We don’t think that the Carolina Crab House was quite ready for the seafood loving Charleston population!
As we walked into the restaurant we were greeted by the owner with a disclaimer that there were only 3 servers on duty and that they were only seating 3 parties at a time. Lucky for us, there was only one party ahead of us waiting. Besides, we had no intentions of turning around. We had been anticipating the opening of this restaurant for several weeks, and our mouths were watering for juicy seafood! Sadly however, we did witness several other parties being turned around after being told there would be an extended wait for a table.
It seemed that the restaurant was beyond overwhelmed to the response of their grand opening. So much so, we were jokingly asked not to share the grand opening flyer on Facebook.
After about 7 mins we were seated in a booth in the nearly empty restaurant and quickly greeted by a server. Drinks were placed on the table and our orders were taken promptly. Upon ordering we did immediately notice a few discrepancies between the online menu and table menu. The price for the 1/2 Lb King Crab Legs are $13.25 online, but $23.25 on the table menu. The wings are priced at $10.00 online but $7.50 on the table menu. Although the manager did not agree to honor the lower price for the king crab legs, he did agree to give us 25% off of our bill.
Some of the seafood selections on the menu are ordered a la carte, but are combined and served in a steamed bag with your chosen sauce and spice level. There are also combos available and are served in the same way. After placing our orders, the food came out timely. We only noted that our server forgot to provide us with the cute bibs, a crab cracker and wet wipes.
As for the food, we thought it was okay. At these types of restaurants, it is the sauce that makes the seafood boil stand out. We’ve eaten at other similar restaurants such as Hot & Juicy Crawfish – LV, The Juicy Seafood – Savannah and Cajun House – Summerville. If we compared, we would say the sauce was not as tasty as the others. It was not bad, but it was very thin and buttery flavored.
The quantity of seafood provided is in line with what we have received at other similar restaurants. We were pleased with the amount of shrimp and corn we received in our bags. The corn was unseasoned, but we did note that the corn and potatoes which are listed as side items on the menu were included at no additional cost.
We did fill up quickly on the food and were able to pack our remainders in to-go boxes. As the checks were handed out, we were pleased that the promised 25% discount did not get overlooked. It did save us a few dollars on a rather expensive meal.
As we were leaving the restaurant, we did notice more guests had been seated, however we walked out to overhearing the manager giving other guests who had just walked in the disclaimer about being short staffed and the possible long wait for a table.
Although this new restaurant does not seem to be prepared for the crowds, we can’t say that we had an awful experience. The owner definitely geared his focus on customer service so we did receive expedited service once we were seated. The sauce was kind of bland, but the seafood itself seemed as fresh as it could get. If we could suggest one thing to any one interested in trying out the Carolina Crab House, it would be to call in advance just to make sure you are at least able to get a table or visit in a few weeks/months once the restaurant is fully established.
Written February 16, 2019
- Cuisine: Boiled and Fried Seafood, Cajun
- Dinner Entree Price Range: $15 – $120
- Is Breakfast or Lunch Served: Lunch
- Reservations: Not Required
- Dress Code: Casual
- Location: Tanger Outlets, North Charleston
- Meal Portion: Generous