We went back to OC this past weekend and I realized that I haven’t really been blogging much about the places we’ve eaten there in the off-season. It almost seemed unfair to rate places that weren’t running at full capacity. But now it’s beach season and everyone is firing on all cylinders, so back to the reviews.
Higgins Crab House is a family favorite. We first ate at this establishment in 2015—Higgins Crab House South, though. They have a great outdoor deck on top of the building fully equipped with handwashing stations where you can get glimpses of the ocean. This is where my son decided his best course of action at a crab house was to order the ribs. 😒 Meanwhile, the rest of us got the AYCE (All You Can Eat) crab and spent hours picking away at them while he twiddled his thumbs. Look how thrilled he was to wait for us:
Hey, crab eating is serious business! We weren’t leaving until we couldn’t move. He was the dumb one who ordered the wrong thing. (He also has been known to order shrimp at a BBQ joint and chicken wings at an Italian restaurant.) 🙄
We visited the North restaurant for the first time last year on my daughter’s birthday and once again, Mr. Dope ordered a Caesar salad. I wasn’t feeling crabby that day, so I think I got AYCE shrimp which was delicious. Still, a lot of work. You really need to be feeling it to make the AYCE worth your while. It won’t do to push your plate away after two or three refills. You need to go all in and wear your eating pants to this establishment. Oh, and don’t wear anything particularly nice—you will be very sad when drawn butter splashes on your new white shirt or you get old Bay seasoning on your pants. 😬
The highlight of this particular trip to Higgins (other than stuffing ourselves silly) was the stray cat who kept coming up to our outdoor table. 🐈 Hubby got really mad that my daughter and I kept feeding him, but he looked soooooo hungry and pathetic. And he kept coming back for more, which REALLY ticked Hubby off…he hates when I feed stray animals because he says that only encourages them. The people at the table next to us fed him, too, so it wasn’t only our fault.
Anyway, my daughter has been dying to go back since last year, and they’ve been closed for most of the off-season, so we took a trip there this past weekend, much to her delight. We left the other child home (he probably would have order chicken parmigiana or something…) so it was an All You Can Eat Crab-fest at our table. The entire table was covered with crab, (and a couple ears of corn), barely enough room for our glasses.
No cats this time—considering we were inside, it would have been a little weird, too. Instead we were able to focus solely on our eating project, dozens of Old Bay seasoned crabs. Thankfully, there are paper towels at the table and you can wipe your hands off every now and again, but to wash them at the North restaurant requires a trip inside to the bathroom which is in an awkward spot near the kitchen. I always feel like I’m some place I shouldn’t be when I go to that bathroom.
So next time you’re looking for a great AYCE place in OC, check out either Higgins—you won’t be disappointed.
Atmosphere: 7 🍴out 10. Nothing spectacular, but a fun place to eat.
View: 8 🍴out of 10 for South, 5 out of 10 for North. (Nothing to see here…except for hungry cats..)
Food: 8 🍴out of 10. (There really is no way to go wrong with AYCE steamed crab) 🦀
Value: 9 🍴out of 10 (I can’t stress enough…bring your eating pants!)