Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Best Fries: The Barking Crab


Fries and the delicious, smoky Red Aioli that comes with the fried artichoke hearts (or came - it seems they may no longer be on the menu). The fries here are perfect. The sweet potato fries actually look amazing now too. Next time.


My new girlfriend was horrified to learn that I hadn't enjoyed my first visit to The Barking Crab (South Boston) as she goes there weekly in the summer and associates it with total happiness. Thus, we went together for me to give it a second chance. This became a good lesson in second chances for restaurants. Your mood, the weather, what you order, and whether or not you're paying can make or break a restaurant experience for you. Now we go all the time when the weather's good.

Snow Crab Legs ($26*/1.5 LBs): I still need help peeling them, but they're a delight to eat, and you can eat them all day. Unless you use much of the butter they're served with, that is. The butter is very caramely, so it's hard to resist.

Bairdi Crab Legs ($31/1.5 LBs):Another variety of snow crabs that are much easier to pick apart; hard to say which taste better. These are bigger but you get fewer legs. Especially once you factor in the higher price, I say stick to the regular snow crab.

On a budget? Do shrimp instead. 

Update (Spring 2014):

There's either a new chef, or they've just decided to up their game at TBC. There's a new menu with some more foodie type dishes.






The Scallops ($12) are actually really good! Shit! That hardly ever happens! The corn puree and fennel slaw/salad/whatever are so fun.



Panko coconut shrimp, with thai red curry, kimchi ($12) - Really good1

Some new things showed up here, like the Chicken & Waffles ($15):
Chicken tenders for chicken and waffles? Okay, Barking Crab, you're a seafood place. But then maybe this dish shouldn't be on the menu. That being said, it's not bad for what it is. The Harpoon IPA waffle and maple syrup are good.

I think this stuff is pretty much the same as before.

Half a dozen Duxbury Oysters ($15): Oh, the sweet taste of a clean (ish) ocean, how I love thee.



Mussels Provencale ($11): My favorite part was soaking the juice into the buttered and toasted bread. 


The celery and tomato-laden broth was good, and we poured some into a dipping sauce contained for my fries.

French Fries ($5): A 10/10! Perfect Fries! Medium thickness, soft inside, crispy outside. These are what I want all my fries to be.

Green Beans, the current seasonal vegetable ($6): We just wanted to add something green to the meal. They were nicely salted and cooked al dente, which was very nice. It's just too bad they use so much oil as it negates the healthful intention.




The restrooms are super cute! There's a larger unisex one. The male and female ones are tiny.


____

The first time I went:

After enjoying a free Thursday night at the ICA (including a lovely free tour), my friend Eric and I needed dinner and were too famished to make it over the bridge before stopping wherever we could find. Thus, we stopped at The Barking Crab.



It's a long shack with a bar in the middle and pull down curtain walls with a view of the harbor. The evening we dined there it was a chilly low 50s night, and while it was cold with the curtains up the view was delightful and they had some spaces heaters burning. We were still quite cold though where we had been seated along the perimeter, finally warming up once we snatched some seats in the middle after another couple left.



It seems clear the ambiance is really the draw at this place.

The man on the right devoured an entire lobster by himself in less than the time it took for us to receive our food after ordering.

I would have protested when Eric chose to order a burger at a seafood shack, but the whole menu is so grossly overpriced that I didn't complain.

Burger and Fries ($12): I will quote Eric as to the quality of the burger, "It's a burger."


Stuffies ($9): Two traditional Rhode Island chopped quahogs with chorizo and Portuguese sweet bread stuffing served on shell

This was nice. I'm always hoping for ground chorizo when I order it, as opposed to the kielbasa kind like this dish contained, but it was tasty. Portuguese sweet bread should be in everything, in my opinion, and that gave a fun stuffing sweetness to these stuffed quahogs. It was served a bit cold to me though.

I ordered a serving of New England Clam Chowder but received Lobster Bisque instead. I much prefer Lobster Bisque and would have ordered it instead of chowder if it had been on the menu, but it was disconcerting to receive it randomly.
Lobster Bisque ($8), at least that's the price when you order clam chowder and randomly receive lobster bisque instead

I'll say this for it, it was the weirdest lobster bisque I've ever had.  It wasn't exactly bad, though not very good (i.e. not very rich, way too little lobster presence, certainly no chunks of lobster).  But there was this familiar flavor present that I just couldn't figure out.  I had Eric try it, and we kept trying bites of it trying to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Me: "It's...something I haven't had in a few years but used to have with some regularity..."
Eric: "I know, so familiar, but strange..."
Me: "It's.. firing some beach-y clusters of synaptic activity, I mean, on top of this being lobster bisque, whatever that is...something about the beach..."
Eric: "Almost alcoholic..."
Me: "Yes, something about college, alcohol... but I really never went to the beach while I was in coll... oh my god, it's fucking Malibu Rum."
*slurp*
Eric: "Holy shit, it is, it's fucking Malibu Rum."
Me: "What the fuck."

I have since had the clam chowder. It's pretty good.


Barking Crab on Urbanspoon


Also tried:

Mahi mahi sandwich - As with all mahi mahi sandwiches, I assume whoever ordered it got mixed up and thought they were ordering an ahi tuna sandwich. That's the only valid reason I can think of.