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Jan 17, 2004 04:42 PM

Best Crabcake in Baltimore area

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I feel that the best crabcake in the world is at Faidley's at Lexinton Market but what would anyone reccommend as a great place to be able to sit at a table and enjoy an outstanding crabcake experience?

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  1. Although non traditional Charleston is Baltimore's best crabcake in my opinion. For a "traditional" I would recommend Angelina's along with Faidley's. If you go to Angelina's also consider their crab imperial. Outside of Baltimore the Narrows on Kent Island may be better than either Angelina's or Faidley's.


    6 Replies
    1. re: Joe H.

      I will second Angelina's. Not the same atmosphere as Faidley's, but probably (dare I say it?) a better crabcake. However, the crab items mentioned by Joe are probably the only items worth ordering there, so don't expect a well-rounded meal!

      1. re: Steve

        I would make that definitely the only items worth ordering. Even the side dishes aren't good, although the bread is. We went Friday night, and despite all the flaws in the rest of the menu, those crabcakes are outstanding.

        1. re: Steve

          Scratch Angelina's from the list. I went there a little over a year ago only to find that they changed ownership. The place was empty on a Friday night in the middle of July. I think there was one other small party dining that night. Anyway, the crab cakes were awful and "market price" turned out to be $42. On top of that, the coziness of the place was gone. No more candle-lit tables. Maybe the new owners went back to the original formula, but you don't change a winning thing.

          I guess I'll just have to stick with Timbuktu for the cakes. They did away with the crackers and cheese, a bummer, but the crabcakes are still delicious.

          1. re: jharris

            These are '04 posts. Its been a long time since Angelina's has seen any love on here. Koco's (farther south on Harford) has good crabcakes.

            1. re: ko1

              Right. It's pretty sad to read that 04 post from me and realizing that they're for all intents and purposes gone. I'm with Joe. H -- I'd hate for anyone to read that as a rec for the current incarnation.

              1. re: JonParker

                It's really a shame, Jon, because I use to drive from Silver Spring to Harford road to go to Angelina's and when I moved to Reston I still drove-once a year-to Harford road. Angelina's was consistently excellent.

                Unfortunately, things really do change and Angelina's is one. The place has an ambience not that dissimilar from Chef Vola's in Atlantic City which I wrote about on the Mid Atlantic board after Christmas. Chef Vola's succeeds in large part because of its food. Angelina's did (past tense) also. Today, I'm guessing that Angelina's is barely hanging on. Chef Vola's, which hasn't changed in 87 years, still doesn't need to have a listed phone number!

      2. After a crabcake or two at Angelina's try a piece of their cheesecake. Made on premise, it's right up there with some of the other similarly touted offerings in town. A real sleeper on this menu for cheesecake addicts.

        3 Replies
        1. re: SteveR

          What about McCabes on falls close to or in hampden?

          1. re: go dons

            McCabes has a really good crab cake not to mention a kickin' burger!

            1. re: Hon

              that might be one of the best blue cheese burgers i've ever had

        2. The crabcakes at Friendly Farm are really, really good.

          And some of their other stuff -- fried ersters, for example -- is not too shabby either.

          13 Replies
          1. re: Bob W.

            Which crabcake at Faidley's? They have a few different grades of quality. I've only been there once and I wonder how they compare.

            Anybody ever buy a muskrat or racoon from them? If so, please share your recipe!

            1. re: John Bunch

              "Lump crabcake" or anything that includes the word "lump" in it. This is true not just for Faidley's but anywhere.

              1. re: Joe H.

                Hmmm, I have had great backfin crab cakes and mediocre lump crab cakes! Faidleys has a great crab cake but so does Nicks at the Cross Street market. It's really hard to pinpoist who has the best one because everybody from the smallest neighborhood hangouts to the most expensive restaurants sells crab cakes and let me tell you, some of those neighborhood places have the best ones I have ever had!

                1. re: Hon

                  Hey Hon, tell us about some of these neighborhood joints where you've gotten good crabcakes.

                  I can't speak for anyone else, but back in the day I used to go to Leon's Pig Pen for barbecue (before Leon got shut down for good following several most unfortunate visits from the health inspector), so you can rest assured there is no Mobtown neighborhood to which I will not venture for great chow.

