Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably been hearing all the buzz lately about the hottest new local hipster hang out and fresh sea meat spot in town – The Crab Cram. Founded by young restaurateur Sven Cram, this local seafood establishment offers all your favorite classic maritime fare as well as delicious drinks and an amazing atmosphere. I visited The Crab Cram a little while back to see what all the fuss was about. After leaving, I felt a deep sense of wholeness, personal fulfillment, and a newfound level of not only compassion for myself, but understanding and love for those around me.
I arrived at the Cram around 6:00am and was greeted by two massive men at the door. One man was extremely muscular, the other was morbidly obese. Both appeared soaking wet. It was apparent that the muscular man had oiled himself, probably to accentuate his muscular physique, and the other man was just very sweaty. “Hello wet gentlemen!” I exclaimed with a large toothy grin. The obese man turned to me, “It’s a hot one today,” he said with markedly low energy and his eyes fixed at the ground. The muscular man promptly slapped him across the face and placed himself between the obese gentleman and I. “Come on in sir,” he said with a quick and methodical delivery. I accepted his offer and entered the building.
As I stood in the entryway, I took a moment to survey the dining area. At first it was hard to tell if the red stains on the carpet were part of some design or just stains. Either way, they were very attractive. My curiosity got the best of me and I knelt down, stuck my nose in one of the deep red stains and took a big whiff. The familiar metallic scent of fresh blood entered my nostrils. Yep, they were stains – lovely! In the back corner booth, there sat three elderly women smoking cigarettes. It was apparent that they had been there for a while, smoking and drinking. About a dozen empty pint glasses riddled their table and they sat silently staring at each other, taking drags and sipping bloody marries. The dining area was absolutely full of smoke - Awesome.
The sound of crashing plates directed my attention to the left side of the dining room. A very small woman was frantically exiting the kitchen, breaking dish ware in the process. She was about four feet tall and running towards me as fast as she could. This startled me and sent my body into 'fight or flight mode.' I stepped back a few steps in fear as she shouted, still in a full sprint, “JUST ONE TODAY SIR?!” What a great hostess experience. It was becoming clear to me that The Crab Cram was one of those establishments that makes sure the customer is ALWAYS first! As I was shown to my table, everyone’s attention was directed at the entry way where a man with a gun ran in screaming. “DON’T MAKE ME FUCKIN DO IT!!” he shouted as he discharged his gun into the ceiling. He lowered the weapon and pointed it directly at my head. I stopped where I stood for a second and was beset with a sense of paralyzing terror. My fresh khakis began to darken and a stream of hot urine ran down my leg. The man stood in front of me – gun affixed to my face, as I released a full load of piss right into my pants and onto the carpet. This place was turning out to be pretty sweet. The man fired his gun at me and the two massive men who greeted me at the door ran in and tackled him simultaneously. The bullet just missed me and shattered one of the elderly woman’s drinks right out of her hand! That was a close one, I thought I was a gonner! The two massive men began beating the gun wielding maniac to a bloody pulp for around 5 minutes, after which they drug him outside and loaded him into the back of a cargo van, then promptly peeled out of the parking lot and onto the highway.
By this time, I was pretty hungry – it was time to eat! As my waiter approached the table, the first thing that became apparent was his age. He couldn’t have been much older than about 12 years old – very cool. His cool demeanor and friendly smile was a comforting site as he walked towards me. “Hey big guy!” I said as he approached my table. The boy stopped, leaned in, and put his face about 5 inches from mine. His smile disappeared and he spat a huge wad of snot into my face. It hit around my nose and some of it dribbled into my mouth – wow, this place was unique! “What do you want to drink bitch?” he asked. I loved his ‘I don’t give a fuck’ attitude. “I’ll have a diet coke please,” I returned. “You’re going to have hot milk, bitch.” he said, shouting directly into my ear. This was such a cool kid and I was loving the new nickname, “bitch,” that he had assigned me. I felt like a regular already!
The little boy returned with a glass of piping hot milk. “Alright what do you want to eat bitch?!” he said in a rushed frantic manner, as if he had no time to stand there and listen to my bullshit. “Umm I, I’ll have the crab cakes.” I said with little time to think or review the menu. “No, bitch, you’re having the leftover shrimp.” He said, now calm and relaxed. He quickly darted away into the kitchen. “hmm, shrimp, sounds nice” I thought as I began to survey the quirky decorative pieces lining the walls of the dining area. There were countless images of the nautical variety. Upon further inspection, the dark nature of the pictures became apparent. Most were images from the turn of the century depicting the horrors of late Victorian era sea travel and naval warfare. Images of dismembered and malnourished sailors, as well as artist renditions of pirate torture and hangings outlined the room. The artwork provided a fascinating glimpse into the dark and disturbing nature of maritime history.
Finally, my food arrived. The little boy dropped it on my table in such a hurry that about half of my shrimps fell off the plate and straight onto the area of the carpet that my urine had drenched - oops! The boy bent down, picked them up with his bare hands and placed them back on my plate. “enjoy bitch,” he muttered under his breath as he walked away. The shrimp’s appearance was very interesting – they appeared uncooked and rotten, as well as extremely dry, as if they had been sitting in the sun for hours. I ate them anyway and immediately started to feel sick. Each bite I took was a battle against my gag reflex – I was loving this place. Finally, I was able to stomach the entire plate. Then, the check came. My bill was $100.00 dollars with an 80 percent gratuity included for a total of $180.00. My eyes widened as I re-read the receipt, surely there was a mistake. ONLY $180.00!? What a steal! I tossed down two crisp 100 dollar bills and walked out.
As soon as my feet hit the pavement outside, a sharp wrenching pain hit my gut. I raced into my car and couldn’t make it home before the diarrhea hit. I stopped at the corner gas station down the road and spent three hours in their bathroom. That night, I suffered with fever dreams, and extremely frequent trips to the bathroom. Apparently my roommate found me the next morning unconscious on the toilet with my pants around my ankles and drenched in sweat. He called 911 and I was rushed to the hospital. After a week, I was back home.
Needless to say, visiting the Crab Cram was truly life changing. This new culinary experience is not to be missed. I for one will be going back time and time again to enjoy not only the incredible and affordable sea food they have to offer, but the unique and inviting atmosphere. 5/5 stars!