No Woes for Joe's

Revisting stone crab central

We then segued into seafood, starting with a pair of golden fried jumbo lump crabcakes plumped with a seasoned filler of finely minced red pepper, scallion, onion, parsley, garlic, and hints of mustard and Worcestershire. A side of salsa dip is a sprightly nod to modern sensibilities, though I believe the crabcakes would be better complemented by a traditional tartar or remoulade sauce.

A dozen types of fish, including mahi-mahi, swordfish, halibut, pompano, and filet of sole, can be ordered straightforwardly prepared according to preference: grilled, broiled, blackened, fried, or sautéed. Some fish also are prepared in a specific manner, like garlic-herb crusted snapper, grouper with cucumber-pepper salsa, ginger salmon, and a sesame-seared tuna that was the size of a porterhouse and meltingly tender within but wasn't cooked in a hot enough pan -- the crust lacked the crunchy texture that contrasts so appealingly with the soft center. Pickled pink ginger slices atop the fish and a dish of seasoned soy sauce were apropos accompaniments to the otherwise tasty steak. Combination options include a fried seafood platter of cleanly cooked conch fritters, fish fingers, shrimp, scallops, and oysters, and a cold seafood platter of stone crabs, oysters, shrimp, clams, mussels, and Florida lobster -- for only $21.95.

Signature sides are steak-house plagiarisms. I've never been enthusiastic about the whole hash brown-lyonnaise-cottage fries triad of starches. I do, however, enjoy the traditional creamed spinach, which Joe's offers with or without garlic; both versions are velvety smooth and nicely nutmegged. When ordering sides, keep in mind that most potato dishes can feed at least four, while the spinach is portioned for one or two. Some might consider the half-dozen slices of crisply breaded fried green tomatoes generous enough for a couple to share, but my wife and I always order two portions -- not only because they're so good, but because we know it might be months, or years, before we spot them again on another menu.

The legs have it
Steve Satterwhite
The legs have it
The legs have it
Steve Satterwhite
The legs have it

Location Info

Map

Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant

11 Washington Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: South Beach

Details

305-673-0365. Open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., for dinner Monday through Thursday 5:00 to 10:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday 5:00 to 11:00 p.m., Sunday 4:00 to 10:00 p.m.
11 Washington Ave, Miami Beach

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Not so the ubiquitous key lime pie, which is Joe's, um, signature dessert. Its reputation as one of the best is validated as the first bite from the tall, creamy wedge dissolves in the mouth like pudding.

Chocolate cake, cheesecake, flan, and a wonderfully dense crumb-capped apple pie also are up for grabs, though nearly everybody around us was ordering key lime pie key lime pie key lime pie. Evidently its sterling reputation, backed by quality and consistency of product, has done wonders for that dessert's appeal. The same formula also explains why, after all these years, even during a time when so many other restaurants are hungering for patrons, thousands of people are willing to wait, and wait some more, to get into Joe's.

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