The concept of a good seafood restaurant in Ripley seems hard to grasp. But Crabby Patti’s in Ripley has outgrown its original location on the strength of its seafood, especially the crab. It is easy to see why when you visit.
Listed on both the 2009 and 2012 101 lists, as well as being WV Living’s place to eat in Jackson County, Crabby Patti’s is going for a beach front bar vibe. They even describe their location as “bayside in Ripley.” In actuality, it is on the courthouse square which makes it easy to find. There is a covered outdoor patio for those who are into that, or who like looking at courthouses, and a sizeable indoor area that is open and informal:
What you can’t make out are the Baltimore Ravens pennants and flags; they are unappetizing to this Steelers fan but give a believable Maryland vibe.
I started the meal with a Maryland favorite: cream of crab soup. Cream of crab is a creamier version of a New England-style chowder without the chunks of potato and corn. CP’s serves theirs with a healthy topping of lump crab meat and, of course, a sprinkle of Old Bay.
The soup is very creamy and clearly for crab lovers as the crab was the predominant flavor. There isn’t much pepper flavor either, as the recipie defers to the Old Bay seasoning. I’d recommend the cup over the bowl because this is a heavy soup.
One of the specials was fish tacos, which are a favorite. Patti’s would do the tacos with grilled mahi-mahi (traditional), grilled shrimp (interesting) or ahi tuna. Tuna was the call and the server said she was obligated to remind me that the tuna was raw. Sushi must not have made its way to Rip-city yet. She came back with two tacos topped with wasabi slaw, pico, a little cheese and an avocado slice:
They tossed in a little extra wasabi for extra kick and a small cup of the potato salad. The flavors mingled perfectly with none of the elements overshadowing the others. Can’t say I’ve ever struggled with deciding between sushi or Mexican before, but I may now. The taste was very fresh and the toasted tortilla made for a nice change of texture, though it also made the meal harder to eat. I’ve also heard very good things about the crab cakes, but haven’t tried them yet.
The downside is the price. My meal came to over $20, not counting tip, and I only had an iced tea to drink even though Crabby Patti’s offers a full bar. Of course, seafood in Jackson County is going to be pricey — I’d worry if it wasn’t — but be warned: this is not cheap eats.
Is it Unique?
Well, seafood restaurants aren’t unique and I’ve been to better, but those are either in huge cities or on a coast. How much ahi tuna are they finding in the Cedar Lakes? For rural West Virginia, this is very good. And the feel is fun and relaxed. It reminds me of what Tricky Fish is trying to do in Charleston, but they are doing it much better in Ripley. Much better. Crabby Patti’s belongs on any list of restaurants in West Virginia you should try. I don’t think they have a website, but here is their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Crabby-Pattis/117448254945504.