Joe’s Crab Shack is bad at Lent

The Seafood Gumbo on offer at Joe's Crab Shack one Friday in Lent
The “Seafood Gumbo” on offer at Joe’s Crab Shack on a Friday in Lent

So I get it. Not everybody celebrates Lent as a religious occasion. Those who do take different approaches. Fair enough. However, religious preferences aside, it’s not unreasonable to expect that a seafood dish at a seafood restaurant will principally contain…. seafood. Right? Apparently, that isn’t the deal at Joe’s Crab Shack.

We showed up at the Joe’s Crab Shack in Lubbock, Texas tonight for dinner. It’s a Friday in Lent, and the custom for many is to eat fish in place of meat. The menu listed “Seafood Gumbo” without listing any ingredients, and I didn’t ask any questions.

When it came out, it looked to be a standard bowl of gumbo topped with shrimp. It tasted nice. And then I stirred it up and noticed… sausage. A lot of it. Worse, the shrimp on top were the only seafood anywhere in the gumbo. I assumed, of course, that there had been a simple mistake.

When the waiter came, he informed me that this was indeed the seafood gumbo. It was actually the only gumbo they had. He apologized, and then… left. He also left the dish I couldn’t eat on the table. It was a weird moment of cultural incompetence- he didn’t understand what my question was.

A manager came by later. He eventually offered to replace the dish. They also took it off the check. So, in the end, everything worked out. Still, it was a real disappointment. Seafood gumbo at a seafood restaurant should principally contain seafood. Also, they should have been ready for questions appropriate to the day and the season.

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