Crab & Spice
A seafood feast at your fingertips in Woodridge
Forget what Mom or Dad told you. Not only can you eat your meal without utensils — you can savor every last bit of it.
That’s true at Crab & Spice in Woodridge, which serves up a variety of seafood in bags and baskets, as if you are eating at the beach, on the pier or in any other kind of waterside setting. The casual décor is picnic-chic, complete with picnic-style tables, white plastic table coverings and a nautical ambiance, with reclaimed dock-like wood and renderings of lobsters on the walls.
Branching far beyond the restaurant’s name, guests first choose a type of seafood — crab is just one offering — and then pick the accompanying spice, plus any add-on ingredients. For a base, patrons can choose from whole, headless or peeled de-veined shrimp, crawfish, mussels, snow crab legs, king crab legs, lobster, whole Dungeness crab or a shellfish medley. Flavor accompaniments include garlic butter, lemon pepper, Cajun — in three different levels of heat — or a combination, known as “The Ultimate.” Other ingredients, such as kielbasa sausage, corn on the cob and small redskin potatoes, can be added to any dish.
If you’re ordering that way, your friendly server will bring you a bag with the tossed ingredients and you can, for lack of a better term, go to town. You’ll likely make a mess, which is why you are handed a bib, scissors, seafood crackers, pickers and a large metal bowl for scraps while you’re busy scarfing down your dish. A hand-washing station is located near the bar if you really need to clean up. Based on a recent visit, however, it’s a fun mess, especially if you go with a group of friends similarly bedecked in bibs and ready for a culinary adventure.
Each seafood type is sold at market price, which can fluctuate due to availability and seasonality. Recently, shrimp dishes ranged from $13 a serving for whole shrimp to $19 for peeled and de-veined shrimp, while other seafood items ranged from $11 for mussels to $39 for a whole lobster.
In addition to the build-your-own bag option, Crab & Spice offers other fare, including a soup of the day — we liked the lobster bisque and clam chowder — and appetizers that can double as main dishes, like fried calamari, fish and chips and fried shrimp and chips. Beyond seafood, there are poultry options like a six-piece order of chicken wings and “chick and chips” in a basket.
Side dishes are available too, including simple steamed rice, garlic bread, sweet potato fries and French fries in plain, Cajun or garlic Parmesan varieties. Sides range from $2 to $4.50 per order.
The dessert menu is limited to ice cream, but the decidedly not-vanilla flavors of mango, coconut and taro pair well with the often-spicy and inherently rich foods on the main menu.
Befitting the vacation-like vibe of the restaurant, the drinks menu includes festive beverages including the New Orleans-inspired hurricane and an Asia-inspired mai tai, among others.
6740 Rt. 53, Woodridge
Build-your-own seafood bag or basket, Raw oysters
Appetizers: $4 - $9
Entrées: $13 - $38
Sides: $2 - $5
Mon - Fri: 4 – 9 p.m.
Sat - Sun: 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.
“Bottomless” refills of soft drinks,
Daily discount specials