood lovers to make it a dining destination where they can make it a celebration of the seafood boil tradition as American as New Mexico’s red and green chile.

Down N Dirty Seafood Boil
6100 4th Street, N.W.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
(505) 345-0595
Facebook Page
LATEST VISIT: 11 November 2013
1st VISIT: 2 November 2013
# OF VISITS: 3
RATING: 23
COST: $$ – $$$
BEST BET: Scallops, Alaskan King Crabs, Rock Shrimp, Potatoes, Corn on the Cob, Andouille Sausage, Lobster, Cherry Pepsi


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Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar – Monterey, California

Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar in the Cannery Row area of Monterey, California

Cannery Row in Monterey in California is a poem,
a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone,
a habit, a nostalgia, a dream.”
~
John Steinbeck
Cannery Row, 1945

During basic military training in the Air Force, several of us who could speak multiple languages were asked to take the Defense Language Aptitude Battery (DLAB), the test the military services use to measure aptitude to learn a foreign language.  Fewer than five percent of people who take (or retake) the DLAB pass it.  Somehow I managed a high score and was extended an opportunity to attend the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center at the Presidio of Monterey.   My response, one borne of ignorance and stupidity, was “I don’t want to go to Mexico.”  It had not dawned on me that the Monterey being offered was in California. 

Over the years, I’ve revisited my decision frequently.  On one hand, the Air Force might have decided to have me learn Arabic or Iranian then stationed me on a remote mountaintop to listen to and decipher chatter.  On the other, the year or so spent in Monterey would have been glorious (other than the hours of poring over language tapes and books).  Every ten years or so, I manage to visit Monterey where I once again ponder the obtuse decisions of my youth.  It usually results in me thinking that the time spent in Monterey would have been worth the hazards and remoteness of an assignment as a cryptology linguist.

Outdoor patio at Schooners

Monterey, California in 1977 when I would have attended the Defense Language Institute is not the Monterey of 1945 when Steinbeck wrote his novel and if anything, it’s changed significantly since 1977.  The Monterey of Steinbeck’s novel Cannery Row was set during the Great Depression when sardine fishing created a boom economy in the village.  Cannery Row is the living backdrop for the book, a unique neighborhood of fish packing plants, bordellos, and flophouses.  The novel made Cannery Row the most famous street in America.

Today Cannery Row is among the most popular vacation destinations on California’s magnificent central coast with many of the city’s very best attractions, hotels, dining establishments, shopping and nightlife available in the area.  Sardine fishing has made a resurgence in recent years, with sardine boats swaying on anchor next to vessels that troll for tuna and whale sighting charter boats.  Monterey has become an epicenter of the sustainable fishing movement.  Then there’s the Monterey Bay Aquarium, one of the very best of its kind in the world.

Pacific Dungeness Crab Cake: Corn and Avocado Salad, Citrus Vinaigrette

The restaurant landscape in the Cannery Row district is a popular draw, though my friend Sandy is of the opinion that most of its eateries are touristy and commercial.  Sure enough, among the several dozen restaurants in the area are such national chains as Johnny Rockets, Dippin’ Dots, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company (the first one in America, by the way).  Sadly, but not surprisingly, those restaurants are packed (sardine tight, you might say).   Savvy diners visit the fine dining and seafood establishments on Cannery Row for a more authentic, more delicious dining experience.

One of the best seaside restaurants both for ocean views and the bounty of the sea is Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar,  at the only Forbes four-star-awarded Monterrey Plaza Hotel & Spa.  Schooners is perched dramatically over the Monterey Bay where diners will enjoy the gentle sounds of the undulating surf; the fresh, salty fragrance of sea air; the playfulness of sea otters drifting in kelp forests and a Mediterranean ambiance  accompanied by personalized service.  The views and the experience are unparalleled.  So,  too, is an innovative menu that showcases a variety of seafood–both raw and cooked.

Schooners’ Coastal Clam Chowder: Baby Clams, Sherry, Potatoes, Cream Served in Freshly Baked Sourdough Bread

All seafood served at Schooners is compliant with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s “Seafood Watch Guide” designed to raise consumer awareness about the importance of purchasing sustainable seafood.  Not only does the restaurant celebrate conscious dining and high quality, sustainable seafood, it educates the dining public by  indicating the origin and catching method on the menu.  The menu is divided into such categories  as “In the Raw,” “Chowders & Stews,” “Fish Stories,” and “Tails to Share,” when plates are portioned to be shared for two or more.

