Every state has it’s most iconic restaurant, and according to the Huffington Post, Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami is Florida’s. Here’s my take on Joe’s.
Joe’s is only open for business from October 15th to May 15 when Florida stone crab is in season. When I was on assignment in Miami, the “people in high places” took the entire project team to Joe’s one evening before they closed for the summer.
Before setting off for Miami, a lady friend went on and on about the “world famous” Joe’s Stone Crab restaurant there, which I had not heard of at the time. Never would I have imagined that I’d be dining there within the next few weeks.
Joe’s Stone Crab – Miami, FL
11 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida 33139
Phone: (305) 673-0365
Noticing the sizable crowd when we arrived, me and a couple of my cohorts ordered long-necks at the bar figuring we had some time to burn. No sooner had we taken a swig did they call our party to a huge combination of tables in the rear area of the restaurant. There were around twenty of us gathered at four or five tables connected together, and the first thing I noticed was the number of servers, all wearing white tunics. They covered us with bibs and provided endless bread, butter, drinks and everything, constantly. The service was so attentive and by so many, that it was borderline annoying. I recall at one point having a waiter over my right shoulder and another under my left arm. But, we were all in a festive mood and everything was good!
The atmosphere was very bright, open and lively. I don’t recall the place being extremely lavish or posh, just clean, comfortable and businesslike. It took no time at all for our food to be brought out. The wait staff armed us all with mallets in addition to the bibs and brought out tray after tray it seemed, of huge stone crab claws. I remember how Neanderthalian I felt when walloping those crab claws to reduce them to edible portions and how small bits and pieces of the shell would unavoidably get mingled into the succulent meat. That was a qualm for me if I had to find something to qualm about.
Everything seemed rather rushed, perhaps because of the large group and the boisterous conversation among us, but before I knew it, it was time for dessert.
I assumed the Key Lime Pie would be supreme there, so I ordered that and boy, what a treat! The Key Lime Pie was at least as noteworthy as the crab, maybe more!
Fortunately, when it came time to pay the piper, “Uncle Artie” (Arthur Andersen) picked up the tab, which had to be exorbitant and most likely charged-off to our client.
Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami Beach – Dinner Menu (pdf)