I try to keep the restaurant reviews in this blog mostly to local, independent places. Chains can be experienced by anyone, anywhere – I’d like for things here to be a bit more unique. However, a great dessert is a great dessert regardless of where it came from, and I’m not one to disregard that.
Enter the Sea Turtle Sundae at Joe’s Crab Shack. Two chunks of their chocolate cake, topped with vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce and candied nuts. With a little squinting and a lot of imagination, I’m guessing it’s supposed to look kind of like a sea turtle. I didn’t see it at all, but what I did see when our server set the glass in front of me was a well-arranged mound of deliciousness.
The sundae tasted just as good as it looked. The caramel was surprisingly phenomenal – nice and gooey, and actually tasty, it was more than the mere decorative squirt with a slight hint of flavor that “caramel topping” usually seems to mean. The nuts were crunchy and plentiful, and the ice cream, although not high-quality, was at just the right levels of firmness and creaminess to not instantly turn the entire dish into soup and still balance out the cake nicely.
The cake was the best part. I’d dined at a Joe’s Crab Shack several times in the past, and each time had ordered their Chocolate Shack Attack, which is a full-sized slice of the same chocolate cake from which the pieces in the Sea Turtle Sundae come from. This cake is fabulous; it is fudgy, chewy and has an excellent chocolate frosting between layers and around the outside. Each time I ordered it, however, I was – believe it or not (and if you’ve ever been out to eat with me, you know just how difficult this is to believe) – never able to finish the gigantic, incredibly rich slice. The sundae was the perfect solution: I still got the really good cake, in an amount large enough to be satisfactory but also manageable, and with some additional items to break it up a bit. I don’t know why I didn’t think to order this before.