The pride of restaurants throughout the California coast is the Dungeness crab, which are fresh and abundant thanks to sustainable harvesting practices.  Californians are as proud of the Dungeness crab as Baltimore area citizenry are of their fabled Chesapeake Bay blue crabs.  One of my dreams is to participate as a judge in a crab cake throw-down between the aforementioned crustaceans.  The Pacific Dungeness Crab Cake at Schooners would make a good representative of the left coast’s best.  This is an excellent crab cake.  It’s thick and large with a preponderance of crab and a bare minimum of binder.  Complementing the smooth, delicate flavor of crab is an accompanying corn and avocado salad with a tart-sweet citrus vinaigrette.  It’s wholly unnecessary, but quite good.

Fish Tacos: Grilled Fish, cabbage, Lime, Salsa, Avocado, Fresh Corn-Flour Tortillas

When it comes to bi-coastal seafood, it’s not only crab cakes which are prepared par excellence.  Between the clam chowder at my former home in the Boston area and the clam chowder in the San Francisco area, it’s a virtual toss-up as to which is the very best.  Both are outstanding!  In the Boston area, the preferred accompaniment are oyster crackers while in the San Francisco area, clam chowder is often served in hollowed-out sourdough bowls.  The latter option is irresistible, especially if you learn how to scrape the sides of the sourdough bowl so as to have just a bit of bread with each spoonful of soup.  Schooners’ Coastal Clam Chowder showcases baby clams, sherry, potatoes and cream served in freshly baked sourdough.  The proportion of sherry to cream is especially delicious, providing interesting flavor notes.

While fish tacos are much more closely associated with San Diego where they’re regarded as perhaps the city’s top delicacy, you can find decent fish tacos throughout the Golden State.  Schooners’ rendition starts on a canvas of fresh corn-flour tortillas into which are nestled grilled fish, cabbage and avocados with a salsa on the side.  The cabbage is tinged with pleasantly piquant jalapeños.  The grilled fish is wonderfully fresh and flavorful, the avocados unctuous and buttery.  Squeeze a little bit of lime and spoon in a little salsa and you’ve got an excellent, dare I say, San Diego worthy fish taco.  Three per order are served and they’ll go fast.

Seafood Salad: Seared Ahi Tuna, Shrimp, Crab, Endive, Mango, Avocado, Mango Sauce

Land meets sea in a bountiful seafood salad, a delicious melange of complementary and contrasting flavors which meld into a surprisingly fresh and delicious plate.  Easily large enough for two, you’ll find a veritable cornucopia of ingredients: endive leaves stuffed with shredded crab, sliced mango, buttery avocado, heirloom cherry tomatoes (yellow and orange), red cherry tomatoes, peeled shrimp and pepper crust rimmed ahi tuna.  The salad is served with a mango sauce as thick as mayonnaise and a light citrus vinaigrette.  The contrasting flavors played the most delicious notes on our taste buds: tangy-sweet mango with sea salty ahi and especially the astringency of endive with the sweet-brininess of the crab.

Desserts seem to taste just a bit sweeter at seaside, especially if you opt for the Tropical Sabayon ((a cousin of the light, egg-based Italian dessert zabaglione, the very best of which we’ve ever had being at Il Piato in Santa Fe).  Though a bit less frothy and lighter than its Italian cousin, this honey-infused custard is quite good.  The showcase, however, is the fruits and berries–mango broiled to the point of near caramelization, pineapple and berries (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries).  To frosted cookies, much denser than the sugared donuts they resemble, are the proverbial topping you can’t top.

Tropical Sabayon: Broiled Mango, Pineapple, Berries, Marshall’s Honey Sabayon

The impeccable service at Schooners also served to remind me of my perhaps ill-fated decision several decades ago when I opted out of spending much more time in one of California’s paradises than a vacation can afford.

Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar
400 Cannery Row Map.965d171
Monterey, California
(831) 372-2628
Web Site
LATEST VISIT: 17 July 2012
# OF VISITS: 1
RATING: 23
COST: $$ – $$$
BEST BET: Pacific Dungeness Crab Cake, Schooners’ Coastal Clam Chowder, Seafood Salad, Fish Tacos, Tropical Sabayon

Schooners Coastal Kitchen & Bar on Urbanspoon

Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab – Las Vegas, Nevada

Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas

Stone crab is probably what God eats every night of the year,
but in Florida we mortals only have it from mid-October to mid-May…”
Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter by Blaize Clement

