Say It Ain’t So, Joe….

crab3Last week, we made our annual pilgrimage to Joe’s Stone Crab, the stone cold, kick ass restaurant in Miami Beach, Florida.

joes sign2

Joe’s Stone Crab is an institution, celebrating 100 years of excellence and over indulgence.

interior Joe

We happily navigated the challenging 55 minute I-95 raceway. In Florida, one either encounters seniors in Lexi (more than 1 Lexus!) and Cadillacs who drive 40 miles per hour in the outside lane or those impersonating race car drivers, registering 100 mph, weaving in and out of lanes in their fancy cars or souped up Chevy’s.

We cruised the elegant causeway and arrived at Joe’s. We quickly extracted my mom and my suave, South African accented husband from the car to unabashedly use as pawns in the waiting game.

Courtny and I parked while the senior and the sexy headed to the podium to have a moment with the  “buck stops here” reservationists.

Our famished posse was informed that the wait was 90 minutes…my 93 year-old mother feigned hypoglycemia and declared that this could be her last meal so cut the crap and shorten the wait.

The NFL games were on in the bar and we hung there. We watched every nationality eagerly approach the reservation stand with a hunger, happy glint in their eyes and moments later walk away dejected and swearing.

45 minutes into our vigil, people were being advised of a 3 hour wait so when the unidentified voice belted out, “TOBY party of four”,  55 minutes into our appointed sentence, we were elated.

Joe's Bread
Joe’s Bread

We sat down and quickly consumed the bread basket…all the bread is made there and consists of sweet challah, pumpernickel and onion rolls, fresh rye and crispy seeded crackers.

Our waiter, a stone cold giant and 25-year veteran, did a drive by introducing himself and taking drink orders. The wait staff is dressed in tuxedos and a wry sense of humor. They are all lifers and make over $100,000 annually.

Drinks arrived and our order was transcribed. After years of indulging, there was no need to look at the menu.

We started with salad, dressed with creamy homemade blue cheese dressing ($8.50).

Salad is followed by creamed spinach ($6.95), hashed browns and  2 orders of the Select size stone crab claws (6 claws served chilled) which are bigger than the Large, but sweeter and smaller than the XL. Stone crab claws are market price. Select are in the $60 per order range.

Stone Crab Claws
Stone Crab Claws

This year, my mom voted for well done onion rings so we went a bit crazy ($6.95).

Onion Rings
Onion Rings

The food arrived quickly, hot and delicious and up to the usual excellent standard.

The crab legs are cracked  so eating is effortless. They also are accompanied by their secret mustard sauce.

All conversation ceased as we indulged. The cream spinach was creamy, the potatoes, crispy, hot and crunchy ( hashed browns, serves 4, $9.95).

Hashed Brown Potatoes
Hashed Brown Potatoes

The stone crab claws were sweet, succulent and meaty…it is a must to outfit yourself with one of Joe’s original bibs!

Joe's Bib
Joe’s Bib

Oh, the salad was great, too.

No matter how full you are you have not lived until you try Joe’s homemade Key lime pie (slice $7.95). It is tangy, tart with the best graham cracker crust you have ever eaten. We always take home a pie from their takeout restaurant next door. A huge Key lime pie costs $28 plus a can of real whipped cream…cannot beat that deal and it keeps at least 3 weeks in the freezer, if you don’t eat it before the expiration date.

Key Lime Pie
Key Lime Pie

Joe’s is worth the wait. One year, it was 3 hours and we drove 20 minutes to the new W Hotel in Miami Beach, had drinks, appetizers, shopped and arrived back at Joe’s and were promptly seated.

If you are fortunate enough to have a 90 year-old feisty woman hanging around, grab her and take her with you…you are guaranteed to reduce the wait time and have a great time, to boot.

Joe’s Stone Crab, 11 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida. Open Monday-Thursday 5-10 pm. Friday-Saturday 5-11 pm. Open for lunch Tuesday-Saturday 11:30 am-2:30 pm. No reservations. Joe’s ships within the U.S.














  1. Yummy, I miss those stone crabs

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