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About The Original Sand Crab Tavern
The Original Sand Crab Tavern is a special place in Escondido precisely because of its low-key atmosphere that forms a fitting place for friends to relax and enjoy each other’s company. Add in the abundant seafood on offer, such as the fresh lobster and succulent crab, there are plenty of delicious starters and sides available.
The Original Sand Crab Tavern has been serving its patrons since 1988. That speaks volumes about how good the food and atmosphere really is. Each dish at The Original Sand Crab Tavern is carefully created by expert chefs who take pride in each and every meal they put out.
Escondido, CA 92029
Seafood, Creole / Cajun / Southern, Comfort Food
Hours of Operation:
Tuesday – Thursday: 11:30am – 9:00pm;
Friday – Saturday: 11:30am – 10:00pm; Sunday: 2:00pm - 9:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am - 2:00pm
$30 and under
Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Check the website for our Live Music schedule
Seafood boils and limited menu items available for your private event, up to 100 people
Also plenty of parking on the street
Very near the SPRINTER train stop at Nordahl in Escondido
Bar Dining, Beer, Corkage Fee, Entertainment, Happy Hour, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine
Crab cakes were bland and the sauce was horrible. Sweet mayo? Should be hot sauce or Tarter for Crab Cakes. Not authentic cajun cakes. Service very slow. They need more help. Fish and chips $32.00. Every body else in San Diego has the Alaska Cod and Chips for about $22.00. MANY years going to the cafe and this was my last. I will go to Bud's which is authentic and priced write.
We had enjoyed our first time at The Original Sand Crab Tavern a few weeks ago, but were very disappointed this time. They didn't have any crab! The excuse was their supplier didn't show up. The service was extremely slow because they only had one person waiting on tables. The food we had was okay but nothing exceptional.
I had been to this restaurant at least 5 other times. Because of lack of advertised live music the last time I was there, I called on Friday to make sure there would be live music (as advertised) for Sunday brunch. When we got there on Sunday they said there would be no live music. For the third time in a row they had just (at 11:30a) "run out of key lime pie." There has been a steady decline in food and enjoyment and this was my last visit, sorry to say.
I had tried them about a year ago and had a mediocre experience, but they did have an interesting entertainer and one larger table was celebrating which may have enticed me to come back and try again.
This time was a total disaster. Something was wrong with literally everything we were served from the wilted greens on the seafood salad to the cardboard taste of the store bought key lime pie which was served on badly chipped plates. I asked for eggbeaters to be used for my omelet and to make sure that the omelet was undercooked. The waiter didn't seem to know what eggbeaters were and the omelet came out quite well done (somewhat brown). The crabcake benedict's eggs were also overcooked with only a trace of runny yolk and the crabcake itself masked the crab taste with too much breading. Both entrees were served with something that looked like O'brian potatoes which were barely warm and appeared as if they were originally cooked the night before. Overall, the food would have to have been absolutely excellent to justify the high prices.
I think our server was the only one for the entire restaurant. After bringing our "starter" salad, the entree came out about 5 minutes later - before we were half finished with our salad. The rest of the service was minimal as we had to ask for hot sauce, additional water and finally the check as we wanted to exit ASAP. BTW - the advertised entertainment never surfaced.
Maybe it was the overall experience or the bad food, but I did not feel well later that evening.
Located in an industrial area. Surrounding streets dark but parking lot lighted. Atmosphere very casual, bar like, 8pm arrival. Not busy so not real loud. They serve til 9:30. Music good, audible but did not impede conversation.
Lobster bisque B+. Fresh oysters on half shell cold, fresh, good. A+. Bread (finally) served cold C-. Alaska crab boil B-. Portion size $42 had lots of potatoes & sliced sausage, 2 crab legs. A bit pricey. Can be shared between 2.
So maybe the server was tired? She was not friendly, not patient with an elders' questions (she herself was middle-aged), took forever to bring the cold bread that we had requested and we all 6 talked about her actually making faces, showing her impatience and to hurry us along! Were we putting her out? We felt unwelcome.
