Stone crab is a Floridian delicacy, and our trip to Florida would not be complete without an order of stone crabs. A quick search told us that Billy’s Stone Crab in Hollywood, Florida had the best stone crab on this side of Florida. Before we got off the plane we were already craving stone crab, and planning where we were going for dinner!
Billy’s Stone Crab Restaurant and Market offers you waterfront dining for those of you brave enough to fight the heat and sit outside. They even have a dock for those who arrive by boat, no need to drive! Known as one of the best waterfront dining spots in Miami, Diva #1 was intrigued. They even pack lunches for fishing trips and can dock up to a 100-foot yacht for those who want to stop by for some fine dining aboard their yacht.
It’s all about the crabs here that come in medium, large, select or jumbo size and though it was not stone crab season when we were in Florida, our waiter explained how the stone crabs were frozen and cared for so meticulously that most people would not be able to tell the difference. The best way to eat stone crabs is cold, and Billy’s serves them with their signature mustard sauce on the side – just trust them!
Our waiter arrived with a platter of seafood and cuts of steak for us to choose from, but Diva #1 knew that she was going to have the stone crabs. The bodies of stone crabs are small and rarely eaten, but the crab claws are the delicacy. Interestingly enough, harvesting stone crabs means removing one or both claws from the live animal (but the crab has to be a specific size to survive) and returning them to the ocean where they can regrow their claws. It is a renewable species and this form of harvesting does not harm the species at all. Regeneration takes approximately one year, and because of this strange harvesting methods, the stone crab population is not endangered.
The stone crap at Billy’s can be purchases to go at 12.99$ to 30.99$ pound depending on the claw size. We ordered the medium claws which we were told were the most popular and flavourful. For 60$ they even offered all you can eat stone crabs but we really didn’t think that we were that gluttonous. Leave it to the United States to make a delicacy all you can eat. The Alaskan king crab legs also intrigued us but we were in Florida so we opted for stone crabs.
We started our stone crab dinner with a bowl of Key West conch chowder, a dish that has become a Florida delicacy. Unlike clam chowder, conch chowder is spicier with hints of tomato. It is not as creamy as clam chowder, for your information, Billy’s Stone Crab also serves clam chowder! A Bahamian delicacy, conch chowder was brought to Florida after immigration occurred from the Bahamas.
Of course we had to order oysters, different than Canadian east coast oysters, these oysters were larger and more briny than what we’re used to. We have to admit that we prefer Canadian east coast oysters over these, but they were a different experience. But what was the best part of our experience at Billy’s Stone Crab? It actually wasn’t even the seafood! This restaurant serves the most delicious warm buns and a key lime butter that had Diva #1 lathering on the warm buns. The sour key lime hints were perfection in butter!
We were too full for their famous key lime pie, so we didn’t finish our meal with a classic Florida dessert, rest assured we ordered key lime pie before the end of our trip! We returned to the condo more than a little full, our first night in Florida a success. If you’re in or near Hollywood, Florida, check out Billy’s Stone Crab for an authentic experience and don’t worry, if you’re not a stone crab lover, the menu is huge so you’ll find something to please you!
Our Rating: As Expected
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