Taking One For The Team: Trying Mr. Bill’s (The Fat Crab Cafe)

By Diana Lichtenstein || Onion Dip Columnist

You know Mr. Bill’s, that restaurant you pass on your walk of shame? Well, what if I told you it’s legit good. I think that students at F&M find it funny to call it sketchy and avoid it. But why? That shows a real prejudice towards a fine seafood establishment. 

To be fair, up until this year, I was hesitant too. I mean yes, the smell can be potent, and yes, it is unclear where the fish is sourced from. I’m guessing the Susquehanna River? A few factors led to me wanting to investigate this topic and try the food for myself. For one, a month ago, I saw an elderly woman carrying a large salmon fillet out of Mr. Bill’s. She seemed to be a regular and I trusted something in her. Secondly, Shot and Bottle, located downtown, is one of my favorite spots in Lanc. I went recently and saw a sign: “Oysters sourced from Mr. Bill’s.” WHAT?! This means that a high-quality restaurant uses Mr. Bill’s fish, so it has to be good. 

After these two events, I started my investigation. I found that students were either in two camps. One side argued that they would never go (the immature students). The other side was a small group that defended this place to no end. Mr. Bill’s has somewhat of a cult following. Senior student Emelly Carrasco claims she’s “been going for years.” I mean, my dad always wants to go. 

Because of these conflicting views, I concluded, in the spirit of good journalism, I would need to decide for myself: Is Mr. Bill’s actually good? Some of my friends were worried about my journey ahead. “Diana, you will get sick!” “Diana, I can’t believe you are doing this!” So dramatic…smh. 

Now, students, you may want to sit down for this. It wasn’t just good….it was great. Seriously. The staff could not have been nicer and it was a great place to feel secluded because sadly, very few students go. I dragged some friends with me and we got a variety of items. We got fish & chips, clams in marinara sauce, seafood chowder, and fish tacos. The fish and chips were some of the best I have had. The batter was crispy, the fries were salty, and the tartar sauce was flames. My friend said the fish tacos were delicious and my gluten-free friend was so happy that there were options for her. Senior student Stephanie Greene claims that she could “bathe in the sauce from the clams marinara all day.” 

So, that’s the verdict Dips! Try it for yourself. I believe that Mr. Bill’s does not get the respect it deserves. Don’t judge a book by its cover and don’t just go along with the majority opinion! Whoever reads this, know that I am honest, and would not steer you the wrong way. Long story short, if I meet Mr. Bill himself, I owe him a kiss. 

Senior Diana Lichtenstein is the Onion Dip Columnist. Her email is Dlichten@fandm.edu.

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