ELV normally avoids restaurants with video poker like:
He does this because any restaurant with video poker machines is more interested in taking ready cash from slot junkies than it is about the preparation of its food. (Or, as his dear departed dad once said: “Owning any sort of gambling operation is perfect capitalism: it’s a business without a product. They give you money; you give them hope.”)
But there it was, Crab Corner, staring us in the face, and we knew from experience (at this and the sister restaurant across town), that a well-fried hunk o’ lump, Maryland blue crab meat might be just the thing to keep us from getting too crabby. We also remembered Old Bay chips and decent tartar sauce, so we grabbed a table outside (away from the smokey drunks and stupidity around the bar) and dove in. What showed up was as good as you can hope for, 2, 143 miles from the Chesapeake Bay:
Packed with lump meat, not too much filler, seasoned and fried right, it was substantial and satisfying….and way more true to its roots than we had any right to expect. Good crab cakes are made with very little filler (generally they are bound with nothing more than mayonnaise, egg and crushed saltines), and even though it’s too early in the season to expect fresh crab meat (the season for harvesting fresh ones begins April 1st), frozen crab meat isn’t all that bad, and we’re guessing that’s what Crab Corner uses in the off-season.
The tartare sauce was also tangy and much better than average, and the Old Bay chips were also thick and crispy. Put it all together and you have about as good a seafood sandwich as you’re ever going to find in the High Mojave Desert.
As good as the crab cake was, the oyster po’ boy was even better. It was the kind of sandwich that people take for granted in N’Awlins and Bal’mer, but that’s harder to find in these parts than a Mormon at a wine tasting. Four large oysters fried in clean oil, to just the right crispiness, all lined up on a super soft bun with the just the right amount of remoulade.
Before you get too carried away, we will remind you that the decor here can best be described as late-PT’s Pub/seen better days strip mall standard, and the service was efficient but perfunctory, as in: our waitron did more complaining (about the hostess, the size of the dining room, the inconvenience[to him] of our seats) than food carrying. But if you’ve got a hankering for some back east, Eastern Shore seafood, cooked with pride and coming as close to a facsimile of the real thing, you’ll be so pleased you’ll feel like you’re back in Natty Boh-land.
CRAB CORNER (two locations)
4161 South Eastern Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89119
6485 South Rainbow Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 98118