What a dinner. I’ve eaten stone crab before but for an amazing experience and the freshest of food, there’s nothing like the original. For our first dinner in Miami, Meyer and I decided to risk the wait at Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami Beach. After a long day of travel including a ground stop in Tampa to wait of tornadoes in Miami, we were ready for a delicious meal. We hopped in a cab and took a rainy drive to Miami Beach from our hotel. I did my research before our trip and knew that Joe’s was a solid gluten free choice for dinner.
When we reached Joe’s Stone Crab at the bottom of Miami Beach, we were notified that it would be about an hour wait at 8pm. So we waited. The bar is massive, but that is good, as since Joe’s does not take reservations there are always a large number of people waiting in the bar for their table. We took the opportunity to have a drink and an appetizer. Meyer and I are not late diners. But here in Miami that’s the way the locals roll. So we’ve been adjusting to late night dining for a few nights.
My shrimp cocktail was delicious. Fresh tasting jumbo shrimp with a sharp cocktail sauce. I paired with with the ultimate Miami drink, a cuba libre. Meyer enjoyed a Presidente beer and delicious smelling conch fritters-a treat for him outside of our gluten free house!
Once we were seated, around 9pm, we were given the run down of the menu by quite a character of a waitress. I can’t do her justice, but suffice to say she was the perfect combination of gruff and motherly. She noted my gluten free needs and double checked everything with the kitchen. We were in luck as many of the sides worked-including the deliciously decadent hashbrowns. Ohh those potatoes were so buttery, nicely crisp on the outside, and so soft in the middle. We chose brown sugar and pepper bacon brussels sprouts-ohh my. Those were delicious. BUT the best part of the meal was the stone crab claws.
This week was the last week of stone crab season so we just HAD to order them. But seriously, why order something other than stone crabs at Joe’s? These are jumbos. Yes, we splurged. The were amazing. 3 claws to each order. So simple. Just drawn butter and mustard sauce to dip in. I have to admit I didn’t check about the mustard sauce so after just one dip I decided to only use the butter. It was wonderful enough. Meyer and I polished off this meal. Not a fleck of crab was left in those claws! But we couldn’t resist dessert.
How could I resist flan made by a cuban? It was so dense and creamy. Dessert out is such a treat being gluten free. Don’t worry I double checked that I could eat it. But I’m so glad that I could. This meal was worth the wait. Our waitress made the evening light and enjoyable. The classic old school restaurant makes the experience all the more authentic. I can just imagine stopping by in the 1920’s for stone crab. I might have been a little more dressed up but the crabs would have been just as delicious.
I kept hoping through the rest of the trip that our reservations would fall through or we’d throw in the towel and go back. Alas. It wasn’t in the cards. But it will keep Miami in my heart. I’ll dream of fresh seafood and flan for weeks to come.