Longtime North Augusta Restaurant Serves Up Seafood & Southern Hospitality

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Old McDonald Fish Camp Seafood Restaurant
North Augusta, South Carolina

For those of us who grew up near Augusta, Georgia, a trip out to Old McDonald Fish Camp is always a treat. My family has enjoyed going for years–we pick up my Grandma on the way, and head out to the country for some grits and hushpuppies, hoping to get there before the waiting room fills up. We usually visit on a Friday or Saturday night, but recently, I realized we’d been doing it all wrong! Thursday night is Crab Leg Night and the only night of the week my favorite crustaceans make an appearance. Continue reading “Longtime North Augusta Restaurant Serves Up Seafood & Southern Hospitality”

A Winter Escape on the Plate – Alaskan Snow Crab Legs with Drawn Butter

wpid-IMG_20140108_200724.jpgIt’s a rare day in Statesboro when the weather requires scarves and gloves. This week when the temperatures dropped to 16 degrees, I used the Some Kinda Good™ Facebook page to ask, “What’s your favorite thing to eat on freezing days like this?” Many of you responded with exactly what most would–soups, chili, grilled cheese sandwiches, hot chocolate, hot tea–anything comforting and warm. I certainly agree, but the truth is, I’m a warm weather creature. I don’t do well in the cold. Once Christmas is over, I’m ready to go to the beach. If hibernating were an option, you wouldn’t see hide nor hair of me until April when the flowers bloom and the sunny, bright days return. My cold weather comfort isn’t soup. Ironically, it’s beach food. Food that allows me to envision myself on the Georgia coast after a day of basking in the summer sun. So, I cope by cranking up my summer playlist, with songs like Joe Nichols’ Sunny and 75 or Luke Bryan’s Suntan City. I make meals at home that take me to coast and count down the days when I can cruise with the windows down and smile as my 11-pound Shih Tzu cools his belly on the tile floor of the kitchen following an afternoon walk. 

wpid-20140108_191241.jpgIf any meal helps me escape the winter, it’s Alaskan Snow Crab Legs with drawn butter. They’re the easiest thing to make. You’ll need salt, Old Bay, Shrimp & Crab Boil, butter and a few pieces of equipment…

wpid-20140108_191320.jpgA large stock pot fitted with a steamer basket and a lid are essential. Fill the pot about a quarter of the way full. Just be sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the steamer basket. You want to steam the crab legs, not boil them. Then season it with salt and add about a teaspoon of the Shrimp & Crab Boil. Stir.

wpid-20140108_191334.jpgBring the water to a boil. If your crab legs are frozen, rinse them good under cold water or thaw them in the refrigerator overnight. Place the crab legs in the steamer basket and set the basket inside the pot.

wpid-20140108_192409.jpgSeason the crab legs with several dashes of Old Bay.


Then, cover them with the lid. Let the crab legs steam over medium-high heat for at least 8-10 minutes. If frozen, you may want to steam them longer, but no more than 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt butter. I like using unsalted butter. To create drawn butter or clarified butter, use a spoon to skim the fat off the top. Once melted, the fat and solids separate (pictured above on the right). Melted butter takes steamed seafood from good to gourmet.

wpid-20140108_194948.jpgThe result is beautiful, tender, succulent crab meat fit for a king. I served the crab legs with rosemary roasted potatoes and a fresh green salad, but another complimentary side dish is good ol’ Southern grits. 

wpid-20140108_195359.jpgNothing makes me happier than a whole, intact piece of crab meat fresh from its shell. Thank you, Jesus. The art of cracking crab legs takes some time, but oh, is it worth it. Boy, is it ever. Dunk the meat in the butter for optimum food nirvana.

wpid-20140108_204011.jpgThe aftermath.
wpid-20140108_195010.jpgIt may not be summertime yet, but a girl can dream.

Where Friendship and Fine Food Collide

The Crab Shack
Tybee Island, Georgia

I’m convinced that all I really need in this world is a lifelong friend and a pile of crab legs on the Southern seacoast. There are times when my soul feels so content, like if in that moment life were to end, I could slip from the Earth with a smile on my face. That satisfaction, that fulfillment only comes from good conversation–the kind where you can bear your soul and not be judged, paired with the taste of food so fresh it was swimming in the Atlantic only moments before it landed on your plate. My blog, Some Kinda Good is all about good food and good company, and that’s what I experienced over the weekend at The Crab Shack on Tybee Island with Jennifer, my friend of 17 years.

Located just off highway 80 as you make your way onto Tybee Island, The Crab Shack–Where the Elite Eat in Their Bare Feet–is THE destination for all things seafood. Known for their Lowcountry boil, the restaurant has been voted Best Seafood and Best Outdoor Dining since 1998.

Offering indoor and outdoor dining, there’s really no bad seat in the house. When we first arrived, we sat on the deck overlooking Chimney Creek, and later moved inside to the screened in porch area when it started to rain. Since we visited in October, the boat was decorated for Halloween. From your table, you can hear boat motors cranking up and seagulls overhead.