                  1. re: Bob W.

                    Let's see, Mamies in Hampden has a great crab cake, Koko's Pub on Harford Road in the Gardenville area of the city has a crab cake that brings people in from out of town. The Ocean Pride in Lutherville has a great crab cake. Jimmy's O'Donnell Pub on Harford Road between Hamilton and Parkville has a good crab cake, etc. - when ever people talk about restaurants in Baltimore on this board they always name the same 5 places but what Baltimore really has going for it are it's neighborhoods and those cool places where people can hang out and get a great crab cake or a pound of steamed shrimp and maybe some oysters.

                    1. re: Hon

                      Thanks Hon! While I will take some credit for prompting you to post that, your post was extremely informative and will introduce many chowhounds to some places we've never heard of.

                      When I see a post mention Gardenville I know I am in the presence of a real B'morean. 8>D

                      N.B. Hounds: Trust Hon's posts.

                      P.S. to Hon: Mrs. W. = Hamilton native!

                      P.P.S. to Hon: How about a guide to the best Lake Trout in the city? I drive by Kimmy's on Moravia Rd. all the time but have never stopped in. Any good?

                      1. re: Bob W.

                        Thanks, just tryin' to shed some more light on my town!
                        Not a big Lake Trout fan, can't help ya there, I am curious about Tyrone's Fried Chicken since it's now become a chain - ever had it?
                        PS, I've always liked the Hamilton area!

                        1. re: Hon

                          The best thing about Hamilton is the superb sno-cone stands. There's the really popular one right in the center of the shopping district (across the street from the pita bread bakery) and the one close by on Walther Ave.

                          I've never actually had Lake Trout either but I am determined to finally give it a try this year. Haven't tried Tyrone's yet either. We actually don't get up to B'more that often now -- we live in Northern Va.

                          1. re: Bob W.

                            And speaking of the Near East Bakery, what a great place that is!
                            I've had lake trout once, it is full of bones, blehk!

                    2. re: Bob W.

                      I've been searching for info on what happened to Leon's for a long time--has anyone found a source or recipe for the fabulous spicey sauce (kinda like a pepper jelly/honey sauce) Leon's served with their fried chicken. I freakin' loved that place. You'd think you were gonna get killed, but once you were at Leon's door, everyone was friendly, 'cause we were all brothers and sisters of great food. Same concept still applies in my current home, N'awlins. Being able to cross the communication barrier is definitely a major side benefit of growing up in the south and going to integrated public schools.

                    3. re: Hon

                      Interesting. Lump crab meat is pure crab meat while backfin, in a crabcake, allows more filler. Lump also differentiates from claw meat. Below is the link to a page from Angelina's website. I am making, as they do, the value judgment that lump crab meat is preferential. Still, I understand that not everyone will prefer this. Also, Costco use to sell (perhaps still does) Phillips lump crab meat for about $20 per pound. This is from the Pacific rim and some people believe that local crab, especially from the Chesapeake Bay (when they can be found!) is sweeter.


                      1. re: Joe H.

                        Being a lifelong Baltimorian and Crab eater I know grades of crabmeat - my point being that if your lump crab meat is from the Phillipines it looks pretty but is virtually tasteless where as if it is local backfin, the crab cake will taste worlds better. I use the same small amount of filler whether I make mine with lump or backfin and for the record crab cakes made with just claw meat are very tasty .

                2. re: Bob W.

                  Which crabcake at Faidley's? They have a few different grades of quality. I've only been there once and I wonder how they compare.

                  Anybody ever buy a muskrat or racoon from them? If so, please share your recipe!

                3. I am partial to the crabcake at Rusty Scupper. Those are the best I've had.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: jeffbarnes

                    Why is a four year old thread being resurrected? Angelina's, today, has different owners and represents a totally different experience and completely different food than what was available four years ago. Simply, that which I once raved about-with a change of ownership and suppliers-I now apologize for. The more recent post about Leon's and their "fried chicken" doesn't seem to have a lot in common with "Baltimore's best crab cake." Still, there's four years...

                    1. re: Joe H

                      Narrows has a darn good crabcake, and logic or justice is not a part of the experience here, as Joe knows better than most.

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