My girlfriends and I anticipated on going to a different place for dinner and ended up at Shaws Crab House. Since we did not have a reservation, they sat us on first available seating. The wait was very short and the waiter came to our table very quickly. We ordered drinks and looked over the menu. It was very hard to decide as it all looked great. I would have to recommend the lobster soup, just excellent!! I went on to have the shrimp which was terrific. My girlfriends and I all commented on how fresh the food tasted. We commented on how we need to return as it was a pleasant experience. The noise level was not loud like other restaurants I have been to in the area. Everything there was elegant and clean.
Shaw's Crab house
Beer and seafood lovers should get excited because Shaw's Crab House recently released its SOB Ale (SOB stands for Shaw's Oyster Bar...get your mind out of the gutter!). The beer was developed in collaboration with San Francisco's Anchor Brewing. I visited Anchor Brewing when I was in San Fran in April, and it's a pretty amazing place!
Shaw's SOB ale is perfect with a variety of seafood plates including oysters, boiled shrimp, tuna tartare, and stuffed clams. I know because I tried them all together! Check out the SOB Ale at the Shaw's Chicago oyster bar!
Side note: I'll be at Shaw's 26th annual Oyster Fest this Friday slurping away...come join me!
Raw Oysters at Shaw's
Tuna Tartare at Shaw's
Boiled Peel & Eat Shrimp at Shaw's
Stuffed Clams at Shaw's
Note: my meal at Shaw's was complimentary; however, the opinions expressed herein are my own.
Shaws Crab House
Being from a coastal area I was very hesitant to try a seafood restaurant in Chicago when we visited. But I have to say it was quite the lovely surprise! The crab cakes were absolutely delicious, and we enjoyed the selections of beer they had available. Everyone in our party enjoyed their dishes, especially the sushi. If we ever visit the area again, we will definitely return.
Old time Chicago !!
You normally associate Chicago with steakhouses but if you are looking for fresh and delicious seafood, head uptown to Shaws Crab House. Not far from Rush St, the atmosphere in this Chicago landmark is inviting and casual. Although in season fresh crabs are flown in daily, the variety of seafood is diverse enough to please any palette. You'll love the atmosphere and simplicity of its style, truly a throwback to Chicago of many years ago. You will not be disappointed.
Shaw's Crab house
Shaw's Crab House
If I lived in the neighborhood (and had the budget to do so), I'd follow this sign's advice wholeheartedly. My lobster bisque was creamy, flavorful and full of veggies -- a nice surprise. The crispy haddock tacos with pickled red cabbage, chipotle remoulade, and avocado tasted spicy, and I loved the combo of heat and sweetness. #TheEpicureanTraveler #ShawsCrabHouse gram #Midwest #MidwestTravel #TravelLocal #Chicago
Shaw's Crab House or A Sea of Choices
The Slow and Savory Review
Variety might be the spice of life, but there can be such a thing as too much choice. On a recent trip to a high end grocery store, Brandy was utterly amazed to find herself in the condiment isle, starring up a rows and rows of shelves, stocked with hundreds of vinegars, oils, jams, jellies, and other exotic and unidentifiable jars and bottles. So overwhelmed was she that she ended up filling her basket with anything and everything until it became so heavy that a shop attendant had to carry it to the front for her. "This is why I should not be trusted with so much variety," she told the clerk at the checkout counter, "I have a problem making choices when everything looks so delicious!"
Perhaps this is why Brandy has usually steered clear of the brunch buffet. There have been a few of course, some amazing and some not so much, but in general the abundance of foods on offer tends to overwhelm her senses and she ends up with a plate so full that even a squadron of competitive eaters would think twice before tackling it. Perhaps this is why Brandy decided to enlist the help of Bailey Blue when she was invited to tackle the leviathan that is the all-you-can-eat-brunch buffet at Shaw's Crab House in Schaumberg. "I have two jobs for you," Brandy told her, "One is to drive us there, as I am currently in the middle of an on-going feud with the Illinois DMV," (we won't go into details, but Brandy seems to think driving without her glasses on to reduce glare is acceptable, while the DMV does not), "And two is to keep me from eating so much that crabs are put on the endangered species list." "I will do both to the best of my ability," Bailey said, cheerfully.
Shaw's is a slightly massive complex housing three main dining areas: the oyster bar, the lounge, and the dining room. Each space had its own flare (the oyster bar seemed almost 50's diner like in its design, where as the lounge and dining room had more of a super club feel), yet they all seemed to go together quite nicely. Brandy and Bailey were given a large booth in the lounge, over looking the bar ("My favorite kind of view," Brandy grinned). A vibrant young woman approached their table straight away with water and quickly explained the layout of the buffet: the oyster bar played host to all things cold, the dining room featured the hot buffet and the chef's table, and the lounge was home to the coveted dessert table.
