The Dish: Crab cakes sell like hotcakes at Sunset Grille

Crab cakes, cold beer and gorgeous sunsets set a friendly stage for casual dining at Sunset Grille, where, if you are seated on the deck, you can dine on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico.

Sunset Grille’s best-selling crab cakes are the perfect choice for an Island-style meal, served with sweet potato fries, seasonal vegetables like zucchini, carrots and yellow squash over a bed of fried leeks, garnished with tomatoes and scallions and topped with a lobster cream sauce.

The recipe is restaurant’s own, one of many signature dishes created by the original chef, who left his secrets with the house when owners Keith and Jennifer Reeves bought it in 2006.

Sunset Grille uses Maryland lump crab meat, with peppers, onions and a variety of seasonings to put its special touch on traditional crab cakes. “What we don’t do is smash the crab cakes up into a mixture with lots of filler, as you so often see,” says Keith. “We use only a little Japanese bread crumbs to hold it together, but it’s 85 to 90 percent crab, as you can see just by touching it with a fork. That may be one reason it’s our best-selling entrée. We tried to make it the best crab cake possible for our guests.”

Served as either a sandwich or an appetizer, crab cakes are a staple on the menu, one thing the owners knew from the beginning they wanted to keep as close to the original recipe as possible. The entrée, which comes with a house salad, is $24.95; the sandwich is $12.95; and the appetizer is $12.95.

“We get people from all over, even Maryland, who rave about them. Some go so far as to say they’re the best crab cakes they’ve ever had. I do feel we have the best crab cakes on the Island, but that’s personal bias, too,” says Reeves.

Although Reeves enjoys cooking, he does not consider himself a chef, “but we recommend the crab cakes to our guests who are chefs,” he laughs. “We are a family owned sports/beach bar. We want to keep it as friendly in atmosphere as possible. The guest comes first, always.”

Situated right on the beach, Sunset Grille has it all. Menu selections include mahi tuna, shrimp, steak and chicken fajitas, burgers, sandwiches, salads and seafood. Seasoned bartenders will make you anything you can think of, including a perfect mai tai, rumrunner, creamsicle or pina colada.

Sunset Grille is located on the ground floor of the Apollo Condominiums. Stop by for great food with fabulous views of the Gulf. It’s a great place to catch a weekend sunset, a football game on Sunday or Monday night, or enjoy a fabulous daiquiri at the bar.

If you go

Sunset Grille

At the Apollo

600 Collier Blvd.

389-0509

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