Last night Shauna and I needed a bit of a diversion so we headed over to the “Hong Kong Mongolian Grill” for Crab Night. In case you’re not familiar, this is one of those ubiquitous Chinese Style buffets that serves everything from Sushi to Pizza on it’s many food bars. On weekend nights they put out some more exotic items such as crab legs and frog legs. Back in the day when I was about 50 pounds heavier we went to these places alot, but lately the Hong Kong is a rare treat. Last night was the first time we’ve been to the crab legs buffet in many years and it reminded me of the last time we went which we said would be our last.
The Crab Guys
Circa 2006 was the last time we visited the crab leg buffet. Like most patrons we each took one or two crab legs and then giggled over the astoundingly ridiculous difficulty in getting any meat out of these monstrosities. As we were playing with our crab cracking device and trying to maintain some level of dignity a couple gentleman came in and were seated nearby us. These guys both laid out towels on the table and then headed to the bar. To our surprise they returned with every single crab leg on the bar, three entire plates overflowing with crustaceans.
They each placed towels in their laps and stuffed them into their T-shirts like bibs. Then they went to town. They demolished those crab legs, I mean there was butter sauce in the air, and chunks of crab meat flying around. They would crack, tear, rip and suck out the juices then grab another leg. In short order they had finished their three plates.
Shauna and I were up browsing the bar when the worker brought out a fresh new batch of crab legs. I pulled a leg out of the batch but the Crab Guys swooped in and cut me off. They began hauling out those legs two at a time, filling their plates. Before Shauna could even get one they had taken every leg back to their table. It became painfully obvious, they were here for one reason to eat every crab leg possible. I gave them dirty looks but they didn’t notice.
The workers came out and and began to speak in their language rapidly, then pointed at the crab guys who were again ripping through the plates of crab legs and leaving mounds of exoskeleton on their table. Soon the workers had a new strategy, two or three crab legs at a time, but they were gone in seconds. Before long there was a group of patrons standing around the crab bar holding plates and staring at the kitchen. One of the crab guys waited for a few minutes then took his plate back to the kitchen door. He opened the door and loudly spoke, “You’re out of crab out here.”
Like the Donald Trump campaign it was equal parts hilarious and horrifying, and also like the campaign we couldn’t stop watching to see what would happen next. For the next hour at least one of the Crab Guys would stand guard at the crab bar and wait for the workers to bring out small batches of crab then hasten them to their table. They seemed oblivious to the fact that every person in the restaurant was projecting angry looks and veiled criticism their way.
Eventually we left, but the crab guys were still waiting for more crab, who knows they still may be waiting. For years I’ve always wondered if the Crab Guys are still out there terrorizing Mongolian Grills and Hibachi bars on crab night. If you guys are, crack open a leg for me will yeah.