To start off the morning, Bailey ordered up a house Bloody Mary, which came with a few choice veggies, a cocktail shrimp, and a beer back. Bailey remarked that the mix was quite good with an excellent balance between the acidic tomato and the pungent spices. "A few more of these and I won't need to visit the buffet!" she laughed.
After a quick strategy meeting, Bailey and Brandy decided to make their first trips up for goodies from the oyster bar. There certainly was a lot of vibrant and delicious looking options to choose from, like several salads, home made rolls and breads, shrimp, oysters, and even sushi. Bailey singled out the Spicy Tuna roll, which she thought was fresh and perfectly made, while Brandy preferred the Shrimp Tempura roll for the same reasons. They both absolutely loved the Sweet Potato roll, which had a good hit of both sweetness and saltiness. The other standout from the cold stuffs were the Seafood Deviled Eggs. Though a little more like a hard boiled egg with a seafood salad topping, these little devils were creamy, slightly sweet, and very rich. Brandy also had to try one of the signature crab legs (managing not to kill any fellow patrons with flying bits of shell shrapnel in the process) and found it incredibly sweet, tender, and delicate.
Next was the hot bar, where terrines had been loaded with delicacies like Parmesan Encrusted Halibut, Lobster Mac and Cheese, and Maryland Style Crab Cakes. The adorable bite sized crab cakes had a rich, buttery flavor, though not as much of a crunch as Brandy would have liked. The halibut too was buttery and extremely tender with a good thick crust. Both ladies fawned over the decedent Lobster Mac and Cheese, which had been coated in a creamy brie sauce. The other surprise favorite was the Fried Shrimp, which were so simple but done so well that it was hard not to love them.
Now finding it increasingly harder to leave their comfortable booth, the next stop was the Chef's Table, housing waffles, French Toast, a plethora of home made jams and sauces, a make your own omelette station, and freshly carved Beef Tenderloin. Bailey, who was quickly filling up because of her Bloody Mary, chose a simple little waffle, decked out in fresh berries and a Bananas Foster sauce, which she reported with a moan was like, "Heaven in my mouth." Brandy went with the slightly lighter French Toast, some Brown Sugar Bacon, and a good slice of the beef. The tenderloin was very supple and cooked to perfection, but the meat Brandy really loved was the bacon, as it had been baked rather than fried, and the sugar had given it a brilliant crunchy crust as well as a nice chew.
Lastly came the desserts, which even though they were full to the brim already, Bailey and Brandy just could not pass up. Bailey found two of her all time favorites on the table, Mini Key Lime Pies and Chocolate Covered Strawberries. Like most of the things on offer at Shaw's, these two classics were simple, but done so well that it made one remember a time before overly ambitious chefs decided collectively to spin every dish they prepared. Brandy went with a trio of creamy treats: the Pot du Creme, the Creme Brulee, and the Chocolate Strata. The Pot du Creme was a real surprise, as it had an almost coffee like flavor to it rather than a straight chocolate. Brandy really loved the Chocolate Strata, which had layered thick vanilla cream with rich chocolate sauce and was dotted with crisp chocolate covered puffed rice pieces.
After a lot of moaning and groaning to get out of the booth, Bailey and Brandy were finally able to make their way to the door, quite pleased with their morning of gorging. Though the price tag for this meal was a bit hefty ($48 a person for the buffet, not including drinks, tax, or gratuity), it was certainly possible to eat enough food to make up for it, especially with how high quality everything was. "Well, I think there's only one thing we will be capable of doing this afternoon," Brandy said as they waddled to the car. And with that, they were off to IKEA to test out all of the model beds.
*The writers of this blog were invited by Shaw's Crab House to try the buffet at no cost in return for an honest review.
Seafood Bonanza, Shaw's Crab House
For those of you reading this, I hope that you are at home or at some location where the temperatures are not as hateful as the temperatures in Chicago. As much as 2014 promised to be a good year, the Arctic temperatures have been prohibitive for going outside. By now, I would have gone to at least four restaurants and blogged them, but by the time I pack up to leave work during the week, my focus is on going home to get into my sweats and fuzzy bear claws. Yes, I have a pair of those. And the weekends seem to be candidates for sub-zero temperatures and mini blizzards. However, I simply cannot sit inside all the time. During one of my “escape from the cabin” moments, I went to a nearby coffeehouse to edit some photos. After a few hours of productivity, I received a text from a great friend who asked if I was interested in partaking of Chicago’s Restaurant Week at one of my favourite seafood restaurants. Well, with food being a factor, my text response was YES — I typed it in all caps. Knowing that there would be a crowd the closer it got to 7:00 PM, we made reservations for 5:15 at Shaw’s Crab House at 21 E. Hubbard Street in the River North section of downtown.
