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Monday, November 9, 2015


     Timing is everything. It's stone crab season, Naples is having a festival to celebrate, and I happen to be here to crash this party. This seafood shack is the perfect place to crab-worship. It sits on the Gordon River and it's rustic and busy, and the air is thick with the chatter of hungry patrons. The server greets you while covering your table with butcher paper. When the kitchen lagged a little with our order, our waiter Jonboy (awesome name) brought us some crayons to entertain ourselves, and a spirited game of Hangman ensued. We didn't even feel the delay.
     The menu is varied, but the stone crabs get top billing. You can get the popular crustacean any way you can imagine, and some you probably never fathomed.
The scuttlebutt has it that the crab cheese dip and the crab clusters with the garlic butter and special spices are the favorites at Pinchers. Other items like the crab roll and the crab and corn chowder sounded intriguing, but I opted for the five-ounce crab cake with garlic green beans and coleslaw, and John ordered the crab Alfredo.
     My crab cake was meaty and lumpy, and it came with a tangy stone ground mustard that showcased the freshness of the crab. The coleslaw was satisfying, but the green beans lacked that punch of garlic I expected. Green beans without clever embellishment just occupy space on the plate, as far as I'm concerned. John's pasta was generous, especially the crab portion. He said the dish didn't surprise, but it didn't disappoint.

     In spite of the predictable meal, I got caught up in the crab fest frenzy. It's lovely being in the right place at the right time.
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