Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Alligators and Crab Shacks - FlavoursomeTuesdays

In 2006, my spouse and I rode the Auto Train for the first time. (The Auto Train is a train that runs from Northern Virginia to Central Florida, and vice-versa, not making any passenger stops.  To ride it, you must have a car, which travels on the same train.  It's the only such train in the United States).

I've never slept well on the Auto Train, and something happened on that first trip that has become a tradition.

I woke up from a fitful sleep to realize we were traveling through a city.  We were passing under an Interstate, and some large billboards were visible.  One billboard, lit up, advertised "The Crab Shack. Tybee Island."

I didn't have Internet access on that trip and had never heard of Tybee Island. But I researched it as soon as I could and found it was an island close to Savannah, Georgia.

In March of 2009 spouse and I traveled on the Auto Train again.  I woke up from a fitful sleep, and as my spouse softly snored next to me, I peeked out of the window and saw the very same sign.

It was a sign, that sign!  I was being told to eat at the Crab Shack.

We were supposed to drive through Savannah on the way home but had car trouble, and had to take the Auto Train home.  We swore we would visit Savannah and we subsequently did, but didn't eat at the Crab Shack.

In March of 2013 we rode the Auto Train still again.  This time, we both woke up as we were traveling through Savannah, and my spouse spotted the sign even before I did.  Marveling at this huge (to our sleep-bleary eyes) sign, we decided that yes, we would go to the Crab Shack.  We would fill in this hole in our travels.

And so we did.
From the outside, it looks like a "tourist trap".  But the food (noting I do not get compensated for this or any other review) was good.  My spouse still remembers their soup.
Inside, I noticed the restaurant had open walls to the outside - with only a screen between diners and the great outdoors.  If only I could live in a place like that, said my winter-starved inner voice.
Not so fast, said reality, as I saw movement outside the screened in wall.  Can you see what I saw?

After lunch we went outside, to see some of the 78 alligators the Crab Shack owned. These are all domestic, as in "born in captivity".  The Shack does not tolerate any abuse of the gators by customers, but they were easily accessible (if someone dared) and I hope they have good lives.
Up close, they almost look fake - but they certainly were not fake.

Here's their menu.

So, guess what.  This month we are hopefully riding the Auto Train for the first time since 2013.

 I wonder if we will see the sign again?

Join Bellybytes at Mumbai on a High and Shilpa Gupte at Metanoia for #FlavoursomeTuesdays. If you want to share a food related memory, why not join us?


  1. When I was a kid, my Dad would take us for Sunday drives in what was then 'the country'. There was this sign that said 'Eat at Pauline's'. Lots of signs. One day he decided to find this restaurant. It was a shambles and not even open, but those signs remained.

  2. I love that place! I haven't been in a year or two, but every time we're in the area we stop there! I live about 3 1/2 hours away and Tybee Island is our favorite anniversary get away! Either there or Folley Beach but our favorite restaurant closed down there.

  3. I love Savannah. But, have never visited the crab shack. No need for me. Glad YOU loved it, though.

  4. Now that you've been there you probably won't see the sign. Although, you should stop back in on your way back (if you're not taking the auto train back).

  5. Menu looks good...but the alligators? Oh, my!


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