Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Boiling Crab

Kenneth Watrous is my name. All the opinions here are mine. They also apply only to the places I have tried in Las Vegas.
Last month, we went to Joe's Crab Shack. This month, I tried The Boiling Crab.

The Boiling Crab is one of those places that could be described as a ‘hole in the wall’ joint. Not because of the location and the size, but in the sense that it is one of those places that you either know about or you don’t. Those that don’t’ know are missing out and those that do know will give a smile and a nod when they are asked about it. As the name says, they do crab. Lots of it and so well. They also offer up a selection of home-grown sides and fare. This is the kind of place you can’t out-eat because the portions are enormous and the food is rich and savory while being simple.
The d├ęcor is a solid mix of diner and sit down. It is open and they like to let in the light. There are bits of net and some local flares to make it look like a fisherman kind of place.

No frills is the name of the game at The Boiling Crab. It does what it does well and it brings the flavor. The Boiling Crab does a mix of southwestern and Cajun mixes. The food is hot and spicy but always full of flavor and you can taste the fresh. This is also a back-to-roots place where the majority of the food is shoveled in by hand.

 Get a bib on, grab a handful of napkins and be ready to get a little sloppy. The shrimp in particular is great. They boil it in a bag and bring it out to be eaten just right there. It has a lot of character and flavor. The shrimp are mostly whole and it is up to some people if they eat all of the bits or if they pick it apart. I’ve no problem with things like shells and heads. I still don’t eat the tails, don’t know anybody that does really. The crab is just as good. Served simple with some butter on the side or some extra garlic if you are into it. The utensils are a bit rough to use if you are having a mixed meal, but I already mentioned the need for a solid supply of napkins.

One of the things I like about The Boiling Crab is the atmosphere. There are smells of food everywhere, the fragrant dishes make it hard not to be constantly hit by another barrage from someone getting their meal. This gives that rare sense of being hungry throughout the meal. That way you really want something when you are hungry and you can smell food persists almost the whole way through. It is so easy to come in wanting one thing and then so hard not to order two more things even as you fill up. That is good food and a good time.
Word of caution: because so much of the food is meant to be eaten by hand, the children can be tough to bring along. They will not remember to stay away form their hair and pants and the bib can only do so much. The flavors tend to be a little intense for some kids, but others will take to it. But you got to keep an eye on them to prevent all the juices and sauces from ending up soaking their socks and it doesn’t take too much cayenne to the eye from a stray palm in the eye to bring out the tears. It is best to be ready to watch the kids first and eat second if that is the plan.

 The drink and desert selection is the fairly standard stuff. Soda fountain, a few beers, a few ice cream and pie options. Usually no room left for much of anything after the sheer sizes of the entrees. I usually like to finish the meal and then have a beer after, take a moment to cool down the hotter flavors. Be warned, stay for too long and you will order again. I do, every time.

-Kenneth Watrous
Find more about me on or follow me on twitter at @KennethWatrous