Dish Buzz: Clemente’s Maryland Crab house

A month back, some friends wanted to go check out Clemente’s Maryland Crab house in Brooklyn.  Sheepshead Bay to be precise. It sounded like an adventure and I’d never done all you can eat crabs. Sounded like something that should at least be done once. Before going, I called the restaurant and inquired which subway was closest to the restaurant. They definitely get points for honesty. “Um darlin’ I have to be upfront. We’re not close to the subway”. I guess this was evidenced by their map on their website, which only gave driving directions from the freeway (clearly not friendly for the carless).

We encountered quite the hike out to the restaurant. The Q train was under construction. We ended up having to take 2 trains to a bus (several stations were closed), back to the subway, and then the 25+ minute walk on foot. Again, the kind lady did not lie. We were armed with our destination address in hand, 3939 Emmons Avenue, except 3939? Doesn’t exist. We ended up calling the restaurant, learning that was instead their mailing address. Ok. Very useful for those of us not working for the USPS.

After a series of three calls to their number, learning the restaurant was more like Plumb and 3rd Street, after taking a right at the Dunkin’ Donuts, our over 2 hour journey came to a close.
The crab house was very much a no-frills location. We sat in the back porch area, with a lovely view of the water. We were joking that no one would be out there since it was so impossible to find, but we did have other people by us on the patio area. We started off with an order of fried mozzarella since we were starving at this point. We then did the all-you-can-eat crab, which was $29.95. We went with the Old Bay seasoning, although I learned throughout that it’s not really seasoned – more like coating your fingers. Might say butter next time. Anyhow, I found this incredibly messy. Perfect for hanging out with your girlfriends but not first date friendly. My bib was on and I seemed to squirt the crab just about everywhere. Overall, gotta say not a big fan of the crab experience. Nothing specific to Clemente’s on that assessment. As far as quality of their food, I found it fresh and very good. Just thought crabs were a lot of trouble for so little meat! Our server was nice enough, but we constantly had problems with getting her to come over, which was tricky when you couldn’t move at all covered in crab juices.
For dessert, I had something which I had been dying to try for forever – fried Oreos. My sister doesn’t even like Oreos, and she loved these. They were beer battered deep fried Oreos, covered by a health dusting of powdered sugar and oh yes, whipped cream to boot. Maybe this is something it’s better that you don’t try, cause now I just kind of want to have them again…
I definitely don’t think you can have the same experience in Manhattan as this journey gave us. Next time, I might opt for a cab from the subway stop. I’d definitely call beforehand to double-check directions. If there’s a warm weekend (or weekday, if you can) which comes up before the cold arrives, this is definitely a fun local excursion. It makes you feel like you’ve made a serious road trip without leaving the area.
Clemente’s Maryland Crab house – Plumb and 3rd Street – Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn – 718-646-7373 – Cash Only

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