After our stay in New Orleans, my wife Jun and I flew over to Miami where we were to stay for a couple of nights before going to a friend’s wedding in Key West. I have never been to Miami, and neither has Jun (at least for fun). Unlike New Orleans where we got to do a lot of activities from jazz cruise to voodoo/ghost tour to plantation tour, I really didn’t plan anything for Miami as we both wanted a more relaxing time like laying on the Miami Beach (which we did). I still wanted to check out a few places for food, though, and one of them was the legendary Joe’s Stone Crab. When we showed up early evening, we didn’t have any issue getting seated but by the time we were nearly done around 7 p.m. the huge dining space was absolutely packed. So, was the place worth it? In terms of stone crabs, they are a must if you are visiting Miami.
Let’s start with the stone crabs. They come in different portions depending on the size of a party. We ordered five crabs (“large” portion which was the second largest below the “jumbo” one), and ended up ordering three more! At first, the crabs didn’t look big enough to satiate our appetite (we were both starving at the time) but once you open up the shells the crab meats look pretty generous in size. Even though the price tag on these crabs wasn’t too kind (the large one with five crabs cost around $70), each bite of these creatures was absolutely sensational! The freshness of the crabs really shows in their succulent texture. If a new outpost for Joe’s opens somewhere in or nearby New York City, Jun and I would gladly make the trip! As for the other dishes, we’ve had differing levels of satisfaction. The East Coast wild oysters were fresh but too small, calamari was adequately battered and fried, and the side dishes of hashed brown potatoes and grilled tomatoes were delicious but not ground-breaking. For dessert, the server highly recommended key lime pie; it was delightful without being too sweet.
As noted above, Joe’s is one of the iconic spaces in Miami that also doesn’t take reservations. Even if the dining space is big, do arrive on the early side of the evening (by the time we walked out of the restaurant, there was a sizable group of people waiting their turns at the entrance). There is full bar with wine selections (plus classic cocktail list) that you should complement your seafood feast with. The restaurant does feel a little bit touristy but when you are in Miami Beach, who cares? I’m still swooning every time I think about the stone crabs at Joe’s. One of the best seafood dishes Jun and I have had this year for sure!
- Creativity: 7.0/10
- Execution: 8.0/10
- Ingredients: 9.0/10
- Flavor: 8.0/10
- Texture: 8.5/10
- Value: 7.5/10
Address: 11 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Telephone: (305) 673-0365