Bread and Wafers
While perusing the menu for any ala carte options, we gnashed away on cheddar rolls and wafers. Um, um, good. Sure, this comes complimentary with the meal, but is still worth mentioning because the bread must be baked on the premises. You cannot find cheddar rolls like these in the market in the bakery section, on the aisles with aging loaves of bread, or in the frozen food section. Our server gave use a grand explanation of the restaurant week menu. Let’s just say that Shaw’s Crab House knows how to lure its customers back for repeat visits. There was clam chowder for the soup. For the entrées, the choices were king crab legs and Maine lobster. Dessert options were key lime pie, which you can never go wrong with, and a raspberry walnut cobbler. Far be it from us to be dining prudes, we ordered a dungeness crab claw for an appetizer. We also added potatoes au gratin and creamed spinach to our entrée orders.
The crab claw came to the table pre-cracked. It would have been a chore, quite possibly with things flying about the table. The claw was full of meat, bursting with flavour. Now, granted it wasn’t a substantial appetizer, it was certainly worth the order. For when the clam chowder arrived at the table, it was evident that the remainder of the evening would be based on complete culinary satisfaction. Thank God for restaurants that don’t feel the need to accentuate clam chowder with pork. There must have been complaints from some pork eaters about a few seafood restaurants that left the oink factor out of their clam chowder recipe because, sure enough, it shows up in the bowl at some eateries. Shaw’s Crab House has not fallen victim to that recipe blackmail.
Potatoes Au Gratin
The entrées were divine. The crab legs were full of meat. With melted butter for dipping, that was all we needed to forget that the temperatures in Chicago were in the single digits. It was all about concentrating on cracking the legs, digging out the succulent meat, and devouring it like seafood lovers. The Maine lobster came to the table steamed. Each bite exploded. No tough texture, no unsavoury aftertaste, only bliss. And not being one to let lobster go to waste, when I got to the head, there was a voice in my head that screamed, FINISH HIM!!! I complied. The mushy texture from the head is not something that appeals to a lot of people. It’s a bit reminiscent of marrow, for those of you who have chewed chicken bones to splinters and partaken of the tasty insides of the bones. It may be better used to season some soups or other recipes. For me, if I paid for it, it’s good as gone — unless I become so bitter that I feel the need to throw the plate against the wall. The potatoes au gratin were delicious beyond words. They did not come from a Betty Crocker box. And the creamed spinach reminded me of the spinach artichoke dip that a restaurant named Houston’s used to prepare — before that restaurant closed permanently for business.
As part of the Restaurant Week menu option for desserts, there were key lime pie and raspberry walnut cobbler. My main New Year’s Absolution was to remove desserts from my diet except for my birthday. So far I have been faithful, with the exception of having a panna cotta at one restaurant. My nutritionist and doctor said that I could indulge sorbet, fruit, and light cream desserts. To keep from possibly getting out of hand, I passed on the dessert and let my great friend take mine home with her. So, she had the pie and the cobbler. I settled on coffee laced with Bailey’s Irish creme. My friend had a regular coffee with cream. Talk about a great wrap-up to a fantastic meal.
Coffee with Bailey’s Irish Creme
For years I had gone to Shaw’s during lunch when I worked about two blocks way from the restaurant. Even when I changed jobs, I was always confident that my palate would find satisfaction in all that the menu had to offer. Because Shaw’s is not ethnic, per se, I never blogged it. This time I felt that it was worthy of inclusion on Chicago Alphabet Soup. Now that I am being more serious about sticking to a strict seafood and vegetarian diet, there may be more seafood restaurants showing up on the blog. The service at Shaw’s Crab House was way past outstanding. Any time a server takes time to explain things in a great detail and offer recommendations without a scowl or a need to rush away from the table, the experience is usually a hit thereafter. Not once have I had a meal that I was not pleased with and the most recent dining experience was such a highlight that I was talking to my food and singing. And looking back on all of this, going out in the cold wasn’t such a bad idea. I got my usual food bonanza in the process.
