I don’t really consider a 3:30 PM meal as lunch but for the sake of lunch, let’s refer to it as such. Now on to the post!
Finally, we burned enough time at Chicago History Museum so we decided to head over to King Crab. We took a bus from the museum to Halsted St. and just walked to the restaurant from the bus stop. We walked as slowly as possible to make sure we spent the last few minutes before 3:30. We even had to hang out at the nearby Ethan Allen store just so we wouldn’t be entering right after King Crab unlocked their doors.
1816 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60614
King Crab Tavern and Seafood Grill was another Groupon-influenced choice for us. At first I was scared that they were one of the “21 and older” places because of the word ‘tavern’ attached to it. I’m glad a phone call resolved all that.
I was quite excited for this to arrive because we were really hungry and because I knew it wasn’t being microwaved (I heard the fryer and I was facing the kitchen). The excitement died a little, however, when I compared its price to the serving size. It was quite small for $7.95. It looked big on the picture but it was just a few rings and tentacles. They just stacked up in a way that made them look as if there was a lot.
Let’s talk about the quality. The breading was crumbly and even fell right off sometimes. It also got a little salty at times, but only at certain spots. The squid meat itself was tender and not-so-chewy. It came with marinara sauce and tartar sauce, and was served on a bed of one lettuce leaf.
We were also given, for free, a small bowl of grilled and seasoned small pita squares. We weren’t expecting this at all. They were definitely fresh and a nice addition to the calamari.
- Main Entree
I got myself the Alaskan Snow Crab Legs. I would have picked the king crab legs but the market price indicated on their menu was way too high for my budget, so I stuck with the snow crab. I got about 10 legs, all of which were plump and full of briny yet still sweet meat. I was also glad their butter wasn’t overly salty.
Both of our dishes came with sides. We both picked the mixed sauteed teriyaki vegetables. It had onions, green beans, carrots, and broccoli. The veggies were a little too soft for my preference. The whole side dish itself was also a little confused: lightly sauteed and probably previously steamed veggies with teriyaki sauce that failed to coat any of the vegetable pieces aside from the onions. The veggies’ natural taste fought with the teriyaki sauce and it wasn’t too pleasant. If anything I would have preferred it straight-up steamed. Luckily, this is a side dish so I won’t complain too much.
Wade-o, on the other hand, got the Garlic Dungeness Crab. He practically got the entire crab with the top shell for presentation. Here’s his say on his meal:
Very tender and didn’t taste briny (my preference). The dish also came with what I think is seasoned crab butter at the bottom, which was a nice bonus; however, you wouldn’t want to eat too much of it or your heart may go boom. The legs were fairly coated with the crab butter, mind you.
The bar area was closer to the front door so if you sat in front, you might not even notice that there was also a dining area behind it unless you were heading to the restroom. They also had a big ice bin display full of oysters and crab claws in the middle of the bar, and above it was a smiling crab wearing shoes on each leg while holding up a drink. During peak hours, I would probably prefer sitting at the back area just to avoid being near the bar.
Service was alright. They were quick to offer us more butter and promptly emptied our shell-filled bowls. We didn’t have to wait too long for the food and they all came out at the right, acceptable temperature. From my understanding, you only get one free soda refill before they start charging you. You can always opt for water, of course.
Any other thoughts
We didn’t really experience anything stunningly good or horrifyingly bad during our visit. We came there to eat and food is what we got.
I am giving this place a 3.75. I would probably come back but this place wouldn’t be on top of my list.