Joe's Crab Shack is an American restaurant chain that serves seafood, especially crab. We visited one in Gurnee, northern Illinois, just of the I 94 exist. It was the only thing open at the time, and to be honest we had no idea what to expect. However, it was a satisfactory experience in the end. The place is decorated with a Caribbean sailor style theme, surprising as their specialty, crabs, are caught in the icy waters of Alaska. The decor is nice and the place is great. Furthermore, when a specific song comes on, all the waiters stop what they're doing and start dancing in the middle of the room. Very "made in the USA." If the setting is curious, then the cuisine is as well. On the table you'll find a large roll of paper towels, a galvanized metal bucket to sit around, and a paper bib. The menu is seafood based, but there are also meat dishes and burgers for the kids. The crab pots are the most interesting, which are usually accompanied by prawns, clams, and other seafood items. Of these, you only eat the legs, which are pulled from the body and put on a grill with whichever sauce you prefer. To eat them you need tweezers to break the shell and sticks to remove the meat. The process is laborious, but fun. The crabs are very sweet and juicy. I recommend trying the stew with three different kinds of crab, each with different characteristics. The total was a reasonable price (roughly 15-20 euros a person) and we ate like pigs. The restaurant has a souvenir shop and a playground for the kids to use. It was a good night.
TGI Fridays is a chain restaurant in the U.S. They are known for being corporate, consistent, and family friendly. As a kid, I would come to these restaurants with my friends or after a big event. The special thing about TGIFridays is that they have embraced the industry of craft beers and the restaurateur-ing. When I was a kid, it was all about quesadillas, nachos, spinach dip, and burgers. TGI Fridays has done a wonderful job of growing with the times and expanding out.
We took my boyfriend's 4 year and 5 year to Fridays last weekend and they were able to have a hardy meal of chicken fingers, mac and cheese, a kid salad, and mandarin oranges. It was quite the feast for little kids. But then the grown up had the options of craft beer from Chicago and starters such as ahi-tuna steaks, spicy fish tacos, and fried mac and cheese balls. We were able to have a flavorful and complex dinner and the kids were able to have a well rounded dinner and still have fun as well.