Alaskan King Crab, roughly $21/lb-$35/lb wholesale, is a luxury item, and rightly so, as “foraging” for the delicacy boasts an even higher fatality rate than commercial fishing as a whole — already a dangerous profession. So let the record state that I didn’t necessarily balk when I learned Brooklyn Crab (the subject of my Bloomberg News review this week), was charging $48 for 1.5 lbs of the stuff.
I mean, you can just ask for a half-order, right?
Here’s the thing. When Mother Nature created King Crab, she had the good sense of dividing the meat among six legs, so it could be ordered in smaller portions by financially prudent consumers. Mother Nature knew from the get go that we didn’t necessarily want to spend $48 King Crab.
She also knew a pound and a half of King Crab is maybe too much even for two guests. Sometimes you just want a taste. Unfortunately, Brooklyn Crab doesn’t allow half-orders; the cheapest King Crab variant is as part of a $40 Northwest steam pot.
Mother Nature wanted King Crab to be accessible to everyone. Brooklyn Crab is making it inaccessible.
Catch in Manhattan Meatpacking District, as I mentioned earlier this year, suffers from the same problem, as the venue’s entry-level price for King Crab is $60 and goes up to $90 for 1.5 lbs. And remember, Catch has world class division skills: the seafood-slash-nightlife spot splits its online food menu into five separate PDF files (appetizers, entrees, etc). So we think they can handle the mathematical rigors of splitting up crab legs.
Smart restaurants (not all of which are good restaurants) understand what Mother Nature is going for. That’s why you can get smaller, cheaper portions of King Crab at Jeffrey’s Grocery ($22), The Lion ($27) and, forgive me, STK ($24).
Sure, you might be paying less “per ounce” at Brooklyn Crab, but since the starting price is $40, and since diners might only want to eat (and spend) half that amount, it appears that Brooklyn Crab is more interested in trying raise our bill than save us any more. That’s most indubitably uncool, and that’s partially why we’re rating Brooklyn Crab a STRONG SELL at The Price Hike.
p.s. Yes, I like to capitalize King Crab, much to the chagrin of my editors. I mean, such a regal beast, non? This reminds me of the time that I almost got my paper on Language Politics in Bosnia Herzegovina rejected from an undergrad policy journal when I insisted on capitalizing “International Affairs” throughout the 30-page opus. And why not capitalize it when you’re paying $100,000 for the degree?
Consider yourselves lucky I’m not writing it as KING CRAB.