We still left 15%(usually give 18%) - but we won't return.
When service is subpar, it matters not if the food is good. If you decide to try this place, get the young server and the lobster bisque. It was very good although not as good as in New England if you're a foodie.
The man (owner?) saying goodbye was friendly and thanked us.
We ordered oyster shooters. They were fresh & juicy!! The fried halibut & crispy french fries are heavenly. My order of fried oyster tacos came with home made slaws were absolutely delicious & filling. The side dishes of New England clam chowder & seafood gumbo were outstanding. We will return soon.
We went for a birthday dinner, because we wanted a variety of seafood in a casual, fun atmosphere. The wine list is non-existent so bring your own bottle, and the corkage fee is only $7.50. Enjoyed the shellfish, sausage, corn and potatoes dumped on the table. I will go back.
We dined at this establishment for brunch. Brunch is $25.00 per person without a beverage. It is 3 courses (appetizer- soup or salad, entree, dessert) The restaurant was not full and it took over 2 hours from the time we arrived til the time we got the bill. Our salads came 35-40 minutes after we were seated with only 6 other tables occupied. The entree was warm at best and probably sat for awhile before it was brought to us. The ice cream dessert (bananas foster) was 95 % melted. Take your money elsewhere. Other patrons were complaining as well. There are plenty of brunches at restaurants with way better food, service and value.
We used to visit Sand Crab a couple of times a year, for many years. But, we moved and haven't made the time to go back. We had a not so great experience the last time we were there... an obnoxious diner in the next table, and another time I took my daughter for her birthday, but since there was only 1 server, the service wasn't good. We decided to try it out again because of the entertainment that night and we are really glad we did. We sat in the semi outdoor seating in the back near the band and visited with the couple sitting next to us. The food was fantastic! Music was awesome! We will definitely be going back a little more regular. We may even try to do the brunch on Sundays.
I thoroughly enjoyed my dining experience here. The seafood was amazing. My only complaint is that the sourdough bread was store bought sliced bread, and the potatoes were hard as rocks. The flavor was definitely there though! The atmosphere is nice, and our waitress was lovely. Just please cook your potatoes thoroughly!
We had been to Sand Crab Tavern a few years ago - it's pricey so is a special occasion location. We won't be back. Service was beyond slow - only 1 waitress/hostess/bartender (all the same person), 1 bus person. Calamari strips were horrible - batter didn't stick, take a bite and everything falls apart. For the price, we could have had a much better quality and quantity meal at home. What was once a fun place...isn't.
We went here for Father's Day and were surprised to see a special menu with what seemed to be higher prices. Menu was very limited and just higher prices for items that are normal menu items. We have been here numerous times previously and enjoyed it but will not likely return again. Disappointing!
The food was OK but certainly nothing special. It was fresh and well prepared but was very expensive and the portions were moderate in size for the money. The atmosphere is exactly what you would expect for a small local tavern type restaurant and the waitress was very friendly. I know that seafood is expensive but there are better places to go to with much nicer ambience for the same spend.
Server took drink order( just water and tea)....had to track him down after 15 minutes to get them. Ordered appetizers... they came 30 seconds before entree and we're lukewarm. Entree was not worth the wait. Very overpriced!!!!! Would not recommend this place.
The Dungeness Crab Combo was fantastic. All the crab, shrimp, sausage and potatoes were cook to perfection. The oysters shooters were huge and awesome with the horseradish and cocktail sauces. Be prepared to wait a while, I had about 15 people who order the combos in front of me but the beers were cold. It's not in a part of town you would expect a restaurant, but well worth the drive.
Always fresh, the seafood at the Sand Crab Tavern is always good. I enjoyed the crab salad. It had tons of crab including a big leg piece and not a lot of filler -- just lettuce and a hard boiled egg. Some places put in a lot of other things to make up for not giving much crab but not the case here. We also had a half dozen Blue Point oysters and they were excellent. My husband ordered the Nawlins Noodles with mussels. Unfortunately, he was not as pleased because he said it was a little too peppery for his taste and the mussels were very small.
