Posted by: cvancil | April 20, 2009

Possibilities: Cracked Crab

Having grown up in Seattle, Washington where seafood is not only prevalent but just about as fresh as you can get (unless you’re in Alaska), I’m very picky about ordering fish in my current city of residence.  There are a few dishes I won’t eat (Shark, Octopus, Oysters, etc), but for the most part I’m game for anything.  Hubby loves fish as much as I do, but he refuses to eat anything that doesn’t have a back bone (shrimp, crab, clams, etc).  However, I just may have to drag him to The Cracked Crabnext time we visit San Luis Obispo County! 

A casual and fun place to have lunch or dinner, their philosophy is to provide excellent service to their customers in a fun, clean, and casual atmosphere.  Owned by Mike and Kathy Lee who are from the corporate and restaurant worlds, quality is of highest importance to them as well as customer service.  Mike travels often to visit the places from where they purchase their product, ensuring the best food possible will arrive on your table.  Kathy does the majority of product research on-line, making sure that The Cracked Crab offers the best and freshest available. 

Cracked Crab says “Our menu is written, printed and posted on the Internet at this web site daily, depending on what is available. We buy only the finest seafood available. We get our product in fresh six days a week. We buy local line caught fresh fish when available. We import some products from other parts of the world using a very high quality standards. If it’s not the best, we won’t serve it.

Our portions are minimum weight. We weigh every portion that goes into our buckets, and will never under portion. I cost out my menu based on market price and post the minimum weight portions for my cooks. We are very fair in our portions, our food cost is high, but I think you’ll be back for more!

We accept Cash – MasterCard – Visa – Discover and American Express as payment, no checks. “

(Note – this post based on the menu for April 13, 2009.)  Of course the first menuitem I scrolled down to was the crab buckets, which is their house specialty!  If you’re willing to spend the cash, you can split a crab bucket between 2 people for $68.  It comes with your choice of 3 items (including dungeness crab, clams, snow crab, mussels, and much more) that are steamed with spicy cajun sausage, red potatoes, and corn cobetts.  It’s causally served – dumped on your table!  Dipping sauces include drawn butter, homemade cocktail and mustard sauces, warm sourdough rolls, and of course, tools for “pickin and crackin.”A bucket for 1 person is $48.  I know it’s expensive, but I may just have to buckle down and save some extra cash.  I haven’t had fresh crab in years, and if you’ve never had it, well, there’s nothing like it.  With a little warm butter to dip it in?  Yum!  You’re also welcome to add an extra portion of 1 item for about an additional $20, depending on what you want. 

If the buckets are too costly, and believe me, I understand (I’m sure Mike and Kathy do too), there are many other options to choose from!  Appetizing appetizers feature pretty decent prices, but keep in mind these are based on market price.  There’s Oysters or Mussels on the half shell for $14, Crab Cocktail or Blue Crab cakes for $15, and the classic calamari for $10.  Soups and salad is always a good price.  Of course, Clam Chowder is at the top of the list for $4-$7 (cup or bowl) followed by Crab Bisque for $6 to $9 (it’s made them famous).  You can combine a cup or bowl of either soup with a salad which tops out at a reasonable price of $15.   There’s also the Seafood Gumbo, which is a meal unto itself, for $10.  Some of the salads are available half or full portion – Shrimp Louie ($13/$25), Crab Louie ($18/$34) – and some are simply offered as a small dinner salad, such as the Fuji Apple for $10. 

In the mood for something more than soup and salad?  Mike and Kathy can help you.  Fish Tacos are a whopping $9 and there’s a Soft Shell Crab sandwich for $16.  There’s the Crab Melt which sounds awesomefor $18.  Don’t like seafood at all?  Also available is a Chicken Sandwich for $9 and the Pismo Cheeseburger will cost you $8. 

There are also daily specials and other entrees such as Fillet Mignon ($29), Local Albacore ($19), and Fish & Chips ($14).  You can also have what they call “The Best of Both” which, for example, would be Fillet Mignon and Alaskan King Crab (with a side of seasonal veggies, garlic mashed potatoes, and warm sourdough rolls) for $58. 

The wine list is extensive and you’re welcome to bring in your own bottle (you’re in wine country, after all) for a $10 corkage fee. 

The Cracked Crab offers friendly and professional service in a fun environment.  Where else can you get a bucket of seafood dumped on your table, eat with your hands, and no one thinks you’re strange?  My mouth is watering – I can’t wait to go!  I hope to see you there!

Remember, all of these menu items and prices can change on a daily basis.  If you’re planning a trip to The Cracked Crab, check the menu out on-line or call/stop by and find out what they’re offering.



  1. Love this blog I’ll be back when I have more time.

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