Southern Brooklyn

Randazzo’s: Spicy Crab Corn Chowder -The Bite


THE BITEWinter arrived big time yesterday and as the mercury dropped and old man winter nipped at my nose, my stomach craved some hot warming soup. I wanted comfort soup; not some whimpy, thin, watered down “soup and sandwich” soup, but a soup that would qualify as a meal on its own.

As a child, thick homemade soups were common meals in my house. Anything from potato cheese, to white borscht (I have no idea why we never had the more common red beet borscht. Got a problem with that? Take it up with my mother), chicken noodle, split pea with ham to beef barley; all manners of soups were served. Little did I know that most of these soups were simple meal stretchers made from the leftover meals of the week.

The flavors and ingredients may have varied, but these soups were composed as meals. Not starters. That’s what I craved.

Randazzo’s spicy crab corn chowder soup ($8 small, $11 large) satisfied all my requirements. Thick, with an amazing amount of crab meat, this creamy soup is hearty enough to be a meal on it’s own.

The first thing I noticed when I opened up the container: this soup is ugly. So ugly, in fact, that my first thought was this has to be extremely good to get past the images in my mind of spooning what appeared to be spoiled cake batter into my pie hole.

I closed my eyes and put the first spoon full into my waiting mouth. The first taste was of the ocean with the flavor of sweet crab meat surfacing from the mass of cream and vegetables that make up the rest of this soup.

Oregano, celery, green peppers, onions all swim in the sea of sweet cream that form the basis of this chowder. After each spoonful of soup the back of my throat warms, not just from the temperature of the chowder, but from the capsaicin provided by what I’m guessing is white pepper. The heat is there, but it never overwhelms as the crab continually makes its presence known in each bite.

There is an interesting texture in this chowder. The crab meat is so plentiful, it provides what can best be described as almost a soft sand paper texture and here that’s a good thing; your mouth is filled with strands of crab. But then again, this chowder is thick, smooth and creamy. It’s a contrast of tastes and textures that makes your buds sing.

This was a damn good chowder. It was so filling that I couldn’t finish a large bowl for lunch and ate a very small dinner that night. Good job, Randazzo’s. Mission accomplished.

Randazzo’s Clam Bar, 2017 Emmons Avenue, (718) 615-0010. 

The Bite is Sheepshead Bites’ weekly column where we explore the foodstuffs of Sheepshead Bay. Each week we check out a different offering from one of the many restaurants, delis, food carts, bakeries, butchers, fish mongers, or grocers in our neighborhood. If it’s edible, we’ll take a bite.

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  1. It may not look pretty but delicious and comforting it is.  The lobster bisque is to die for…thank you Taste of Sheepshead. 
    I remember going there forever for the shrimp with a hard wheat biscuit…..always had the mild sauce.

  2. Soups fall into my favorite category, one pot meals.  I could write a book, “The Lazy Cook”. Stews and slow cooked meats are great this time of year.

  3. I didn’t know they had spicy corn chowder. 

    I’ve had their lobster bisque and clam chowders and like them both, but last time I had them they were served very hot in Styrofoam containers. Unfortunately, the high heat caused the Styrofoam to give off some unpleasant melted plastic taste which leached into the soup.

  4. Jordan’s soups do come in a large plastic bag from an outside vendor. The in house soups are doctored up…..(when I worked there)…but the containers to go (in the coolers) are straight out of the bag.

  5. It’s not a bad thing. Everything at Jordans is fresh. 
    They never used any chemicals to treat their fish. 
    They never in all the years dumped waste into the bay.
    Think of it as a soup starter. 
    I worked there with Ralph when the front was bigger. 
    Tony was the cook and man could he cook.
    I have no gripes with their merchandise nor the preparation of it. 

  6. What you said about styrofoam bowl is the very reason I ate at Jordan’s once and never again. If I wanted to eat off of paper plates and drink from plastic cups I would stay home and have a BBQ in my backyard.

  7. Good but their prices are out of control.  The portions are small and the food is expensive as hell.  Totally out of whack

  8. […] Randazzo’s Clam Bar (2023 Emmons Avenue) is opening up a sandwich shop on Sheepshead Bay Road between East 15th Street and East 16th Street, putting the shop, set to open up this month, within a five block radius of several key sandwich places in the area. […]

  9. $11 for a large bowl of soup? Seriously? I forgot why I have not walked into this place in over 10 years. Now I remember. The food is very good, but just not paying that much for a soup. 

  10. check out my yelp review will NEVER go there again- even if you offered to pay! Aqualina’s lobster bisque has some real lobster in it…and alot of it!!
     (reviewers here need to check out aqualina in manhattan beach- food is great)

  11. ha- don’t work there, nor do I own the place- simply standing up for food thats good! But yeah- isn’t that what this is all about in the food section- getting the word out about good food- and new great places in the hood?

  12. if your idea of huge is a small size chinese take out container then 6 year old granddaughter out eats you every day!

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