This was a last minute find and so happy we did!! My hubby and I were in town for Thanksgiving weekend and was going to meet a friend of mine for dinner and we all love seafood. We decided to give this place a shot. It's in a weird spot for a restaurant, but super cute inside, great service and best food.
Very overpriced food with no presentation at all! Too much plastic and paper for a 200$ meal! (Only 2 glasses of wine). 4 people! We wanted different and it is! The oysters though vet Tiber priced ($2.40 each). We're very good everthing else was just okay! Would not go back again! Our sever Katie was very nice!
If you're looking for a nearby seafood joint this is the place. Reasonably priced oysters, crabs, and other fish broiled, fried etc on a plate in a sandwich... They are eager to please. We had a delightful server who happily brought me some horseradish for the ketchup. The food came out promptly and was warm and very good.
My only problem - and this may be personal to me- I'm slightly claustrophobic and the room is narrow with low ceilings and no windows. However the nautical decor helps divert your attention as does the food!
My friend and I came for the Oyster Bar, but unfortunately, they were sold out by the time we arrived. Rather than choose something else, we decided to go with our alternate choice of finding a barbecue place. The staff recommended two local places: Mike's or Phil's. We chose Mike's and had an AMAZING dinner! Was it oysters as we'd hoped for? No. But because the staff was so incredibly helpful, we will be sure to come back for the oysters - with an earlier reservation - AND we found a new barbecue place to enjoy as well! Yes, we told the folks at Mike's, who sent us over! They were pleasantly surprised and grateful for the recommendation - as were we! THANK YOU!!! We will DEFINITELY be back to the Sand Crab Tavern! Awesome!!
Oyster Bar was Awesome, super fresh and clean, the dinner for 2 was Great, the shell fish was super fresh, would never guess it would be in a business park area, but once you walk thru the door its crusty crab looking all the way, really enjoyed our evening and will recommend to all of our friends, Thanks Sand crab tavern for a delightful time there
Went for dinner on a Sunday night, with a former co-worker friend. We ordered the Dungeness Crab bucket for 2 - and it was not only some of the BEST crab we'd ever had, there was MORE than enough to fill us both up! Yes, there was some sausage (which was also delicious) and a couple ears of corn, but the star of the show was the amazing amount of crab that was dumped (yes, dumped...it was fun!) on our table!
The place is NOT easy to find, and thanks to a phone call from the road and a friendly voice at the restaurant with better directions, once we got closer, we were able to enjoy one of the BEST seafood dinners around! Definitely will be going back...especially now that we know how to find it!
This restaurant is in the industrial neighborhood in Escondido. It's difficult to find but, once there, one forgets about the warehouses surrounding it. This restaurant is individually owned and the owner really cares about getting fresh seafood -- and it is. Our preference is probably the crab salad but many people go there to pound away on seafood right in the shell. I had the crab cakes this time and probably will not get them again. In a crab cake, my preference is as little binder as possible. This cake had too much for my taste but they were of good size and included fries and either a green salad or cole slaw. My husband had the crab salad, good as usual.
The Sand Crab Tavern serves crab legs, corn, sausage and potatoes in a family style fashion...in the middle of your table, directly on the table. We ordered the deadliest catch for one and a few appetizers so we could try the lobster bisque and clam chowder. My husband loved the chowder and the lobster bisque was very good as well. The bisque came with a Fleur De Lis pastry puff. The deadliest catch assortment was very good as well with a few Alaskan crab legs and other smaller crabs.
Bring wet wipes/hand sanitizer as your hands may smell like crab after peeling your own.
The place is kind of a dive bar, and is decorated with sea fare memorabilia. Dress is casual.
If we go back I definitely want to try the seafood gumbo.
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