Our Beacon of Hope (Crabpot)

Apparently nothing, not even snowstorms, will keep me from attempting seafood feast dinners.  With only one free night in Bellevue for the chance to get hot and heavy with a bucket of shellfish, all logic is thrown out the snow covered windows.  Even despite my pleas for sanity, it is a race against the clock for BoyToy and all I’m met with is a firm no-nonsense response, “We need to stick to the plan.”

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And this is how I found myself stuck in a car in the middle of a heavy snowfall at 9:30pm on a Saturday night in a new city, on my way to the Bellevue Crapbot - all in the name of King Crab.  Crawling along at the approximate speed of nothing, we only get stuck two times and slip and slide the rest of the way.

We finally manage to find our way to the restaurant and as we round the corner, we’re greeted by massive neon bright lights that read “Crabpot Restaurant and Grill.” Like a harbinger of all good things to come, it is our beacon of hope beckoning us like a favourite aunt embracing us in a warm hug after a long and arduous day of shopping and happy hours.

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We climb the steps with trepidation and pull open the front doors to be blasted with a gust of warm air and the smell of seafood.

“For two, please.”  Nearly empty at this point, we’re promptly seated next to a large window looking out onto a picturesque lake surrounded by snow.

 Walking to our table, we pass by the few remaining tables in the midst of their feasts and from the wide smiles and looks of what can only be described as happiness in its purest form (despite wearing ridiculous bibs), we know we’ve made the right decision in risking our lives for overpriced seafood.

Now comes the real tricky part – what to order.  To come all this way to order any dish not involving a board and mallet would be nothing short of an act of sacrilege, so that narrows it down to four options for us: any one of the seafeasts.

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Before I can even open my mouth, BoyToy interjects with a solid line of reasoning:

“Listen, we still have to drive home in the snow.  This could be our last meal.  I think we need to go with The Alaskan.”

At $38.95 per person, the Asian in me feels the sting of this hefty price tag, but sometimes in life, you can’t argue with logic.  After a fierce internal battle, The Alaskan it is.  With King Crab, Snow Crab, Dungeness Crab, shrimps, mussels, clams, andouille sausage, corn, and potatoes, this feast makes for a pretty decent last meal.

Before I completely annihilate the  entire loaf of pre-meal warm sourdough bread, our steaming seafest finally arrives.

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Tossed in their special mixture of spices and almost too hot to handle, the shellfish is dumped onto the centre of our table.  Without a word and with a steely glint in our eyes, both of us scramble towards the King Crab.  Every man for himself, it is a race to the finish and only one can win.

After struggling with my first crab leg for five minutes – success!  I shove a piece of crabmeat into my mouth.  holy crustacean! After tasting the sweet meat of the King Crab doused in warm melted butter, everything else just seems lacklustre and bland – an empty reminder of the tasty shellfish I am not devouring.

Don’t get me wrong, the other seafood serves its own purpose.  Mainly, that is to ensure I’ve had enough sustenance to survive the rest of the night, to which it succeeds.

After polishing off the King Crab, we spend the next half hour stuffing our faces with the rest of the butter drenched contents until we’re so full we’re unable to lift our mallets.  Stuffed to the brim with crustaceans and practically having to roll my way back through the snow to the car, I ask myself: Would I return?

If I’m being honest, I could do this myself at home better and cheaper.  The crab, shrimp, clam, and mussels are all slightly overcooked and dry and even though the sausages, corn, and potatoes (all also overcooked and dry) are a nice break from all the seafood, they’re coated in such a small amount of boring spice blend that it’s hard to get overly excited.

Like the sucker I am though, there’s just something about wearing a big white embarrassing bib and smashing my food in public that I can’t get enough of.  Hand me a giant crab leg, a vat of butter, and a mallet – I’m yours.

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