CARTERET – The Carteret Business Partnership recently welcomed The Crab General into the Carteret Shopping Center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony led by Mayor Daniel J. Reiman.
After emigrating from China in 2009 and working in the restaurant industry for 10 years, Angel Chen chose to open a restaurant in Carteret with a menu of seafood and a family atmosphere,
“Angel chose the name Crab General because a general is a leader, and she wants to offer leadership in good food,” Reiman said.
Chen wanted to open in Carteret because the 5,000-square-foot space was perfect for her vision of fun, flashy but light-hearted nautical décor to serve as the backdrop to her menu.
“I wanted to open a seafood restaurant rather than a Chinese restaurant because there are already so many Chinese restaurants, and I felt like there was more of a need for a good seafood restaurant, so there was greater market potential,” Chen said. “We want to have big family parties with warmth and great, fresh seafood.”
The motto of The Crab General is “Juicy Seafood,” and the restaurant lives up to that motto by obtaining its menu items “fresh off the boat,” Chen said.
Open since early November, The Crab General features a Get Your Hands Dirty clambake-like feast as its signature dish. The three-step minimum 1-pound meal features green or black mussels ($15 per pound), clams ($13), crawfish ($15), shrimp ($16 with head on, $18 no head), scallop ($30), snow crab legs ($32), and Dungeness crab, king crab legs, and lobster tail at a standard (but fluctuating) market prices. For non-seafood eaters, there’s also sausage at $10 per pound.
The second step to Get Your Hands Dirty is choice of seasoning: Cajun, garlic butter, lemon pepper, and Juicy Special, a blend of all three. Then diners pick their “Spicy Level”: no spicy, mild, medium, hot or extra hot. The fresh sea feast comes with corn and potatoes, much like a Maine lobster pot or Louisiana crawfish boil.
“So far business has been good,” Chen said. “Customers really seem to like it.”
Matching the food is entertaining décor, such as oversized paintings and sculptures depicting sea creatures and pirates, displays of rum barrels, ship components, treasure, beach scenes, and sea kayaks, four continually running television sets, and a psychedelic star show beamed onto the ceiling. The restaurant also includes one drawing at each table for a $50-plus prize or a coupon for a subsequent visit.
This article originally appeared on MyCentralJersey.com: Carteret NJ: The Crab General seafood restaurant welcomed in borough