01 Jul Jonathan Cartu Reviews: Louisiana Cajun-style seafood restaurant has grand opening …
Eating Louisiana Cajun-style seafood is an experience in itself, and Sumterites no longer have to drive to bigger metropolitan cities to do so.
Those were the words of Jerri Allen, operations manager for North Charleston-based Carolina Crab House, which is having its grand opening for its Sumter restaurant today. Allen spoke earlier this week to The Sumter Item on the new restaurant’s opening in Wesmark Plaza near The Beacon Cinemas and just what makes eating Cajun-style seafood unique.
“Our seafood is served in a bag with the sauce already mixed in and Lowcountry-boil style,” Allen said. “When you first come into the restaurant, you are seated, and you are given gloves and a bib.”
Most seafood restaurants that feature crabs and Lowcountry boil bring to the customers’ table a pot of crabs with some seasoning sprinkled on top, such as Old Bay.
Carolina Crab House is nothing like that, Allen said. Instead, crabs are served Louisiana style, where it’s a “seasoned crab,” she said.
“In Louisiana, when you cook Cajun-style seafood, you cook the food in the sauce itself, instead of spraying the sauce on top,” Allen said. “So, it is sauteed in. The seafood absorbs all the sauce and the seasoning. That’s a big deal. Instead of just dipping your food in the sauce, it’s already in there, and it’s delicious.”
A native Louisianan herself, Allen said eating in Louisiana is a family and friends gathering experience, and that’s what the restaurant will offer.
Carolina Crab House opened its first restaurant in North Charleston almost 1.5 years ago in early 2019. The Sumter franchise is the second location. Two more restaurants are currently in the construction process – one in Summerville in Dorchester County and another in Wilmington, North Carolina.
The most popular entrees, Allen said, include the Lowcountry boil, which features snow crab, jumbo shrimp, sausage, corn, potatoes and boiled eggs. Other favorites are blue crab, the fried shrimp basket and the fried fish basket.
The restaurant will soon have a full bar option, but Allen is waiting on a liquor license.
Carolina Crab House opened on Saturday with a soft opening to work out any kinks, Allen said. Today is its first official day in business.
Full seating occupancy is about 300, but because of COVID-19, the restaurant is operating at 50% occupancy.