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>> THE MAD CRAB RESTAURANT OFFERS FRESH SEAFOOD IN STAFFORD
Mad Crab restaurant reviewed.

 A pinch of this and that: Discover fresh seafood as close by as southern Stafford County at Mad Crab. Mmm, tasty.
SHANNON HOWELL FOR THE FREE LANCE-STAR
Visit the Photo Place
Date published: 8/4/2011

By SHANNON HOWELL

FOR THE FREE LANCE-STAR

There is no need to drive to Popes Creek when you're in the mood for crabs and beer. The Mad Crab in Falmouth is much closer and a whole lot of fun.

Located on U.S. 17 near Interstate 95, the restaurant has a deck outside with the perfect picnic tables for eating crabs (when the weather is not so hot).

Inside, the same tables make the serious business of picking crabs easy, and the nautical decor makes you feel like you are at the beach.

One of the best things about the Mad Crab is one of the owners, Jay Bowling. I was there with my daughter Celia, and he greeted us like he had known us for years. A big, friendly guy, he made us feel right at home.

The former detective from Alexandria said he got into the restaurant business after the economic downturn. His stepson, Gary Taylor, had worked in construction, but work was slow. They decided to start selling crabs just off U.S. 17.

Business went so well that the customers asked for somewhere to sit and eat the crabs. Jay's stepson used his carpentry skills to fix up the old house in which the restaurant is located.

The Mad Crab's menu consists of a range of baskets of fried seafood, with items such as shrimp, scallops, oysters and crab cakes.

Those things are fine if you do not have the time to sit and pick crabs.

However, the stars of the Mad Crab are the all-you-can-eat meals. You can choose from Alaskan King Crab legs and shrimp or blue crabs.

Celia decided to have all-you-can-eat blue crabs. Because she is a kid, she got them for half-price, or $16.50. I went with all-you-can-eat blue crabs and shrimp for $39.95.

The waitress brought out an enormous serving platter of crabs and placed them on our paper-covered picnic table.

They were beautiful. I loved that there was plenty of Old Bay seasoning and vinegar on the table to mix up for dip for the crab meat.

Celia's meal came with French fries and hush puppies. She pronounced the crabs a little small (normal for this time of year, according to Jay) but delicious.


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What: The Mad Crab Address: 348 Warrenton Road, Falmouth Phone: 540/899-2722 Hours: Seven days a week. Mon.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Prices: Baskets of seafood with fries and hush puppies: $8-10

All-you-can-eat crab legs, crabs and shrimp: $32.95-$39.95

The Scoop: A fun place to spend a few hours picking crabs and hanging out with friends and family.