Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Stone Crabs: Is Cost Determined by Date or Region?

It's stone crab season, Oct. 15 to May 15, and as you can probably tell from my article called, "Savoring the Flavor of Your Florida Vacation," these succulent claws are one of my favorite Sunshine State treats.

Within a three-week span this year, I enjoyed claws in two parts of the state. First was at Peace River Seafood in Punta Gorda, Fla. (as referenced in my article called "Southwest Florida Seafood Shacks") and the dish is pictured below.
Look at them claws. They're as big as fists! Plus the dish came with boiled red potatoes, corn on the cob and a dinner roll. And the cost? Just wait...

Below are the claws I enjoyed while in Islamorada for the Ladies Let's Go Fishing Seminar. I grabbed a light dinner at Marker 88 Restaurant. with a spicy bowl of conch chowder (loved the spices in the dish) and stone crab claws. And the price?
The top dish was $35 for four claws plus accompaniments (from Peace River Seafood). The lower dish was $30 for two claws and, well, just two claws. Okay, there was a waterfront view. Can't say I paid more for the atmosphere at Marker 88 because Peace River Seafood has it's own atmosphere - authentic, Old Florida, while Marker 88 is waterfront and more sophisticated. It's all relative.

I wonder if the price had anything to do with the time of year - would three weeks make a difference? Or did I pay more for the location - the Keys vs. Charlotte County?

In either case, both dishes were tasty and I can't wait for my next meal of stone crab claws. Yum!