For those trying to cut down on their consumption of fried seafood (and the dietitians say that ought to be just about everyone in these parts), moving to the North Shore might be the easiest way. There never have been many seafood houses there, not even along the lakefront. That lists the relative importance of any good new fish joint that comes along. Even though Crabby's Seafood Shack is a bit out of the way (in Madisonville), it fills up almost every day with those of use who can't easily slake our seafood-platter hunger.
One of the North Shore's most instinctive and gregarious restaurateurs, Keith Young seems to have created Crabby's in total contrast to his opulent, excellent steak house. But the two places have something nice in common: a friendliness that makes you love the place from the first moment. This extends far beyond glad-handing to encompass good cooking, generosity, and low prices. The board specials are particularly inviting.
Keith Young, of the eponymous deluxe steakhouse a mile north, opened Crabby's in 2013. It took over and heavily renovated Coffee's Boiling Pot, an old, very modest seafood house. It was a great improvement, but the new restaurant managed to come through it with an unambiguous family-style environment. And a lot more parking, which was still much needed in Crabby's early, hyper-popular days.
The L-shaped dining room angles around the bar and an open kitchen, all made more expansive by big windows. The walls are covered with neon and antique signs, not all of which have anything to do with food. It feels good and casual.
Be sure to know about the daily specials. For example, how could any oyster lover pass up the six-bucks-a-dozen from the raw bar on recent Mondays?