Joe's Crab Shack (Gurnee, IL) - Review

by - 1:04 PM

Ah, I think we've all seen those Joe's Crab Shack commercials on tv. The one with the mouthwatering steam pots where the server lifts the top of the pot to reveal the juicy, freshly steamed seafood! Unfortunately, there aren't any near Milwaukee. So during a 1 night pit-stop in Gurnee, IL we found a Joe's Crab shack literally down the street from our hotel. We were so totes EXCITED! YEEEEEEEEE!

^^ I mean, look at it! Look at it!! ^^

And look at their Salt & Pepper shakers!    

Here is our bucket for shells and trash (the larger one) and our bucket filled with utensils and tools. Like those crab cracker things.

I decided on the Arctic Bay Steampot!

Chhally went for the KJ Steampot!

And the sampler platter for our appetizer. Oh goodness, WHY? What did we get ourselves into?! We were too excited, we wanted to try it all. The crab dip and tortilla chips were superb. Warm, huge flakes of crab, cheesy, amazing! The fried calamari was top notch, the batter they used was nothing like I've really tasted before but I liked it. It wasn't greasy at all. Those fritter balls are called "Great Balls of Fire" and they're Joe's  twist on jalapeño poppers. Small chunks of jalapeños, gooey cream cheese, and pieces of seafood battered in that incredible batter and fried til the middle is hot. In terms of spiciness, these weren't spicy at all. Which was fine by me. Our steampots took a while to get to the table, so the appetizer was a good way to busy our stomachs. 

The presentation of the steampots were pretty darn spot on from the ones you see in the commercials. 

You'll have to excuse Chhally's creeper stare. He was hungry.

Although pricey, we couldn't have been happier! The seafood is cooked perfectly and very, very fresh. Chhally said his scallops and mussels were some of the freshest. I got to try them and I agree. The crab legs were sweet, salty, and worth all the work. The steampots also come with a corn cob, whole new potatoes, and a whole sausage. Which were all good and a great complement to the seafood. Also, the arctic bay steampot came with a whole lobster! I've never had a whole lobster before. We were so giddy and happy, cracking open our seafood and being messy. It's good for the soul to eat food with your hands!

We went on July 4th day and the restaurant wasn't too busy, so that might be the reason behind the great service we received and the perfectly cooked food. From other reviews I've read, service and food can be spotty depending on how busy they are. Plan accordingly and go on a weekday if you can!

Now let's talk about the dessert. Ohh. So. Amazing. I don't know why I didn't think of this before. Campfire S'mores. Take a look.

The marshmallows didn't come roasty toasty so I was kinda sad. But the cake was warm and we got it prepared in a to-go box so when we went back to the hotel, we popped the whole thing into the microwave. The chocolate bar got all soft and warm, and the marshmallows were oozy. So worth it. I'm going to try and make this.

And when we left the restaurant, we walked out onto their wraparound deck only to stare right into Gurnee's 4th of July fireworks! We sat down on a bench and witnessed the last 15 minutes of the show while Chhally pretended he planned the timing of the fireworks and dinner, haha. Pretty much perfect.

5626 Northridge Drive  
Gurnee, IL 60031

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