-3 Snaps! Try it. You might like it.
The event is a little confusing. I scout several places in the Tampa Bay area to see what food events are occurring. I found this one in several listings and decided to go. I come to find out later that there is another similar event called the Clearwater Beach stone Crab Festival (ostensibly the 33rd annual) sponsored by Frenchy's going on at the exact same time just blocks away. Why can't you just get along? Make it a city wide festival instead of dueling it out on your corners! Get together and make a big celebration benefiting the public.
Nonetheless, the delicate crab was delicious, the crowd was high-energy, the music was outstanding, and I'd go back!
I would estimate the crowd at about 200 people when I was there in the mid afternoon. It took around10 minutes to get a drink at the bar outside and 20 to 30 minutes to get a table to order. That's not bad considering the number of tables and the size of the crowd.
There were two options with stone crab. Order them cold and they come with a light mustard sauce for dipping. Ordered hot they are accompanied with drawn butter. Both of them sounded good but I opted for the cold ones. The menu describes each order is being approximately 1 pound. For $17.99 I got four large claws, a small cup of the mustard sauce, a wooden mallet to assist with cracking the hard shells of these tough crustaceans, and a fork to dig it all out. It was a tasty experience.
Stone crab is seasonal. From October 15 through May 15 thousands of pounds are harvested both in the Atlantic and the Gulf. One of the things that I appreciate about this form of seafood is that only the claw is harvested and the crab is returned to grow another one.
So, you have until next May to enjoy taking a crack at 'em. As with most seafood, it's an expensive venture. Retail wise 1 pound sells for between $12 and $20 depending on the size of the claw (larger claws sell for more), but well worth the cost. Find a simple recipe for mustard sauce to go with them and dig in!
Chip Weiner is a Tampa food blogger, and an award winning freelance photographer specializing in portraiture, food photography and photojournalism . He has been a photography instructor for over 10 years and teaches Tampa photography classes throughout the year. Have a suggestion for a food event or restaurant? Contact him here
For information on photography classes and workshops, feel free to call me or look under the Tampa Photography Classes section of my website. Photo 101 is by far the most popular! I also give private individual lessons on camera operation and making better photographs and would love to work with you one on one to make you a better photographer. Photography instruction gift certificates are also available. They make great gifts for the photo enthusiast in your life. Let's talk about what you need! 813-786-7780. See you in class!
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