News and notes from Fredericksburg's entertainment scene
Eats: The Mad Crab In Massaponax
BY LINDA SALISBURY
FOR THE FREE LANCE–STAR
If you venture into The Mad Crab in Massaponax and try just the appetizers, you’re in for a treat. But filling and outstanding as they are, there is more to tempt you. The menu in this new eatery, a second location for a Stafford County restaurant, features other wonderfully prepared items and lots of entertainment in an unpretentious setting.
My Dining Partner and I, seafood lovers, stopped by for Sunday supper and were surprised by the activity. The restaurant has moved into the space formerly occupied by Sully’s, and has separated the two rooms into bar seating with (often live) entertainment, and dining. The same menu is offered in either room.
Our experienced, knowledgeable server, Matt, explained that there are live groups on Friday and Saturday nights, a jam session Sunday afternoon, karaoke on Monday and Tuesday and poker on Wednesdays, coinciding with all-you-can-eat wings for $9.95.
The wings are not a gamble, but rather a sure bet. We began with an order of six for $6.75, and MDP pronounced them among the best he has ever had—plump, meaty, tender and prepared with a coating that provided a tingle to the lips without burning. I had to agree.
Our next delicious surprise: stuffed mushrooms ($9.95 for four), recommended by Matt. The large caps were not overcooked, and were filled with lump crab meat (no discernible fillers). There was just a sprinkle of grated cheese that did not overwhelm the buttery flavor.
The menu features sandwiches, various baskets of fried, broiled and grilled seafood, chicken tenders, chicken and fish entrées, two types of pasta, steamed shrimp, crab legs and blue crabs by the pound, plus several all-you-can-eat crab and shrimp options, mostly in the $33.99 to $42.99 range per person (children’s appetites are half-price).
We decided that all we could eat were regular entrée portions. MDP ordered the crab cake basket ($11.50), substituting a house salad for the fries at no charge. Matt was right again. The two crab cakes were about as crabby as they can get, and nicely fried. The attending hush puppies (which also came with my sandwich) were crispy, and the salad plentiful.
Sticking with seafood, I ordered a fried cod sandwich ($7.99) and also substituted a salad for the fries. Although I usually prefer grilled or broiled seafood, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the sandwich. The two pieces of cod were properly fried (crisp, not greasy) and the fish had a fresh, light flavor.
While The Mad Crab’s entertainment is a likely draw for many customers, the food was a clear winner for us. Although poker is not in our cards, the prospect of feasting on more of those wings is the “big full.” You can bet on it.
What: The Mad Crab Seafood Restaurant and Sports Bar
Address: 5440 Southpoint Plaza Way, behind the Massaponax Burger King in Southpoint Plaza I
Hours: 11 a.m. daily to “whenever” (closing varies depends on how late customers stay)
Prices: Appetizers: $5.99–$9.95; Soups and salads: $3.99–$4.59; Sandwiches: $7.49–$9.25; Dinners: $9–$18.95; Children’s menu: $3.99–$5.99; Desserts: $2.99–$4; Beer, wine and mixed drinks available.
The Scoop: Casual restaurant with two dining areas, one for sports TV and entertainment, the other for less noisy seating. Feels like a “beach” eatery in a strip-mall location. Family-friendly.
Payment: Major credit cards accepted.
Linda Salisbury is the author of the Bailey Fish books, an award-winning adventure series for kids.