My best friend Jillian and I have been friends for well over a decade. There are many restaurant reviews on this site and it’s safe to assume that she was my foodie friend who joined me for the occasion. We both are avid seafood lovers and consider ourselves seafood connoisseurs. Which is why it was a no-brainer to check out the newest West Loop seafood sensation Mad Boiler. The menu boasts some of the largest shrimp, crab legs and lobster tails in all of Chicago. Since you are guaranteed to have a bountiful feast, expect an equally bountiful mess.

When getting situated at Mad Boiler, you are given a bib, plastic gloves, and a silver bucket.  Instead of fine china, we were given various tools used to crack open the feast.

First looking at the menu I was very overwhelmed; it was a seafood lover’s paradise! However, now that I’ve been I want to share with you fool-proof tips and tricks for making the most of your Mad Boiler experience.

Mad Boiler Chicago

It’s All in the Sauce

If you decide to satisfy your cravings with a customized seafood experience, remember that everything is  what you make it. Which brings me to the most important point, it’s all in the sauce. Mad Boiler has a variety of sauces ranging from mild to spicy. They are Garlic Butter, Sweet Chili, Coco Curry, and Cajun Louisiana Dry Rub.  Prior to the preparation of our meal,  you have the opportunity to taste all of the sauces and to be honest you can’t go wrong with anyone of them. However, to get the most of your experience I would recommend taking the time to taste the sauces and deciding what you can mix and what would pair best with your seafood selections.

You may know this from past reviews but I am not a fan of spicy foods, so we selected garlic butter. If you also decide to go with garlic butter know that it is incredibly mild, almost too mild. To spice this dish up add some Louisiana Dry Rub (the most popular selection) I would also recommend the sweet chili which was divine. If anything, take the time to test out the sauces because this is the foundation for your meal.

Mad Boiler ChicagoIt’s Pretty Messy

As you’ve probably guessed by the bib and the bucket, things can get pretty messy. I would suggest wearing comfortable clothing and don’t wear anything that you don’t want to get stains on. Jillian and I were joking that this is the place that you take someone who’s already seen you at your worst. Basically, I wouldn’t recommend this for a first date but if you are into that kind of thing be my guest.

The Day of the Week Matters

When ordering seafood, the day of the week does matter and it determines the freshness of the fish. The majority of restaurants don’t receive shipments on the weekend so it may or may not be the freshest by the time it makes it to your plate. If you want a guaranteed fresh selection, don’t hesitate to call up the restaurant and ask when their latest shipment came in.  Use that timing as a good measurement for when you should go. I recently learned this little tidbit of information and I’m noticing that it does make a difference. For peak freshness, try ordering within a few days of the latest shipment.

What to Order

 My must try dishes would have to be the lobster tail, snow king crab legs, mussels and the shrimp with the head on. Like I mentioned earlier, Mad Boiler is known for their impressively large fish. I have to especially commend them on the shrimp since I have never devoured shrimp of that size in my adult lifetime.  Plus, the snow king crab legs were incredibly succulent. I kind of wish I was having those crab legs for dinner right about now.

Another thing to consider is even if you aren’t super into seafood, they have plenty of dishes that are worth checking out.  The Lobster Roll and Cajun Shrimp Noodle are certainly worth a try. Plus, you can’t go wrong with either dish.

Final Thoughts

Go to Mad Boiler if you are looking to have a fun and exciting experience. Plus, everything is a bit more fun with a bib. Highly recommend checking out this West Loop spot to get your seafood cravings on. Just remember my key tips and you’ll be good to go.


*All food featured in this post was provided gratis by Mad Boiler. All opinions are my own.