Crab Creek Cafe – Crumbly Grouper, Scary Bad [CLOSED]

Crab Creek Cafe is Closed

It’s been a while since we’ve been to restaurant that’s delivered us something really nasty. We’re thrilled to keep having positive experiences in Jacksonville restaurants. Unfortunately for this review we’ve run into a bad one in Crab Creek Cafe. Crab Creek is located at the corner of Atlantic Blvd and Arlington road.  Crab Creek Cafe is your run of the mill fried seafood place. They offer all the basic seafood options you’d expect from a basic somewhat affordable seafood spot plus 3 or 4 daily specials. One of our twitter followers suggested we check the place out so that’s how we ended up at Crab Creek.

Crab Creek Cafe - Grouper with Broiled not Fried Shrimp

Crab Creek Cafe – Grouper with Broiled not Fried Shrimp

We started things off with the She-crab soup. This was among the most bland She-crab soups I’ve ever tasted. This soup tasted like they just dumped in a bunch of heavy cream and some shredded crab in a bowl and served it. For goodness sakes don’t order this awful soup.
For an appetizer we tried the fried pickles. I’m a huge fan of fried pickles so when they’re on a menu I frequently give them a shot. I didn’t love these but they weren’t bad. Next up was the sweet chili parmesan shrimp and grouper. Before I ordered this entree I asked the waitress if the shrimp would come fried. She confirmed they would.  The grouper came out broiled and topped with grilled shrimp. I didn’t say anything. The grilled shrimp actually ended up tasting great. The dish was covered in sweet chili sauce then dusted with grated parmesan cheese. The sauce was pretty good. The grouper was scary bad! I took one bite and realized something was really off about this fish. As I chewed it the fish actually had a crumbly texture. It was similar to the texture of cottage cheese although without being creamy. I can’t say I’ve ever experienced that before. I tried taking a bite from the other end of the fish. Same disgusting texture. I talked my dining companion for the meal into trying it. He had the same take on it as I did. Really really bizarre texture. To be honest I prayed I didn’t get sick the next day. Thankfully no food poisoning this time! This fish certainly had me worried though. We tried a couple pretty basic sides. Apple sauce with cinnamon and sugar was nice. Hard to mess that up. Green beans with some onions mixed in for flavor were good as well. The hush puppies that came with the meal were very good. My dining companion had the Mahi broiled and his fish appeared to be cooked fairly well.

Crab Creek Cafe - Green Beans

Crab Creek Cafe – Green Beans

The service was very attentive and friendly. The dining room was very very clean. We give them big credit for that. However, a clean restaurant and good service can’t overcome bad food. At no point in the meal were we asked if our food was good or if we were enjoying the meal If we’re asked we’ll always say something and share how the restaurant tackles fixing things. Unfortunately no one asked. I’m not sure I’ve ever been served more disgusting fish than on this visit to Crab Creek. Due to this alone and our fear of being food poisoned we won’t be back at Crab Creek any time soon.

Crab Creek Cafe

Crab Creek Cafe

Crab Creek Cafe - Applesauce

Crab Creek Cafe – Applesauce

Crab Creek Cafe on Urbanspoon

  1. So you got bum fish……what’s the big deal? BUT, that applesauce looked terrific! Wow, I bet you’d look far and wide for something that spectacular. I doubt I’ve seen anything that tempting since opening my last jar of Musselman’s. I’m puzzled why the food networks don’t have an applesauce celebrity chef contest…..and Lord knows….we need at least one more cooking/baking/BBQing/frying/one-ingredient-from-each-grocery-aisle TV show to hold our slack-jawed attention.

    Thanks for the review. Next time I’m hankering for some 5-star applesauce, I’ll remember this. Wonder if they have any early-bird applesauce entrée specials?

    Hmm….on second thought, much as I regret it, maybe I’ll cross Crab Creek Café off my bucket list.

    • Ha! Funny.
      We finished the article by saying we wouldn’t be back for fear of food poisoning. So, we certainly weren’t recommending the place.

      • As a food critic myself, I value your opinion. Sounds to me you liked everything but the grouper filet. And it certainly looks like the shrimp are fried in the picture you posted. I have personally dined at this location on several occasions and yet to have had a bad meal. The service is always top notch as well. I have reviewed all health inspector reports and don’t find anything to concern my self. If I had to guess, you are from an opposing restaurant trying to slander Crab Creek Cafe for your own personal gain. If I am wrong I certainly hope you are not a journalist of sorts in the food industry. Bad professionalism.

        • HAHAHA!!!
          Yep, you’re onto us. We’ve reviewed over 100 restaurants in Jacksonville with the sole focus of bad-mouthing Crab Creek Cafe.
          The other 99 were just a cover!


          • Dear Food Critic,
            As owner and chef of Crab Creek Cafe, for 8 years now, yes that’s right 8, my establishment has not received a review as harsh as yours. We do have a great customer base with many great customers.
            I personally was working the day that you posted your experience at my restaurant and can assure you that everything that you ate was fresh and prepared to order. The grouper was delivered that morning. The shrimp are lightly breaded and deep fried. The she crab soup, well to each their own. It is a top seller. And yes many customers order it time and time again. So food critic, I encourage you to give my restaurant another try. And of course the total bill will be on the house. Please give us another try. I don’t think that you will be disappointed. Ask for the owner when you arrive.
            If your satisfied on your second visit, please post accordingly.
            Thanks for your insight and I look forward to your return.

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