July 11, or 7/11, turned out to be a lucky date for seafood lovers in Western New York as Joe’s Crab Shack opened its first area restaurant on Maple Road in Amherst. The former Pizzeria Uno has been transformed into a bright, lively, rollicking eatery whose motto is “Peace, Love, Crabs.”
Joe’s made quite a splash when they opened on the 11th. You may have seen people camped out
near the restaurant on the night before the grand opening. They wanted to be among the first 100 lucky customers to be awarded a voucher for a free Snow Crab bucket for a year, one of the most popular choices on the large menu.
When I arrived just before noon, the place was jammed with a line out the door for most of the afternoon. Savannah Broce, Joe’s field marketing coordinator, said the Amherst opening was their biggest opening to date.
My husband and I thought it only right to do our due diligence so we ordered some cold drinks from our friendly and efficient server, who was decked out in Joe’s tie-dyed uniform. We started with some of the signature dishes: a rich and flavorful order of Crab Nachos, a colorful array of fresh chips surrounding crab dip, pico de gallo, cheese and a delicious black bean corn relish (pictured above).
I ordered Mussels Diablo (left), a huge serving replete with a garlicky tomato sauce with cilantro, smoked sausage slices and garlic toast. What a treat they were!
As if that wasn’t enough, we dove into a Classic Steampot, chock full of Dungeness and Snow Crab, shrimp, corn and potatoes. Absolutely outstanding flavor and more than enough food to feed a family armed with hearty appetites like ours.
Good thing we took our server’s advice and strapped on bibs as we cracked and picked our way through a memorable meal. It’s no coincidence that each table comes with a spool of paper towels and wet naps. If I wasn’t headed back to the office, I would have washed our feast down with a Shark Bite or Southern Spiked Tea, served up in a to-go Mason jar. Believe it or not, we said no to dessert, but I am heading back soon to try the Key Lime Pie and Crabby Apple Crumble, which I hear rivals my granny’s version.
Here are a few other Joe’s Crab Shack tasty tidbits:
25 differen crab items are on the menu
A fun atmosphere prevails--the kind of place you can chow down with your hands and boogie with the staff to some cool tunes
The full-service bar has a system that ensures that your beer is cold every time your brewski is served
Joe’s makes charitable donations in July & August to “No Kid Hungry – Share our Strength Campaign,” helping to alleviate childhood hunger.
Joe’s Amherst location accommodates up to 400 diners and employs 250 fun-loving, hard working men and women