on January 10, 2009
I had never had stone crabs . . . heck never even heard of them before David's friend Marney suggested a visit to Capt. Eddies on our way through her area just south of Sarasota.Stone Crabs are an Atlantic Ocean delicacy, available from October through March. Local swear about the way costs are driven up by the snowbirds who winter in Florida. You can even pay around $150 to $200 to have "dinner for two" shipped overnight around the USA if you need your stone crab fix. So you might ask, why all the hype? I know I wanted to know!Capt. Eddies is a very family style type seafood restaurant, found right on HWY41 in Nokomis, Florida. From the outside, it looks like most other seafood shanty type restaurants in Florida, only it isn't on a beach. They have a newly remodeled TiKi Patio, but for our evening visit, it seemed a bit cool to be dining outside, so we asked to be seated inside.Tables are a lot like picnic tables with long benches. Covered with paper placemats, you could feel comfortable slopping butter around with your seafood, fish and shelled critters. We all ordered the stone crab dinners. Guests have a choice of medium, large or extra large crab claws. We all opted for the large. Served with your choice of two sides, we all seemed to have varied tastes. I had the coleslaw and fries; David did the coleslaw and hush puppies and Marnie did the sweet potato casserole and coleslaw. All was delicious.A little about the stone crabs and eating them. You actually eat the front claws, which have a huge chunk of tasty tender meat. I was shocked to learn that the fisherman snap off the front claws of the stone crab and then return them (the body) back into the ocean where the crab will re-grow replacement front claws in about 18 to 24 months. Can you imagine? They tear off their legs and that's that. I wonder if PETA knows about this???I found the flavor to be much better than lobster (which I actually don't care much for) and Alaskan King Crab legs . . . and much easier to get to. When served, the kitchen breaks open the claws making it relatively easy to get into the meaty area. They are served with nut style crackers and small seafood forks. Many people eat this seafood delicacy with a spicy mustard. For me, just as they are served was great. David enjoyed dipping in the drawn butter.After dinner, we all agreed that we had to have Key Lime Pie. David and I had been in Florida for nearly a week and had yet to have some and now that we were working our way north and home to Wisconsin, this was our last opportunity. We ordered two slices to split between the three of us. It was fabulous! I could have done without the whipped cream florets on the top, but the others seemed to enjoy it.I should say there are a lot of other fish and seafood choices on the menu so you do not have to have the stone crabs if they don't sound like your thing. I wish they had a website . . . or a published menu somewhere . . . but I couldn't find one. I would suggest that if you have questions you give them a call: 941-484-4623.Also, because the menus had no prices on them for the stone crabs ("market price") I have no idea how much our dinners were as Marnie was insistent on our dinner being her treat. My guess is that they are probably pretty expensive given the prices I've seen on the various wholesale and retail markets on the internet that have pricing information. Whatever it was, we had a great meal with a wonderful friend . . . and would suggest Capt. Eddies again any time!For more info on stone crabs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida_stone_crab .
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