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Amelia Islander

The Crab Trap

Jul 06, 2020 02:07PM ● By Tom Barrett
By Michael Gass • Photo by Christy LeLait

There is nothing like a long day toiling in the yard to work up a thirst and an appetite. That’s how I came to be bellied up at the bar at The Crab Trap recently. Thankfully, the summer swelter had yet to set in and after cleaning up, I was able to make it downtown on my bicycle without breaking a sweat.
The dining room was already quite full, so without missing a beat, I bounced up the stairs, only to find a couple of large groups already seated, eating and having a good time. I snuck around the corner and found an empty seat at the bar. The afternoon was drawing to a close, but the sun wasn’t ready to set quite yet, and the river was still sparkling through the window.
The menu at The Crab Trap is a throw-back to old Fernandina. Southern hospitality and coastal charm combine at The Crab Trap to give a taste of the island to locals and visitors from all over the world. Since 1979, the Germano family has grown the restaurant into the institution it has become. Over the years, when family and friends came in from out-of-town, they wanted to eat seafood and they wanted to do it downtown, and what better spot to do it than this comfortable place, which can accommodate a party of two or a party of 20.
My meal started off with an order of Buffalo Shrimp. Fresh local shrimp are lightly breaded and tossed in a zippy Buffalo-style sauce, then served with their house-made coleslaw. In addition to the starter, I enjoyed a Florida Cracker Belgian-Style White Ale from Cigar City Brewing Company out of Tampa. It’s crisp flavor and citrus finish was perfect for the shrimp. The creamy coleslaw was the perfect pairing to temper the spice of the sauce.
Late as usual, my friend James met up with me in time for dinner. He ordered a beer and got comfortable. For our entrees, he kept it simple, ordering a burger with fries, all the way. I went a different direction with a local classic, the Crabber’s Delight. I ordered the dish blackened, and it arrived overflowing with oysters, fish, shrimp, and devilled crab, with a baked potato that I ate dutifully. The burger was juicy and cooked to perfection, and the seafood platter was the taste of home I had hoped for.
To my surprise, James ordered a piece of the Salted Caramel Cake for dessert. If you have a sweet tooth, this cake will definitely take care of it. I wasn’t in the mood for sweets, but I stole a bite. The cake was moist and rich, and drizzled with a delicious salted caramel sauce. I opted instead for another Florida Cracker to end the evening.
There is so much more to get into at The Crab Trap, from daily happy hour specials to trivia nights and a dynamite lunch menu. They make it easy to enjoy it all. Open seven days a week for dinner and lunch from Wednesday through Sunday, The Crab Trap Restaurant is located at 31 North 2nd Street in downtown Fernandina Beach.