FTLToday Quik Bite: The Rustic Inn Crab House - Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
(The Rustic Inn Crabhouse)
This was actually our second trip to The Rustic Inn Crab House in Ft. Lauderdale. I'm not a huge crab fan...so this place wasn't high on my 'revisit list' since that is their specialty. Jeff's lent Friday meals led us back to The Rustic Inn last week.
The place has been around for quite a long time....since 1955 in fact. The restaurant decor..is...well 'Rustic'. It's basically a no-frills type atmosphere. They have a few different 'areas' to dine. This place is actually huge...yet still has waits. There is the main indoor dining area, the patio and the 'barge'. The patio and barge looked like they were the most 'fun'. All spots are quite noisy too...with all crab eaters using wooden mallets to get at their crab meat.
(Rustic Inn Crab House - partial pic of the inside dining room)
(Rustic Inn Crab House - Barge dining area)
(Rustic Inn Crab House - Outside patio dining area)
We chose the patio. Plastic patio chairs look kind of odd, but fits right in here. The patio overlooks a waterway (not the cleanest water) and there are actually some fish that rush to eat anything thrown in (crab shells, etc.). All tables are fitted with white paper and is quite casual.
The 'Garlic' crabs are the specialty and we chose to share an appetizer and the 'Garlic Crab Sampler'. The appetizer...Fried Gator Bites and Fried Frog Legs. The Crab Sampler comes with 'World Famous Garlic Crab Clusters' (think it's blue crab), Golden Crab Cluster, Alaskan Queen Crab and Dungeness Garlic Crab Cluster with parsley potatoes.
(Rustic Inn Crab House - Gator Bites and Frog Legs Appetizer)
The Appetizer came out quite fast. There were 2 'sets' of Frog Legs and a scattering of Gator Bites. All were extremely hot and crispy. The only issue here is that the coating was quite heavy. All you really tasted was the coating. At around $9, I'd pass this one up.
After the appetizer, they come back to the table and hand out the wooden mallets and bibs. Since you will be smashing the crab right on the table, I would highly recommend putting the bib on.
(Jeff waiting for the crabs, in his bib...haha.)
(Rustic Inn Crab House - Crab Sampler)
The Crab Sampler showed up and the portion was pretty big. I think it's enough for two people to share. We both got to eat our fill of each kind of crab. The big legs there in the picture are Queen Crab. While they are not from Florida...they were my favorite. They were sweet and easy to eat. All varieties were fresh and tasty. This platter ran about $32...which for 2 people...isn't bad. They also have larger platters that you can share with the whole table.
Overall, the Rustic Inn Crab House is a fun place to get your crab craving. They do offer all kinds of seafood and also some options for beef and chicken fans. Everyone can get something and you can enjoy it in a local unique spot that's been around for over 50 years. It's kind of in an out of the way spot, so you might want to check out the directions online prior to heading over. It's kind of near the Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport.
The Rustic Inn Crabhouse location:
FTLToday Score: B