Whether or not stone crab is really what God likes for dinner might make an interesting literary debate, but there’s no disputing that ordinary and not-so-mere mortals have loved the captivating crustaceans of citrus country for nearly a century.  In 1913 Joe Weiss discovered that stone crabs were not only edible, they were delicious–so much so that his small lunch counter in then backwater Miami Beach became an epicurean epicenter.  High society–everyone from Will Rogers, Gloria Swanson and Emelia Earhart to the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and J. Edgar Hoover–flocked– to his restaurant.  So did a nemesis of Hoover’s Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

Using the alias Al Brown, public enemy number one Al Capone and his entourage dined at Joe’s every evening.  Capone liked and respected Joe’s wife so much (and ostensibly her preparation of stone crabs) that every Mother’s Day, he sent a truck to the restaurant to deliver a horseshoe-shaped bouquet of flowers which read, “Good Luck Mother Joe’s.”  Jennie Weiss never realized who he was, but admired his gentlemanly behavior and always made him feel welcome at the restaurant.

The interior entrance to Joe's

Stone crabs are harvested in Florida every year between October 15th and May 15th.  Among the world’s most sustainable seafood, only one of the delicious decapod’s large claws may be remove thereby ensuring the continued survival of the species.  The crabs are thrown back into the water where another claw will generate in twelve to eighteen months.  Crabs are captured in baited traps, not speared or hooked and egg-bearing females are not allowed to be declawed.  The minimum legal size per claw is about two ounces with some colossal crabs weighing as much as twenty-five pounds. 

Claws make up half the weight of the entire crab.  A claw is removed by carefully grabbing it from the rear and twisting it off, a more humane treatment than say, boiling it live as is done with lobsters.  The claws are steamed on the boat then chilled and delivered to restaurants such as Joe’s which serve them to soon-to-be sated guests.  At Joe’s, they can be ordered in three sizes: medium (seven per order), select (six per order) and large (five per order).  Size–other than perhaps the size of your billfold–has no bearing on flavor; the medium crab claws taste every bit as great as the large crab claws.

Bread basket at Joe's

Joe’s legendary stone crabs are to the Miami chamber of commerce what green chile is to the New Mexico Tourism Department and as with our green chile, their popularity could not be contained by borders.  In the millennium year of 2000, Lettuce Entertain You, a Chicago-based concept restaurant dining empire partnered with the Weiss family to bring Joe’s to Chicago, pairing Florida’s incomparable stone crab with prime bone-in chops, a Windy City staple.  Four years later, the Joe’s legacy expanded to the Forum Shops at Caesars in Las Vegas.  Proving no mirage in the Nevada desert, Joe’s legendary stone crab quickly became a popular draw with reservations strongly recommended.

That’s a contrast to the original Joe’s which has always had a mandated no-reservations policy.  Another contrast is the service.  The Miami Beach wait staff is crabbier than the decadent decapods they deliver to their patrons’ tables, but in Las Vegas, service is friendly and attentive–particularly if your server is the lovely and ambassadorial Linda, a native of the south of England who will make you feel right at home and can be trusted to provide spot-on recommendations on what to order.

A bowl of stone crab bisque

As you contemplate the menu, a basket of bread is delivered to your table along with soft butter you can actually spread.  The artisinal assortment of breads is as beauteous to admire as it is delicious to devour.  The assortment includes a caramelized onion and cheese roll, a cracker-like lavosh and  cranberry-walnut bread, each so good you’ll want the basket replenished.  Make sure to save at least one slice or roll to sop up one of the menu’s outstanding bisques, the best of which might be the sumptuous stone crab bisque

Great restaurants recognize that visual elements–color, texture, portion size, shape–will greatly enhance the appreciation of a great dish.  The stone crab bisque arrives at your table in a steel vessel which completely obfuscates the creamy, pureed crustacean.  The wait staff will pour the contents of the steely pitcher onto a plate brimming with chopped stone crab and finely minced carrots and celery, instantly releasing a steamy, enticing aroma that precedes the rich, delicious flavor profile of sweet crab meat and sauteed vegetables.  This elixir will remedy whatever ails you.

Lobster Tail Tempura with an Asian dipping sauce

The bountiful bowl of bisque is large enough to share though you might want to keep it all for yourself.  It’s among the very best soups, chowders, stews or gumbos I’ve ever had.  It’s one of those rare items about which you could say you’d die happy if you fell into a brimming vat of this steamy deliciousness and drowned while attempting to drink your way out.  It’s the type of soup which would win any Souper Bowl!

