Shell Shack is the newest addition to McKinney Avenue and is located where The Stand was at 2916 McKinney, and is owned by the same fellows that operate The Back 9 Bar and Grill in Addison. It is also located next to Pozo and Standard Pour, on the same side of the avenue. The new restaurant is a fantastic late night spot for cocktails, a few well chosen beers and seafood. The stars of the show are the variety of crabs, boiled in bag with a heavy hand on the spice rack for this crazy and delicious flavor that makes you want more. On our visit we did just that.
You have a choice in your crabs, such as the King, Snow and Dungeness crabs. Spice levels vary from a mere mild to a earth trembling diablo. The hot is plenty sufficient, and leaves your taste buds intact so you might enjoy every last nook of your crab. We chose the dungeness for its meatiness, plus it is fun to dig around in the largish shells. There is an abundance of meat in the dungeness as well, with each pound yielding two very large clusters that could prove sufficient for most diners. A half pound is equally as filling once you add potatoes and sausage. For the purist, you can also order the crabs naked.
For the lazy person in your life, they can have the crabs shelled for them by ordering it “Uptown Style”. We did just that for a pound of snow crab, and it didn’t seem nearly as satisfying when it was just a large pot of meat. The adventure is in the shelling. If you are concerned that your hands will get dirty, they will. Very messy proposition. But there is a hand washing system at the end of the bar that begs for a visit, and does a thorough job at cleaning very nicely.
If you are not in the mood for crabs there are shrimp and fish options. We ordered a batch of the buffalo shrimp, and the order was huge as were the shrimp themselves. The gumbo and chowder were both equally delicious. The prices for the crab are set at market with the dungeness being the most costly, but we had a feeding frenzy for five and the total for food alone with a few beers totaled under $70.
Shell Shack is open all day, closing at 2am, but the kitchen closes at 1am making this a particularly wonderful spot for late night dining.