In order to settle a wine-fueled lovers' quarrel regarding which crab was the verybestcrabintheworld, UD and I (who had the pleasure of spending Friday night at the most lovely Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Park) sought out a place online where both would be available within the five mile range that the complimentary Hilton shuttle would take us. A phone call confirmed that both varieties of crustacean were available and our most accommodating Hilton chauffeur, Justin, quickly dispatched us to Bascom's for the "crab-off".
Since we weren't there to order a lot, we decided to sit at the bar...where service was brusque and bordered on surly. Some nice rolls came out right away...warm and better than average. The absence of foil wrapped butter pats garnered bonus points.
First up...the stone crab. They were a thing of utter beauty. Clearly very fresh, pre-cracked, served cold (as God intended), quite large and not ridiculously priced at thirty-six bucks for a pound and a half. Sweet, crabby perfection...even though Bascom's mustard sauce was a little grainier than I prefer. I smell victory.
I didn't get a good photo of the Alaskan king crab legs, but they were pretty...huge and already split down the middle for labor-free instant gratification. That's where the fun ended. They were practically inedible and seemed old and freezer-burned, for lack of a better description. The meat had a tough and stringy consistency as well as more than a hint of fishiness (as opposed to the sweet and tender offering we were anticipating) and copious amounts of water dripped from the legs. They were just...well, gross.
In spite of the fact that I won the "crab-off", I'm not 100% sure if it was because I was right (as I usually am) or if UD was sabatoged by the poor quality of his favorite that was placed before us. Bittersweet victory. :/
My chocoholic better half couldn't leave without a sweet finish and ordered the chocolate torte. While not terribly imaginative or particularly memorable, it was fine. I don't care as much for chocolate as I did in my younger days, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.
Stone crab aside (which was amazing, but one really can't screw up fresh stone crab), I wasn't impressed. The interior of this restaurant is dated and somewhat dirty looking. Service should've been better considering the price structure. I would never go back unless someone else invited me and was paying.