I love seafood.
It’s actually a well-known story in our family that my mother craved seafood when she was pregnant with me and my dad took her out every Friday night for nine months for shrimp scampi.
This was a huge splurge for them at the time, especially since the only place in Wisconsin Rapids that had seafood in the 1970s was what is now the restaurant at the Hotel Mead, one of the ritziest establishments in that small city.
So, I guess it is no surprise that I have a weakness for all things seafood, especially the shrimp scampi at The Savoy Room, 1962 N. Prospect Ave.
But there is a lot to be said for just plain and simple seafood; peel and eat shrimp by the pound, raw oysters by the dozen, and oh yes, all-you-can-eat crab legs.
Scott and I ventured out to Las Palmas in West Allis, 1901 S 60th St., on the recommendation of a friend who said they had “the best crab legs in town.” We were a little skeptical, firstly because Las Palmas is a Mexican Restaurant, and secondly, because when we pulled up, the place did not look very inviting -- we almost didn’t go in.
But after stuffing ourselves silly on rich crab meat, I knew I had found one of my new favorite neighborhood restaurants. For $22.95 per person you get a huge Corona bucket of some of the freshest, most perfectly steamed crab legs you will find anywhere, and if you can finish that off, the staff here will keep bringing you more buckets until you are sated (Scott and I barely polished off one bucket together).
One of the novelties about all-u-can eat crab legs is that you have to work for your dinner, and while it is messy, it is usually fun (and sometimes frustrating) to crack the shells and pull out the sweet crabmeat within. At Las Palmas, the crab was so exceptionally steamed that a single crack will pull out the crabmeat in one piece, in one fell swoop.
And it is delicious. Even the top of the legs, where the legs conjoin to the crab’s body, were sweet and tasty, and not at all fishy, which is the downfall often at restaurants that offer all-you-can-eat crab. The crab was so good, we hardly used the melted butter that accompanied it.
Las Palmas offers all-you-can-eat crab legs Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays for $22.95, and your order includes a side of rice and beans. Come hungry, and wearing clothes that won’t suffer a few butter splatters. It is well worth it.
Amy L. Schubert is a 15-year veteran of the hospitality industry and has worked in every aspect of bar and restaurant operations. A graduate of Marquette University (B.A.-Writing Intensive English, 1997) and UW-Milwaukee (M.A.-Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Writing, 2001), Amy still occasionally moonlights as a guest bartender and she mixes a mean martini.
The restaurant business seems to be in Amy’s blood, and she prides herself in researching and experimenting with culinary combinations and cooking techniques in her own kitchen as well as in friends’ restaurants. Both she and her husband, Scott, are avid cooks and “wine heads,” and love to entertain friends, family and neighbors as frequently as possible.
Amy and Scott live with their boys, Alex and Nick, in Bay View, where they are all very active in the community. Amy finds great pleasure in sharing her knowledge and passions for food and writing in her contributions to OnMilwaukee.com.