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New Lehigh restaurant a boon for seafood lovers

January 11, 2017
By MEL TOADVINE ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

The Ocean Crab House, the first all seafood restaurant in Lehigh Acres, opened its doors over the holidays and, with little fanfare, local residents have found a local restaurant that serves just about anything that comes from the ocean.

Owner Dave Dong has opened Ocean Crab House at 1171 Homestead Road in the Winn-Dixie Shopping Plaza.

Not only can you sit in a seafood- themed dining room that accommodates at least 40 people among several tables, you can buy take-out too.

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David Dong

The dining room is decorated with blue paint, resembling the color of the ocean, with all types of decorations pertaining to the seafood industry.

At the present, Dong, a native of Hong Kong, says he and another do all of the cooking in the restaurant's kitchen, and there are at least one or two waitresses who provide serve at the table.

A giant easy to read menu is painted on the wall with prices and Dong says prices are competitive with other seafood restaurants in other parts of the county.

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An entrepreneur in the restaurant business, he owns two other restaurants, both Chinese and located Punta Gorda and North Port. The 37-year-old crab house restaurant owner says his parents and wife and daughter are still living in Hong Kong.

"For the time being, I am devoting myself entirely to the Lehigh restaurant. Want to make sure everything is done right and that are making the customers happy," Dong said. His first name is Jiang, "but everyone calls me Dave," he said.

He guarantees that all his seafood is fresh, everything from lobster, blue crabs both hard and soft oysters, shrimp you name it and he'll make it tasty.

"My restaurants in Punta Gorda and North Port are Chinese and are doing well. I wanted to expand to a seafood restaurant and began scouting the area and I found out that Lehigh did not have a seafood restaurant.

"That's why I have opened the doors here and we are celebrating our grand opening," he said.

Ocean Crab House is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., including Sundays.

The restaurant is in the same location that Mr. and Mrs. Barbecue were over past years. He has done considerable remodeling. But the main, central ordering area for walk-ins is still in the same place.

"I love to cook, and besides, Chinese cooks are the best in preparing most types of food," he laughed.

In addition to main big menu on the wall, there are two others that his servers will hand you, depending on the time. Earlier in the day, he has the Ocean Crab House lunch and numbers listed on the mid-day menu for pick-ups are 239-674-7750 and 239-674-7784. Or you can walk in and put in an order to take out.

On the lunch menu, you can get two pieces of fish with fries and slaw for $5.99 and six shrimp with fries and slaw for 7.99. He also has sweet potato fries for those who don't want fries.

Sandwiches include fried fish with fries for $5.99, fried shrimp with fries, $7.99, soft crabs with fries, $8.99 and you can buy hush puppies for $3.50. All kids menus are $4.99 and come with a drink, Dong says.

He has Friday specials with "Fish Fry all you can with hush puppies" for $12.99 And on Wednesdays, fried shrimp sandwich with fries for $7.99 with a can of soda or bottle of water.

"Purchasing seafood for a restaurant is not cheap and we try to keep our prices in range so guests can enjoy their favorite meals and/or sandwiches. He deals with a firm out of Jacksonville which provides the fresh seafood.

A lot of people from the Midwest up north are not used to some of the seafood, such as oysters and crabs, but Dong says his are the best.

"A soft-shelled crab here is the best and it fills the sandwich," Dong said. Soft-shelled sandwiches are hard to find in most restaurants in the area. A soft shell crab is when it has lost his hard crab shell and a new shell begins growing. It is very soft and after the crab has been clean, it is fully fried and is a favorite of many northerners along the east coast.

Your favorite seafood is lobster? Dong says he has the best lobster dishes anywhere.

He said he's hoping locals will stop by and give his restaurant a chance since the only word that is open is by word of mouth and by sight if you're driving through the Winn-Dixie Plaza.

A second seafood restaurant on Lee Blvd., Deb's Seafood, is expected to open any day, but Dong said he didn't know the owners, but wishes them well.

There's plenty of parking in front of the Ocean Crab House and during the grand opening, there are colorful flags flying in front of the restaurant.



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