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Dining Guide for Families in Orange County

The Boiling Crab in Santa Ana

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Ever since my oldest son Sterling could eat table foods, he preferred more adult meal options. He would gladly skip over kid friendly foods such as chicken nuggets and pizza for things most little kids do not eat like: Sushi, lobster and crab legs. His love of seafood has taken us all over Orange County and the surrounding area in search of the best seafood restaurants. One place that really stands out to our family is, “The Boiling Crab in Santa Ana.”

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If you love seafood and want a no frills place to eat, that is sure to set your tastebuds on a fantastic trip down flavor town. Look no further. The Boiling Crab will be perfect for you.

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From the moment you step foot in the restaurant you will realize this place is very unique. Covering the waiting area and pillars in the restaurant are thousands of names, dates and drawings left by patrons who have visited the restaurant.

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This was a bit odd to me at first, but through the years it has grown on me. You will also find 60 Tv screens around the entire restaurant. This makes viewing visible from any table or booth you are seated at (that is, if you ever decide to look up from your food) I know I never have.

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My family loves dining in booths, so we asked to be seated in one. We were quickly escorted to a nice big wooden booth or our choice. They are very roomy and fit our family of 5 perfect with a lot of room to spare. The tables are wooden and lined with white butcher paper. It is not fancy, but it serves the purpose very well.

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Once we were seated our drink orders were taken and we proceeded to look over our menus and decide on what awesome seafood we would order this time around. Sterling picked mussels, my husband chose shrimp and I selected crab.

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When you dine here you will be given a menu, the ordering process is very simple. Step 1 is ordering the type of catch you want. Their most popular selections would be the crab or shrimp. Your first time visiting I would suggest trying both, they are delicious. Step 2 is which flavor to choose. Butter,garlic,cajun or THE WHOLE SHA-BANG, which is a mixture of all 3 flavors. This is their specialty and the best in my opinion. Step 3 is all about the spice! Choose what type of heat you want. It goes from non spicy to XXX which is super spicy. I always get medium while my husband the daredevil always gets the XXX. Sterling will eat the medium or mild, but he has been known to down a few pieces of the XXX with his dad (brave kid) a time or two. After you complete those 3 steps you are free to add in other things like, sausage,potatoes and corn on the cob.

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The menu has a few other options and one is a chicken tenders basket. My son Stryker is very thankful for this option. He is not a seafood lover, so he is always looking for anything else to eat on menus at seafood places.

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As I mentioned earlier, this place is no frills. They do not have metal utensils or plates, it is all plastic and your drinks come in take out cups. You will receive a lovely plastic bib from your server… yes you will look and feel a bit silly wearing it, but trust me you are going to need it. Another thing to consider if you visit is your wardrobe. Plan on something you do not mind getting a little messy. I do not know how,but every time we visit someone at our table always seems to get splattered with the crab boil. It is a messy good time!
When your boil bags start arriving in the metal buckets and are set on the table, you will smell an intense aroma from all the spices. This always makes my mouth water. From the very first bite you become hooked.

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The Boiling Crab was featured on the Food Network Show “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” I can fully understand why. It is quite literally the best shrimp and crab boil I have ever eaten! My husband Duke and son Sterling would agree. This place is always the top on their restaurant picks when it comes to seafood.

If you do not wish to dine in, The Boiling Crab also offers take out. Be aware they are open at 3:00 PM during the week and on the weekends they open at 12:00 PM. The Boiling Crab does get busy, so take that into consideration when planning a visit.

Aside from the fantastic food, The Boiling Crab has a great wait staff. We have always had a good time and were taken care of fully every single visit. This is one reason we come back time and time again. Good food and good service are very important to us and The Boiling Crab has it all.

Dawn Maltin is a Loving wife and devoted stay at home mom to three amazing little boys. Her philosophy is family first and everything else second. She is a self proclaimed craft-a-holic. When she is not knee deep in family adventures you can find her making,baking and crafting just about any and everything. If she does not know how to make something, you can be sure she will learn and master it before too long. She also has a love for fine dining,travel and reading.

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