What makes you happy? Family, friends, a significant other? Well, I’d trade all of them for a giant bag of shellfish in front of my face eleven times out of ten. Sorry mom, sorry dad, sorry everyone else close to me. If we’re being honest, it’s tough for any of them to provide me the same level of satisfaction as the crustacean friends I’ve consumed at the Angry Crab.
The Angry Crab brings the simple concept of a Louisiana crawfish boil to the Midwest, including the part where you can bring your own beer. West Ridge isn’t exactly known for its rampant waters full of shrimp, crab, lobster, and crawfish, but the food at the Angry Crab is still exceptionally good. It’s an unsuspecting restaurant that you could easily overlook, and you’ll find all different types of people packing into the confines of the graffiti covered walls. Waits are common, and with a no reservations policy, just know it’s something you might have to deal with when venturing here for a meal.
The way it works is you order different types of shellfish that come all together by the pound, plus pick a sauce style and spice level. Pretty simple really, even if there are a large number of combinations in play. Once your order is in, lace up the bib and wait for the good stuff to come. The bib isn’t for show either - you’ll regret not using it if you decide you’re too cool. Pro tip - you’re not too cool. The seafood comes out swimming in a sauce-filled plastic bag that gets not so gracefully dumped on your table. It’s going to be messy, you’re going to get dirty, and feel free to toss the shells around the table as they are emptied. Toss the shells across the room for all we care, just don’t tell anyone that came from us. Then again, nobody would even notice, because everyone’s table will look like they just went to war with their food.
Listen, I didn’t spend my childhood eating at crab shacks in California or attending crawfish boils in the backwoods of Louisiana, but I have had crawfish in places that know or a thing or two. And while there’s an argument to be made that seafood, crawfish in particular, is better when not flown into Chicago, it’s an unfortunate geography issue that in this case should be ignored. Ultimately, it’s the saucees that makes The Angry Crab so good, because when you immerse shellfish in buttery, garlicky, spicy goodness, all is forgotten and nothing is lost.
Except for the good standing I may have just lost with my family and friends. Hopefully they’ll all come to Angry Crab with me to better understand why I threw them under the bus.
You have a number of options: snow crab, blue crab, Dungeness crab, king crab, soft shell crab when in season, lobster, shrimp, mussels, crawfish, and clams. That should cover it. Considering this is a Louisiana style crab boil, crawfish are a must. After that, the shrimp and then mussels are surprisingly our other favorites. King crab legs are a good option too. There’s no wrong order, but we prefer to save the lobster and Dungeness for another time and place.
Insane = lemon pepper seasoning. Grumpy = garlic butter Smoking = angry spice seasoning. Don’t bother reading into the different types. Order your seafood maniac style every time, which is a blend of all three.
There are four levels of spice, the spiciest of which seems a bit unnecessary no matter who you are. For the average person, the two middle spices are where you’ll want to be.
Angry Crab charges you a bit more for pieces of corn, potato, and andouille sausage, which run from 50-75 cents a piece. The sausage has a good bite to it and is really good, so we suggest ordering at least one piece per two people. Get the corn and potatoes if you’d like, but it’s not a big deal either way.
Get these fries if you want something to keep you occupied before the shellfish bag comes. The seasoning is a bit addicting, so try not to down them all too quickly.