Holy Crab!

July 22, 2013

Normally, the focus of my blog posts are either Chicago restaurants, restaurants I encounter on my travels, or recipes. However, for this post, I actually trekked out to the suburbs for quite the indulgent culinary experience. I was invited by Shaw's Crab House, part of the Lettuce Entertain You restaurant group, to their Schaumburg location. Now, you might wonder why I didn't just visit the Shaw's Crab House in River North. That's because this is one case where the suburbs offer quite the advantage.

Every Friday and Saturday evening, Shaw's in Schaumburg features their Grand Crab & Lobster Buffet. The extravagant buffet is hosted in an upstairs private dining room and features all-you-can-eat seafood at one low price. The buffet originally only included crab, but Shaw's decided to extend its Lobsterfest through the end of July, which allowed them to include lobster in the buffet's massive spread.

Fresh Lobster & Craw Claws & Shrimp
I ventured out to Schaumburg on a Saturday night with my friend Jonathan and we were seated upstairs in the quiet dining room. The buffet is set up on both sides of the dining room. One side is for the main courses and the other is a table of desserts. The spread was quite impressive!

To start, there were several salads, crab bisque, three types of sushi and mini versions of lobster rolls. There was a nice variety of cold seafood including two types of freshly-shucked oysters, crab legs and crab claws, as well as peel-and-eat shrimp. On the hot side of things, there were fried panko-crusted shrimp, chicken, and crab and brie pasta, as well as several sides including green beans, spinach and au gratin potatoes.

Plate #1

Plate #2
Snow Crab Legs & Spinach
The best part of the buffet was definitely the last part. In addition to a carving station with beef tenderloin, there were whole Maine lobsters! Jonathan and I paced ourselves through the table, going back for thirds and fourths and probably fifths. I was impressed with the quality and freshness of the seafood, as well as the constant refilling of each of the items. The staff was meticulous with their service, constantly replacing our shell bowls and plates, and ensuring our wine glasses were never empty.

We dined like kings, especially when breaking into those whole Maine lobsters. The lobster tails were extremely meaty and I loved the melt-in-your-mouth lobster claw meat. We didn't even need any drawn butter because the seafood was already so fresh and buttery in texture.

Whole Maine Lobster (we named him Marty)
Even though we probably ate our weight in seafood, I didn't feel completely stuffed. I think a strategy of feasting on seafood and avoiding the breads and sides helped me make room for dessert! The dessert table was equally as impressive. There was a large variety of miniature desserts including raspberry and key lime pies, chocolate and red velvet cupcakes, peanut butter cookies and rich dark chocolate-covered strawberries. If you know me, you know I live (and run) for sweets. These were worth every spoonful. The raspberry pie tasted like summer and the frosting on the chocolate cupcake was heaven. It was a nice treat to end our experience.
Dessert Table
Overall, I'd take a risk and say Shaw's Grand Crab & Lobster Buffet is one of the suburbs' best kept secrets. They certainly don't skimp on quality and freshness and even if you only have one whole Maine lobster, you're already getting your money's worth. I may be biased because I'm so loyal to Lettuce Entertain You restaurants, but the food, value and experience are well worth the drive to Schaumburg!

Shaw's Crab House invited me to try the Grand Crab & Lobster Buffet and comped the meal so I reviewed only the food and my experience and will not give a star rating.

Shaw's Crab House
1900 E. Higgins Road
Schaumburg, IL60173
Shaw's Crab House and Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon

Grand Crab & Lobster Buffet
Fridays 5:30-8:30pm & Saturdays 5:00-9:00pm
Reservations via OpenTable.com
$56 per person, $19.99 for kids 12 and under
Exclusive of beverages, tax and tip

1 comment

  1. Mmmm...looks amazing! I just went to the Chicago location for 1/2 price happy hour oysters. Also delicious!


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