Grabbe’s Seafood Restaurant – Westville, NJ
I like dive bars. They just seem authentic not having to please the customer into feeling like you belong like some fancy places pretend to do. I also like to eat a places where the seafood is fresh. Lucky for me Grabbe’s Seafood (GS) seems to fit both categories.
GS has a beautiful display of fresh crabs, scallops, etc. immediately upon opening the door. They also have the decor, clientele, music tunes coming from a jukebox, and attitude of a friendly local bar knowing almost every person who steps inside by name.
My adventure at GS started off with a cup of Maryland Crab Soup. The soup was filled generously with pieces of crab, fresh vegetables, and spiced just right. This is the perfect soup on a cold day to warm you up.
The next selection unfortunately was not as good. The mussels were cooked nicely as almost all of them were opened, but the broth seriously lacked any sort of flavor profile thus lacking any delicious bread dipping potential and only creating wet soggy bread when dipped in the broth.
Thankfully my next choice picked GS right back up. GS’s U-Peel’em Shrimp were simply fantastic. Each shrimp was a decent size, cooked perfect, and the seasoning was spot delicious. This dish alone is reason enough to go to GS. Just go there, have a few shrimp, drink a few beers and be on your merry way much more happier than when you walked in.
Just when you thought I would be done eating, NO WAY! The main attraction showed up. Crab Cakes with french fries and apple sauce as the sides. The crab cakes were filled with large lumps of crab meat, not too much filler, moist throughout with a nice crisp exterior, and light on seasoning allowing the sweet crab meat to really shine and be the star. The sides were basic as the apple sauce I am sure came straight out of a can or jar and the fries were decent enough, but of the frozen variety.
I really enjoyed my time at GS and easily see myself going there again especially for an evening of all you can eat blue point crabs that they offer every night. The staff was friendly even though service seemed just a tad slow at times. The food was far and above your chain seafood restaurant and their only real downfall being that there are no grilled or pan fried seafood options at all. The menu consists mostly of fried items with a few broiled and baked selections as well with their steamed crabs being the big draw to GS. Be this as it may, if you are in the mood for steamed crabs, a nice Maryland Crab soup, U-Peel’em shrimp or fried crab cakes, GS is definitely a place you should try. Just sit back, relax, and soak in the atmosphere of a local bar with nice seafood.
Three and Half stars out of Five