Some of you may not know this, but I am part mermaid. I live and breathe for the sea, which includes eating the wonderful delights swimming below. Hey, a good seafood dinner is like aged steak to a mermaid and I LOVE a good seafood feast. Luckily, I grew up and still live near the beautiful coast of Newport Beach, California and fresh seafood is never too far away.
Now that I am a mama, I enjoy sharing my passion for beach life and food with my kids and that means encouraging them to try various varieties of fresh fish and shell fish. We love food in this family and eating is a major part of our travel experiences, so I want my kids to learn to at least try and maybe even like a wide selection of flavors.
So, where does a mama mermaid take her little mer-babies to eat the best seafood around? The Crab Cooker Newport Beach, ofcourse.
Established in 1951 by WWII veteran, Bob Roubian, The Crab Cooker knows how to do fish. I mean any business that can stick around for over 60 years has got to be doing something right, right? On any given day you will see a line around the corner of hungry beach lovers anxiously waiting to chow down. So it is safe to say that The Crab Cooker is pretty popular.
What makes The Crab Cooker so awesome? Well, it is the quality and years of perfected technique that has kept the people the coming and eating like ravenous fools. They are masters at fish preservation and aging, which really does a benefit to a fish’s flavor. That’s right, fresh fish isn’t always best. If aged properly, a fish’s texture and flavor will definitely be enhanced.
Hungry? Great. Let’s go inside.
First off, The Crab Cooker is a very casual establishment. Feel free to come straight off the beach with your sandy toes and all. Upon arrival, you are greeted with the daily fish market, where you can choose to purchase fish, house sauces and salt water taffies for home. People may also purchase prepared meals to-go and eat outside along the benches or on the beach.
If you are dining inside you’ll notice that everything is served with disposal tableware, which makes this a very relaxed atmosphere for those dining with their kids. The walls are covered with eclectic nautical artwork and kids will be entertained by viewing the cooks work their magic in the open kitchen.
On the table is a jar of bread sticks and bread balls. Another thing that is awesome if you have small kids, because we all know that little people have little patience and sometimes we just need to pop something in their little mouths. My kids (and Papa) dove into the bread jars real quick.
For those, like me, who like to enjoy a cold beer or nice glass of wine with their meals, let me warn you that the pour size in rather tiny. I got really excited when I saw the reasonable prices on the beer and wine, but then I got my shot of wine and giggled. Oh well. A few more rounds please.
Okay, so time to eat!!
You cannot, I repeat, cannot go to The Crab Cooker and not get the Clam Chowder. Manhattan-style Clam Chowder, this red cup of goodness is truly amazing. I wanted kids to try it, so I made it fun by having them swirl their bread sticks in the soup as use it as a spoon. CuddleBear really loved the soup, FireCracker really loved the bread.
Next, I ordered some squid. First, I love it and second, I wanted my kids to try it. FireCracker will try anything and usually loves most things, but CuddleBear needs a little more motivation. I told him to pretend he was a shark and he had to eat the squid before they swam away. Well, he liked this game and instead of going for the calamari rings, he went straight for the little squids tentacles and all . I guess if he was going to eat squid he was going to go full out.
For our entrees we ordered the Shrimp Skewer, the Scallops and the Halibut. We all got the Romano Potatoes, because they are to die for! Although they do offer a Kids’/Light Eater plate, we didn’t order the kids their own meal. Instead, we just let them kids sample from our plates. All the dishes come with amazing melted butter. Oh the butter!! I drench it on everything, even the potatoes. Everything is seasoned to perfection, juicy and delicious. Needless to say, we gobbled up our meals like we’d never eaten before.
Okay, so what does seafood like this cost in Newport Beach? You can breathe a sigh of relief, because it isn’t that bad. Although on the pricier side, lunch is quite reasonable (for good seafood) with a plate costing $15-$20. Dinner is more expensive. So, if you want to keep it as cheap as you can, go for lunch. For a family of six, with beer, wine, soups, an appetizer and four meals we only spent $100. I think that was pretty good, especially for Newport Beach.
Next time you are in California, come have an amazing seafood lunch at The Crab Cooker Newport Beach. Bring the family, flaunt those flip-flops and have some fishy fun! For more Newport fun, check out Newport Coast.