Crab and crabcake
- eric andersen
I plan a NY/DC trip in the next month or so. I am going to make it a crab extravaganza. I figure Angelina's in NE Balto and then from a well known purveyor in the large city market(I was there a few years ago, can't remember who). I plan to head to Crisfield, MD. I was there 3 times and had a-ok crab. It's a neat town with a good crab store. Any help on other places from Baltimore to Crisfield to DC.
Although out of prime season, head for Cantler's in Annapolis. Not the downtown touristy Annapolis, but down on a branch of the Severn River, right on the water. I'm not gonna even try to give you directions; better call them if you go. Note: if you're headed back this way during warmer weather, this is an especially great spot; great no frills outdoor seating, great crabs etc.
Another place to check out if you have an offseason hankering for crabs is Bo Brooks' new location in Baltimore's Canton area. As people in B'more do not ordinarily think of crackin' crabs in the middle of the winter, the place is not crowded, but we were there for a birthday party last Friday and the crabs were quite good. Most were reasonably heavy, with good sweet lumps. Also, their crab soup is some of the best we've had.
As we were leaving, we told one of the servers how pleasantly surprised we were by the crabs and she told us that a few days earlier they had some "$55s" that were spectacular. Now, $55 is a lot to pay for a dozen crabs any time of year, but according to her these were gigantic (what used to be known as "whales") and well worth it. They were so big, in fact, that she said two people would be satisfied just ordering a half dozen.
The crab cakes at Oceanaire Seafood Room are worth a trip....big, meaty, and not overseasoned or overcrumbed. (If you like oysters, they have a good selection and are half-price between 3-6 pm on weekdays.)
And for the best soft-shells, come back in the middle of the season (summer) and enjoy the crabs at Full Kee in Chinatown. But they only have them when they are fresh and local.
Don't make a final judgment on the crabs by the your off-season visit. They can be good, but not usually up to mid-season form.