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Bob Chinn’s Crab House Review: Jet Fresh Seafood from Around the World in Wheeling, Illinois

Bob Chinn's Crab House

Called by Forbes “the Disneyland of seafood restaurants,” Bob Chinn’s Crab House is one of the highest-grossing independent restaurants in the United States. With over 700 tables, 370 employees, and almost a million customers every year, this powerhouse is jointly managed by 94-year old Bob Chinn and his daughter Marylin. But does the food live up to all the hype? Find out in this review.

If you’re heading to Bob Chinn’s Crab House, you might as well be ready to be shuffled between several wait stations until a table’s ready for you – the restaurant is that packed. But Bob Chinn’s hasn’t been so successful for nothing – the prompt and thoughtful staff knows how to make the wait almost pleasant with special cocktails and other small treats. Due to the high-traffic, there’s no reservation system in place, but there’s the preferred seating option you might as well grab before making your way there.

Bob Chinn's Crab House
Fresh and Delicious Seafood

While Bob Chinn’s Crab House offers some mouth-watering prime steaks, it’s best known for its “jet-fresh” seafood from around the world, which is delivered daily. You can even check new arrivals in the jet-fresh board near the front of the entrance, if you’re not squeamish, that is. The table empties progressively as people order and the chefs work their magic.

Bob Chinn's Crab House
The vast menu is broken down into several smaller menus like Kids Menu or Party Menu, that make the selection of you dish a lot easier. The steamed or cold Alaskan King Crab appetizer is probably the best way to start your lunch at Bob Chinn’s Crab House, though going straight for the four-piece Colossal Shrimp isn’t a bad start, either.

A featured item and one that you should try at least once is the deliciously firm and moist chargrilled Red Snapper from Florida. Add to that a simple but fulfilling lobster, shrimp, and scallop pot pie with a flaky crust and you’re on your way to feeling great.

The Dinner Menu

For dinner, you can’t go wrong with the Dover Sole from Holland sautéed whole in lemon butter. If you want something a bit juicier, you can opt instead for a Prime Rib served with a side of Au Jus. This is fresh seafood at its best, finely cooked and with a flavor that lingers in your mouth long after you’ve left behind the pleasant din and warm hospitality of Bob Chinn’s Crab House.

Bob Chinn's Crab House
One thing that’s good to know about Bob Chinn’s Crab House is that most fish can be cooked in eight different fish styles: chargrilled, blackened, beer batter fried, and broiled Grecian style, sautéed with lemon or capers, or stir fried with mushrooms, bok choy, and asparagus. So if you have a particular type of fish in mind, don’t hesitate to ask the waiter what can be done with it. The ingenuity of Bob’s chefs will surprise you.

Overall, this isn’t the most romantic restaurant in the world, but for group gatherings and family outings, it’s one of the warmest and most inviting restaurants around.

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