As I reported back in June, seafood boil restaurants in the greater Philadelphia area, including South Jersey, have been on the rise despite the pandemic. In fact, the Crab Du Jour cajun seafood boil chain is opening many new locations and growing at a good clip.
The first Crab Du Jour opened in Raleigh, North Carolina in 2019. Since then, they’ve opened 60 restaurants, including seventeen total in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. They expect to double that number in the area within the next year.
“All total, there will be 130 restaurants open nationwide by the end of 2021,” Jeff Schroth, General Manager of the Delran location, told Philly Grub.
Talk about clawing your way to the top!
The chain features traditional Cajun seafood boil dishes as well as a variety of appetizers, fried baskets, soups and salads, Po’boys, sides, and kids meals.
Select from a half-pound or pound bag with seafood of your choice such as clams, crawfish, black or green mussels, shrimp with head-on or head-off, scallops, lobster tail, and of course all the crabs… blue crabs (when in season), Dungeness, king crab legs, and snow crab legs. You can mix and match seafood which I did upon my recent visit.
Sauces include traditional garlic butter, Cajun, lemon pepper, and Old Bay. The “Crab Du Jour” special sauce is a combination of all four sauces and it is insanely delicious.
Lastly, you choose your spice level: mild, medium, or hot.
The seafood is delivered to your table in a plastic bag which is then shaken and opened in front of you for maximum effect. It’s a fun presentation that absolutely whets the whistle for what is to come.
In the video below from my recent visit to the Delran, NJ location you will see. My bag looks kind of empty because I chose a lobster tail and scallops which are my favorite shellfish. Other seafood would probably have a better reveal.
The North Broad (822 N. Broad) and Delran, NJ (4000 Route 130) locations feature a sit-down restaurant with full-service bars with draft beers, cocktails, and wine. Many locations are “Express” with limited seating and takeout or delivery service primarily. The sit-down experience is a lot more fun, tho. Many more dine-in restaurants are in the works in the region.
All locations feature nautical decor which adds to the fun seafood restaurant vibe. Indoor dining is limited to 25% and all sit-down restaurants are requiring temperature checks and mask-wearing when not seated. There is hand sanitizer offered throughout the restaurant for safety. I only just started dining in at restaurants and these protocols made me feel safe.
At the Delran location, I enjoyed a cocktail made with a local spirit. The Train Wreck Jersey Girl includes Train Wreck Vodka (from nearby Mount Holly, NJ), Apple Cider Beer, Cointreau, Lime Juice, and Cranberry Juice.
The locations with full-bar service feature Happy Hour daily and All Day Happy Hour on Sundays. All cocktails are offered at 15% off until November 4th, too. You will find a few local craft beers on tap that vary by location.
In addition to my seafood boil combo, I enjoyed the Coconut Shrimp appetizer. The shrimp were plump and juicy with a light breading and sprinkling of grated coconut on top. Scrumptious!
For a limited time, the Delran location is offering the Catch Special, a $180 seafood feast that feeds 6-10 people with 10 lbs. of seafood with corn, potatoes, and broccoli, onion rings, sweet potato fries, hush puppies, fried mozzarella, AND your choice of two bottles of wine or a bottle of whiskey, rum, or vodka. This is an amazing deal for big families or small groups who want to splurge on a seafood bonanza. They’re also throwing in a free shrimp basket now through November 4th.
I really enjoyed my recent visit and can’t wait to go back to try the new Soft Shell Crab Sandwich among other items. If you love seafood, I highly encourage you to visit one of the restaurant locations or get takeout or delivery from one of the Express locations.
If you want to recreate this cajun seafood boil at home, I would keep things casual, which is key here. Line the center of the table with tons and tons of newspaper or butcher paper. You’ll be pouring the boiled feast straight onto the table. Second I recommend using Tony Chachere’s original creole seasoning for the perfect tasting experience that would pair well alongside a good margarita mix to add just enough fun into what would otherwise be an elegant dish served on special occasions.
Crab Du Jour hosted my visit to the Delran location, but I had tried the Pennsauken location near where I live a few times and really enjoyed the food. My opinions are my own.
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