When you hear the name Joe Weiss, the most common reaction – even to Miami natives – is: Joe who? But adjust the statement to Joe’s Stone Crab and you’ll receive one of two comments: love it or hate it.
Referred to as a Miami institution by some, Joe’s Stone Crab has been a monument in Miami Beach since the early 1900’s. What started as beach side lunch counter run by Joe and his wife, the expansion and incorporation of Miami Beach opened up the flood gates to film directors, developers and ultimately the explosion of Joe and his infamous stone crabs.
Once the art deco hotels began populating the strip in the 1920’s and 30’s, along came the rich and famous, and having been one of the first restaurants on the beach, if anyone asked for the best place to eat – Joe’s Stone Crab was the answer. Al Capone was a regular and loved Joe’s so much that he would discreetly send a truckload of flowers to Joe’s wife every Mother’s Day.
So there’s the back story on Joe. These days, things haven’t changed much. Joe’s Stone Crab, located at 11 Washington Ave, is still a landmark and celebrities still trickle in on a regular basis (during crab season of course). But one thing that has definitely changed at Joe’s is the price. Most stone crab dishes start around $50 per serving, with the average night out for two easily hitting the $150 mark; expensive to some and worth every penny to others.
When including a trip to Joe’s Stone Crab in your Miami Beach itinerary, here are a few pros and cons to take into consideration:
* Joe’s Key Lime Pie is just as famous and a definite must for first-timers
* The Seafood Bisque is a scrumptious starter for the budget-conscious tourist
* Wait time during peak hours can be as long as 2 hours
* Joe’s does not take reservations, so arrive early or late to avoid the wait
* If a fine dining atmosphere is what you desire, Joe’s might not be for you
* An extra $20 in the hand of your host can often bypass most line ups
* Aside from stone crab, Joe’s has great meat and seafood entrees starting at $30
Mixed feelings aside, very few people can say anything bad about the food – and that’s always a good thing. For those who’ve yet to experience Miami Beach, Joe’s is a must.
Joe’s Stone Crab
11 Washington Avenue
Miami Beach, FL
Cuisine: Seafood, Steaks, and of course, Stone Crab