Crabby’s in Mays Landing is Anything But
They gave my son a free soda the night we ate at Crabby’s Suds & Seafood. The reason? The waitress loved that he ordered calamari and pronounced it ‘calamads,’ like a good descendant from Molfetta would. The moment was one of many that made us smile during our meal at Crabby’s in Mays Landing.
Truth be told, Crabby’s is actually located in Belcoville in Weymouth Township. But Belcoville is practically Mays Landing, and most people would give you a glazed-over look if you asked them where the heck Belcoville is, so Mays Landing it is.
As the name suggests, Crabby’s is a seafood joint. Not a fancy one, mind you, and the place revels in its less-than-pristine decorum. It won’t take you long to realize that, with the galaxy of dollar bills from previous patrons stuck on the ceiling and the big U-shaped bar that dominates the room. But alongside the chatty folks having a beer and a plate at the bar are tables with families chowing down. Both are right at home. Crabby’s has the feel of a neighborhood bar in the best sense of that term. It is a place for locals to gather and for travelers to feel welcome.
So… how about the seafood itself? Baked, fried, steamed and sauteed…and based on what we sampled, all done simply and expertly. The menu runs north to south—nothing that makes you have to guess. In addition to the usual seafood suspects, you have your raw bar, your gumbo and bisques (not to mention their highly-regarded ‘he-crab’ soup), and several varieties served over pasta. You also have your non-seafood options, but c’mon now.
Don’t let the lack of mystery give you pause as to whether Crabby’s is worth a stop. There’s wonderful joy in a fried sea scallop that’s got a nice outer crunch that yields to the tender meat. The aforementioned fried ‘calamads’ were also deftly fried and tender. And my wife, Lisa, spent several minutes lost in the legs and shells of her seafood combination platter. (We were able to pull her out, eventually.)
We were a happy, happy lot as we took in this simple grub and soaked in the relaxed atmosphere. A funny thing happens when you immerse yourself in such a space: you stop thinking. And when that happens, a good feeling takes you over and seeps all thew way down to the bottom of your soul.
If you are looking for cutting-edge gastronomy, keep on heading east toward the glittering of Atlantic City. If, however, you are in need of good seafood prepared well without having to sell off your first-born to cover the bill, you are in the right place. It is seafood for the soul.
John and Lisa Howard-Fusco Regional Editors, Ocean County. Although they and their two kids call Ocean County home, their John and Lisa Are Eating in South Jersey food blog has them traveling all over the southern region of New Jersey. They and their blog have been mentioned in articles by the New York Times, Courier-Post, nj.com and njmonthly.com. Lisa has written articles and reviews for South Jersey magazine as well as for Ed Hitzel’s Restaurant Newsletter and Hitzel’s Restaurant Magazine. And John could use a Gaetano’s cheesesteak right about now.