The Breukelen Life

The Breukelen Life

Food, Yoga and Travel in Brooklyn

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The Crab Shack in Smithfield

October 26, 2011

L and I went on our annual totally platonic lover’s retreat this past week weekend. This year, the gods of Groupon sent us to Smithfield Station in Virginia. It was a long but not so bad 8- hour drive filled with Chick-fil-A’s and Walmarts. Generally we drive North and it was a pleasant treat to drive South. The sun was bright, vicious and gave my body the shock it needed.

We had a few great meals, the best one being at the Crab Shack. When we drove over the bridge to get to Smithfield, it sat there like a beacon on the James River.

“Ohh a crab shack!” I exclaimed.

“WHAT is a crab shack,” L asked.

After I explained to L that crab shacks are the best things ever, having mainly CRAB and generally good delicious crab at that, she relented.

We went on first day for lunch. The menu is simple, having general ‘by the sea’ fare such as shrimp cocktail, oysters Rockefeller and calamari. There are a few local specialties, which really shine such as the Clams Casino – clams baked with bacon, green peppers, pimento cheese and Parmesan cheese and the Shrimp Jammers – lightly seasoned, breaded and fried shrimp stuffed with jalapeno cheese.

I suppose first, I should explain that when L and I go on these girl’s trips, we eat a lot. It’s generally the only trip I take during the year where I don’t really sensor myself with the food. (I know, hard to believe with the things I write about on here.)

With that being said, I won’t shy away from telling you that during our first meal here we had ½ dozen oysters, ½ dozen clams, shrimp jammers, side salads, fries, a half dozen blue crabs, the local pale ale and their homemade key lime pie.

The shrimp jammers completely blew me away. I know I know – They are just breaded shrimp with cheese and jalapeno but they were amazing and really unexpected for some reason. Maybe I just don’t spend enough time by the coast?

The seafood was basic and completely fresh plucked right out of the Chesapeake Bay. The oysters and clams were on a half shell. The crab was perfectly steamed, tender and sprinkled with Old Bay seasoning. The fries were crisp and the cocktail sauce perfect with a dozen or so dashes of Texas Pete’s hot sauce.

The keylime pie was very good and not too, too tart. But I will never understand why someone will go through the effort of making pie and then topping it with canned whip cream. Doesn’t really make sense right?

Our second meal there started out not so decadent but ended equally so. Soft shell crab is out of season so our first entrée choice was shot down and then they were out of Shrimp Jammers. After we dried our tears we ended up with the steamed crab legs, fries, salad, clams, sea scallops topped with onions and green peppers and beer. The crab was sweet and tender and the same goes for the scallops. While the scallops weren’t my favorite, they were delicious. There was just a tad too much butter for my liking. I prefer a seared scallops and these were just lightly pan fried and tossed with the vegetables.

And to perfectly top off the weekend, after we finished our first order of crab legs, we ordered more for dessert.

Next up will be our experience with Smithfield Station!


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  1. Top 10 of 2011! | The Breukelen Life reblogged this and added:

    […] The Crab Shack, Smithfield […]

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