Shaw's Crab House
ENTER TO WIN tickets for you + a friend to the 27th Annual Oyster Fest on September 11th presented by Shaws Crab House! Enjoy fresh oysters, all the seafood you can eat, and live music from indie rock band St. Lucia. To enter follow oakstsocial on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and caption the photo above. Winner will be chosen at random and announced on Monday! *** Our winner is eatincolor_! Congrats - please email: Johannaoakstsocial.com to claim your prize! ***
Shaw's Crab House
Whoever came up with all you can eat brunch was a freakin Einstein. Whoever brought all you can eat brunch to shellyfromshaws on Saturday is my freakin hero . Soooo many oysters and shrimp and everything breakfast. #Mychicagopix
Wonder if I could eat seafood everyday for the rest of my life? I could brunch at shellyfromshaws every Saturday that's for damn sure . Seriously all you can eat brunch is so legit and it's only $55. Soooo what I'm saying is if you wanna take me let me know
Normally, the focus of my blog posts are either Chicago restaurants, restaurants I encounter on my travels, or recipes. However, for this post, I actually trekked out to the suburbs for quite the indulgent culinary experience. I was invited by Shaw's Crab House, part of the Lettuce Entertain You restaurant group, to their Schaumburg location. Now, you might wonder why I didn't just visit the Shaw's Crab House in River North. That's because this is one case where the suburbs offer quite the advantage.
Every Friday and Saturday evening, Shaw's in Schaumburg features their Grand Crab & Lobster Buffet. The extravagant buffet is hosted in an upstairs private dining room and features all-you-can-eat seafood at one low price. The buffet originally only included crab, but Shaw's decided to extend its Lobsterfest through the end of July, which allowed them to include lobster in the buffet's massive spread.
Fresh Lobster & Craw Claws & Shrimp
I ventured out to Schaumburg on a Saturday night with my friend Jonathan and we were seated upstairs in the quiet dining room. The buffet is set up on both sides of the dining room. One side is for the main courses and the other is a table of desserts. The spread was quite impressive!
To start, there were several salads, crab bisque, three types of sushi and mini versions of lobster rolls. There was a nice variety of cold seafood including two types of freshly-shucked oysters, crab legs and crab claws, as well as peel-and-eat shrimp. On the hot side of things, there were fried panko-crusted shrimp, chicken, and crab and brie pasta, as well as several sides including green beans, spinach and au gratin potatoes.
Snow Crab Legs & Spinach
The best part of the buffet was definitely the last part. In addition to a carving station with beef tenderloin, there were whole Maine lobsters! Jonathan and I paced ourselves through the table, going back for thirds and fourths and probably fifths. I was impressed with the quality and freshness of the seafood, as well as the constant refilling of each of the items. The staff was meticulous with their service, constantly replacing our shell bowls and plates, and ensuring our wine glasses were never empty.
We dined like kings, especially when breaking into those whole Maine lobsters. The lobster tails were extremely meaty and I loved the melt-in-your-mouth lobster claw meat. We didn't even need any drawn butter because the seafood was already so fresh and buttery in texture.
Whole Maine Lobster (we named him Marty)
Even though we probably ate our weight in seafood, I didn't feel completely stuffed. I think a strategy of feasting on seafood and avoiding the breads and sides helped me make room for dessert! The dessert table was equally as impressive. There was a large variety of miniature desserts including raspberry and key lime pies, chocolate and red velvet cupcakes, peanut butter cookies and rich dark chocolate-covered strawberries. If you know me, you know I live (and run) for sweets. These were worth every spoonful. The raspberry pie tasted like summer and the frosting on the chocolate cupcake was heaven. It was a nice treat to end our experience.
Overall, I'd take a risk and say Shaw's Grand Crab & Lobster Buffet is one of the suburbs' best kept secrets. They certainly don't skimp on quality and freshness and even if you only have one whole Maine lobster, you're already getting your money's worth. I may be biased because I'm so loyal to Lettuce Entertain You restaurants, but the food, value and experience are well worth the drive to Schaumburg!
Shaw's Crab House invited me to try the Grand Crab & Lobster Buffet and comped the meal so I reviewed only the food and my experience and will not give a star rating.
Shaw's Crab House
1900 E. Higgins Road
Fridays 5:30-8:30pm & Saturdays 5:00-9:00pm
$56 per person, $19.99 for kids 12 and under
Exclusive of beverages, tax and tip
Overall: Shaw's Crab house is located in Chicago, IL. This restaurant received four out of five stars rated by 1085 reviewers. Shaw's Crab house does not offer delivery and does offer take out. They do not have outdoor seating and do accept reservations. They do accept credit cards. They are recommended for dinner.
Food: Shaw's Crab house is a restaurant that offers seafood cuisine. Many reviewers enjoyed the shrimp cocktail, bay scallops, lobster bisque and the oyster sampler that are offered here, these were highly recommended by many diners. Some diners found the food to be mediocre in comparison to similar dishes they had consumed elsewhere. Most diners found the prices to be reasonable. This restaurant serves a full bar.
Atmosphere: The atmosphere at Shaw's Crab house was noted to be upscale and classy. It is good for groups and is not good for children. It has an average noise level and casual attire. They offer valet parking and are wheelchair accessible.
Service: The service at Shaw's Crab house was rated by many patrons as friendly and efficient. With a few exceptions, most diners found that the servers were very attentive and helpful. They do offer waiter service.|