Stone crabs aren’t the sole seafood item on the menu, not by a long shot.  The menu offers a boatload of seafood options: fried shrimp, shrimp scampi, scallops (and bacon-wrapped sea scallops), colossal lump crab cakes, lobster tail tempura, jumbo Alaskan king crab legs and a fisherman’s platter which showcases shrimp, scallops, calamari and cod. Fresh fish options include cod, salmon (au poivre), mahi mahi, halibut and ahi tuna.

An order of five medium-sized stone crabs

The lobster tail tempura is a winner–two six-ounce tails sheathed in a light tempura batter which imparts a crunchy accent without detracting from the sweet, succulent deliciousness of the lobster.  The lobster tails are served with an Asian inspired, slightly spicy apricot dipping sauce.  It’s wholly unnecessary and, if anything, you might find yourself missing drawn butter.  A grilled jumbo lobster tail is available for purists who don’t believe the flavor of lobster should be masked, even partially, by any batter.

Those purists will love the stone crabs, particularly during lunch when Joe’s Classic stone crab is available at an unbeatable prix fixe price.  One lunch special includes five stone crab claws, hashed brown potatoes, coleslaw and a sliver of key lime pie. Alternatively, you can sate your carnivorous cravings with a lunch special that showcases a six-ounce filet mignon, Jennie’s potatoes, Joe’s grilled tomatoes and banana cream pie with Foster sauce. Never mind a jackpot from the one-armed bandit; you’re a winner with either option.

Joe's famous hash browns and coleslaw

The stone crab claws arrive at your table cracked and ready to be de-shelled, similar to how you would peel a hard-boiled egg (albeit one with very sharp edges).  For someone who bashed his thumb with a wooden mallet cracking dungeness crabs in San Francisco, the pre-cracked claws were much appreciated.  Not everyone needs the authenticity of a crab-cracking experience.  The stone crab is served cold as if having been resting in a tub of ice before coming to your table.  There’s plenty of meat in each claw and it’s a sweet, succulent, delicious meat.  The crab claws are served with Joe’s trademarked mustard sauce which is as sweet as it is tangy.  No sauce is really necessary.

Two things go best with stone crab claws at Joe’s.  Fittingly they’re the two things first served with the claws nearly a century ago.  The first would be hashed browns which are unlike the packaged confetti strips most restaurants serve.  The exterior of the hashed browns resembles a crusty shell, likely the byproduct of the way the potatoes are prepared.  Penetrate that shell and you’ll find soft fried goodness.  The other accompaniment is Joe’s famous coleslaw which isn’t made with a mayo-based salad cream, but with a tangy-sweet vinegary sauce.  It’s an excellent coleslaw.

The very best Boston Cream Pie I've Ever Had (and I lived in Massachusetts for two years)

For years my very favorite Boston Cream Pie was the one served at the Parker House Hotel in Boston where it was first conceived in 1867.  The official dessert of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts may henceforth hold a back seat to the Boston cream pie at Joe’s.  There are several reasons this pie is so fabulous.  First, it’s a generous slab, not a sliver leaving you wanting more.  Secondly, the ganache is of adult chocolate sweetness and it’s applied generously.  Third, the inside layer of cream is neither overly thick nor too cloying.  Everything about this pie is just right.

Joe’s most famous dessert, one as popular in the Florida Keys as Boston Cream Pie is in Boston, is key lime pieIf you’ve ever had a luminescent or neon green “key lime pie” it’s not the real thing. Joe’s rendition is the real deal, made with key lime juice and a heaping helping of key lime zest.  It’s got a pale yellowish hue and it’s both creamy and just tangy-tart enough to purse your lips.  The Graham cracker crust maintains its integrity and doesn’t fall apart when you press your fork into it.  That’s partially because the pie is served cold.

Real Key Lime Pie

Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab serves stone crab all year round–even off-season when frozen claws are served.  That, too, one-ups the Joe’s in Miami which is closed all summer.  Our inaugural visit was more a “been there, done that” experience than it was transformative in any way.  Some items–the stone crab bisque and Boston cream pie–were in the “to die for” category, but not everything else was.  Still, from an experiential perspective, you can’t go wrong with a restaurant offering stellar service and palate-pleasing cuisine.

Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab
Forum Shops @ Caesar’s
3500 Las Vegas  Blvd. South
Las Vegas, Nevada
702-792-9222
Web Site
LATEST VISIT:5 November 2011
# OF VISITS: 1
RATING: 22
COST: $$$ – $$$$
BEST BET:  Lobster Tail Tempura, Stone Crab, Hash Browns, Coleslaw, Key Lime Pie, Boston Cream Pie, Stone Crab Bisque

Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab on Urbanspoon