The menu features the Captain Crab’s Sampler where you can try an assortment of seasonal shellfish with corn, potatoes and sausage. It also offers a variety of crabs–Snow, Alaskan King, Blue, Dungeness or Stone. Not only does The Crab Shack serve seafood, but true to its Southern region, they tout “The best barbecue on the beach or anywhere else.” The sides include corn, potatoes, sausage, smashed taters and slaw.

I ordered a Landshark Lager–only fitting being on the island–with a cup of Boston Clam Chowder and the Half and Half dinner: A half pound of snow crab legs with a half pound of wild Georgia shrimp for $19. 99.  It came with corn on the cob. There are holes in the center of each table for discarding shrimp hulls and empty shells and I love being able to just toss your paper plate when you’re done. It’s casual dining on the coast, the way it should be.

This is the large deck that overlooks the creek. Age old Spanish-moss covered oak trees hang over the area, creating an ambiance where it’s impossible to be unhappy.

You can also feed live baby alligators on the premises. There are 78 to be exact! Pretty cool to see.

Once we acted like tourists and took our photo with the Croc (this made me feel like we were 12 again on a family vacation), we took our to-go cups of sweet tea and made our way out to the beach. Jennifer is the red-head on the left, and that’s me on the right.

I counted 53 pelicans fishing over the ocean that evening, watched the sunset by the lighthouse and touched down in the Atlantic one more time. We rode 80 West back home with the windows down and Southern rock on the radio, the palm trees passing in the wind.

See more pictures below from our visit to The Crab Shack–and be sure to grab a good friend and make the trip. The only time you won’t find them open is on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

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Crab Shack on Urbanspoon

The Crab Trap, A Family Favorite

The Crab Trap
St. Simons Island, Georgia 

When I consider my idea of a perfect 24 hours, I’m waking up on St. Simons Island, spending the day on East Beach basking in the sunshine, finding sand dollars and conch shells and getting lost in a good Pat Conroy or Mary Alice Monroe book, always anticipating where we’ll eat for dinner. No trip to the island would be complete without a visit to the landmark seafood restaurant The Crab Trap. Complete with boating and rustic nautical decor, the atmosphere is always bustling. Enjoy a drink from the bar while you wait for your table and take a seat on the long bench under the southern ferns.

Located only a skip and a jump from the Atlantic ocean just passed a charming residential area on Ocean Boulevard, The Crab Trap has been one of my family’s favorite dining destinations for years. Who can resist fresh seafood and crunchy hushpuppies along with cold cocktails after a day in the summer heat? Not I! This is my mom Debbie (right), and I soaking up the sun. We love getting our tan on, then washing the sand away and heading out on the town for some good seafood.

Crab legs are my absolute favorite seafood. Ordering them at The Crab Trap is only fitting. Would you look at the width of those things? That’s some serious crab meat. These will run you market price which is usually $20 – $25. Totally worth it. In the center of each table, there’s a convenient hole for discarding all those empty shells.

On my most recent visit, I ordered the soft shell blue crab dinner for $20.95.

Here’s what they would’ve looked like earlier in the day…I didn’t catch these blue crabs myself, but took this picture while strolling along the St. Simons Island Pier. Poor things, never had a chance.

The sun sets on a perfect day over the F.J. Torras Causeway to St. Simons Island near the Golden Isles Marina.

Where do you hang out in the Golden Isles?

Crab Trap on Urbanspoon

Crab Legs at Christmastime

The Shell House
Savannah, Georgia 

There’s nothing like cracking open a crab leg and pulling one long, succulent, in-tact piece of crab meat out of the shell, preparing it for its butter bath. Pair that with a good, cold drink of sweet tea with a fat lemon wedge and a little Jimmy Buffett, and life is good.

Last night I visited The Shell House. The prices were high, but the portions compensate and the food was delicious. I ordered snow crab legs, my favorite kind of seafood next to crab cakes. Hushpuppies and green beans were its counterparts and I’m telling you what, it doesn’t get much better. Here we are a week from Christmas and we’re eating seafood like it’s the Fourth of July. Who needs sweet potato casserole when you’re 45 minutes from the Georgia Coast? I say bring on the crustaceans, anytime of year! The restaurant was quite busy, even on a Sunday night, which is always a good sign. The only downside to eating crab legs is that you’re always the last one to finish because it takes a little bit of work. When you taste that meat though, it’s worth every minute of the time you spend getting to it.

The tables at The Shell House have holes in the center, so when you finish peeling those shrimp or cracking those crab legs open or shucking those oysters, you can conveniently discard all your trash. It’s a casual atmosphere…don’t go expecting white table cloths or fine china. In fact, you’ll eat off of paper plates and drink out of plastic cups but it’s hard to beat the amount of food you get for the price. It’s fresh and hearty. That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout!