Plan A is not happening. The spontaneous plan B: Hello Crab Stop!!!!
My dear friend was giving me a nostalgic tour of what Vero Beach was like many many years ago. We passed a little plaza where I saw the sign for the ‘CRAB STOP’. I have been hearing that his place served awesome crab, and that it was owned by a fireman. I am always for an underdog (I feel the firemen don’t get the honor, respect, nor pay that they deserve) so I was in. However, I am not a big crab fan. Picking, digging, sorting, and spitting to get one ‘morsely’ good bite of food is not one of my yearnings! Especially when the bite itself doesn’t have enough flavor, to me, to warrant the labor involved. Nor, am I (call me a snob) a fan of diner types without a view; styrofoam cups, or getting a bib served with my food. But, I am always open minded, and feel I will find something on the menu light enough to satisfy my palate for today. After all, I will (hopefully-God allowing) eat tomorrow. And, at 45 years old and older, I am motivated to try something new, another first, as often as possible.
Our destination for lunch was a landmark that had been here for many many years, another place I had never visited in Vero Beach. As it so happened, Plan A was postponed to another time because it is closed on the weekends, much to our surprise. So, my dear friend felt we must go back to try out the Crab Stop.
First Impression out of the car; not so good! But keep reading!
As we got out of our car, the music playing was ridiculously loud; offensive and obtrusive. My thoughts were, let my buddy order and lets get away from this noise. Then, we stepped inside, and I realized the music was coming from a vehicle parked straight outside the entrance to the Crab Stop. What a way for someone to offend a business’ patrons just by being so selfish that they need to blair their music, windows down, regardless of the damage to the establishment’s reputation. Had I been with Mr. Wonderful, I would have said ‘let’s go elsewhere’.
We stepped in; a diner feel, lots of air flowing, and lots of ‘Welcome to the Crab Stop!’
Being that I was appalled by the music playing as we entered, I was lackluster in my expectations.
Our server was incredibly kind, and she simply amazed me by her beautiful face; her skin, eyes, cheek bones, and smile.. but even more so she seemed absolutely like your best friend wanting to make sure you have a great meal; she was relaxed and informative and questioned us enough to know what we were truly hungry for. She was an “I can make you love your meal” kind of server.
We ordered two Blue Point beers on tap. I am not a beer drinker, but I am trying to find ones that I like. This one I liked. It joined perfectly with our meal and I didn’t even know what we were getting; as I said, not being the crab person, I let my dear friend choose for both of us.
We were served a large bowl with wet, juicy looking crabs surrounding the lips, and the inside pool, swimming in garlic sauce, bejeweled with spices that were arousing and alluring, were large succulent shrimp, fork sized hunks of potatoes and corn on the cob.
As my dear friend hands me the crab cracker, my typical negative thoughts of this process was overcome with, ‘WOW’ that smells and looks absolutely delectable! I dug in. I never dig into crabs! Ever!! But, wow, oh my gosh, they were so so SO good! Finger licking, dipping again and again; I literally could not get enough. As I am totally engrossed in the seasonings and the sweet tender juicy meat, and the heavenly garlic butter, my eyes rise up. Everyone (every seat is occupied) is holding the whole crab up to their mouths and sucking
the delicate meat; no-one is even looking at the t.v. (which had no volume); yet the room is abuzz with animated conversation and the satiating scent of garlic. I have a new heart throb in Vero Beach!
This photo is the remaining bowl after we both devoured to our hearts’ (stomachs’) content.
As we were finishing up our meal, which by the way, for two of us, was the $35 MunGi special (my buddy had enough left over for at least two meals); a very handsome, smiling, friendly young man was cleaning tables. He asked us about our meal, and of course, I had to express my very sincere fervor for the quality and flavors we just devoured. I introduced myself and my buddy, and he did the same. And of course, he is the retired fireman entrepreneur who is the ‘King of Crab’ (in my mind at least) and the beautiful woman who took our order is his wife. And, what a history this young man has …. the rest of that story is for you to discover….and you should, if you know Vero’s Art history!
I literally cannot say enough about the quality of food and service, the vibe, the energy, and the pleasantries experienced at the Crab Stop. Thank God for Plan B’s!!! This, I am sure, was a detour for a reason. Also, my suspicion is they are closed on Sundays for a ‘divine’ reason.
I will go back very soon. I have no doubt that I will have a challenge keeping Mr. Wonderful moving onto new places every week, as this place is absolutely scrumptious. But I do know, on my next visit, I will have to give one of the soups and the crab cakes a try; only to challenge what I think I’ve already had as the best on the menu.
I didn’t even look at the wines…what was I thinking?