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Candace West

Rustic Inn Crabhouse

Candace West
The Rustic Inn is a Fort Lauderdale landmark: After 55 years in business, the cavernous restaurant is still packed daily with folks looking to release their aggression on the backs of blue crabs. The restaurant sits on a canal overlooking a busy boatyard. It's draped in thick, seafaring rope and signs reminiscent of Old Florida dive bars and seafood joints. The tables, both inside and out on the covered dock, are the folding metal variety and the chairs are too. They're unilaterally covered in white butcher paper that's kept from blowing away by wooden mallets. It's the perfect set up for garlic crab -- steamed blue, golden, or Dungeness crabs steamed and then sautéed in garlic-infused oil. The seafood is fresh, sweet, and cooked right, but also laden with way too much of that oil.

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