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Blue Crabs and Beer

I went to this bar/family restaurant that looked like a dive but I had the best crab eating experience. We ordered by the dozen or pounds or something then they spread out some brown paper on the table, gave us a mallet and told us to dig in. Can someone suggest a place like this? I have no idea where it is but I REALLY REALLY want to eat like that again. It was around this time of year, too.

It was outside of Baltimore along a hwy. Just stopped for dinner on the way to NYC.

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    1. re: jpschust

      It was outside of Baltimore along a hwy. Just stopped for dinner on the way to NYC.

      1. re: cadireon

        That does't ring a bell to me. Head to Cantler's. They are right on the water, it's the perfect place for crabs annd beer and as I said in a previous post, you can trust what you're getting. I'm not involved with the establishment in any way bu after years of eating crabs, I think they are the best.

    2. Try this link for a great list of crab houses and a discussion board on others. Most are out of the city but that's where you're most likely to get the best crabs anyway.


      About a week ago, someone posted that she had eaten local Chesapeake Bay crabs at Cantler's and they were outstanding! I had some this weekend and they were the best I've had in years. Call one of the local places and ask if they are serving locally-caught crabs rather than those shipped up from the Gulf or the Carolinas. The locals are fat, fat, fat and sweet right now.
      Then make the trip - it's worth it.

      BTW, see if someone can teach you how to eat crabs with a crab knife rather than a hammer. No self-respecting waterman or crab-picker even owns a mallet. When you learn to eat them or pick them properly, you can get a pound of crabmeat out of fewer than a dozen crabs. And you don't have to spit out bits of shell constantly. You can even cut the claws open cleanly and perfectly with the knife for cocktail claws.
      Using the knife takes a little practice at first but it's well worth while. My children could do it by the time they were 7 or 8 years old.

      2 Replies
      1. re: MakingSense

        It was I that posted about how wonderful the crabs are this year and I am so tickled that you had some and enjoyed them as much as I did.

        My husband and I are in fact, driving back to DC from Cleveland this weekend with a friend to have more crabs and hit the Vietnamese place in VA that poster Steve suggested to us on our trip a few weeks ago.

        The only place where I go for crabs at this point is Cantler's in Annapolis. After MUCH trial and error at other places, I feel Cantler's is the only lace I can trust when they say whether they are serving local vs. other crabs. I have had experiences where I was told a places were serving local crabs, went to have some and after the first crab knew that I had crappy from somewhere else crabs. The response from management was the same both times "Well we serve local AND gulf crabs but they all get mixed together". WHATEVER! That is BS and awful!

        I know there are some reputable places on the Eastern Shore but we never make it over there.

        1. re: luckygirl

          The Vietnamese place I've been to is in Eden Center. It's called Retaurant Mai. I have no idea where he is getting his crabs from. They are less expensive than other places, which is fine for my family. But there is no ambience.

      2. My kids too, it was great watching a 5 or 6 year old teach an adult how to pick crab.

        1. sounds like you were at The Quarterdeck, maybe? In Arlington, at the top of a hill up from Route 50, next to a fake 7-11, in an area where a restaurant seems mis-zoned? I assume it's still a great place to chow on crabs but I'm not positive

          1. Baltimore? DC? Where?

            1. OP says outside of Balto, which obviously we both missed

              1. I wonder if it was the late, lamented Gabler's near Aberdeen? It wasn't right on the highway, though. Someone would have needed to tell you how to get there.

                1. There is a crab place, Baldwins(?) north of B'more right on Rte 40...just above Joppatown/Edgewood>

                  1. To eat like that again, try LP Steamers in South Baltimore (don't miss the coconut cake) or Costa's in Dundalk.

                    1. My last experience at LP Steamers was quite bad. After the meal, taking me for a tourist, the asked where I was from. I told them I was local and that for October the crabs were very light and small. They indicated that if I had said something they would have brought better crabs; indicating they knowingly served inferior product.

                      On the other hand coming back from a work trip on the eastern shore yesterday I bought a half bushel of steamed number ones (about three dozen) from Morris Seafood. This place is dockside just west of the Choptank River Bridge on the south side of R. 50. These crabs were great, even though the true jumbos were picked out of the batch. They claimed they were "Choptank" crabs.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jfish

                        I am totally not a fan of LT Steamers crabs, I like the place but find their crabs to be marginal!

                      2. Crossing fingers for visit to Cantler's next weekend!! Excited!! I hope I didn't miss the season yet!! Driving all the way from NYC ...

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: cadireon

                          Call Cantler's to put your fears to rest!!! Their number is in my post above along with the names of other great local crabhouses.
                          Cantler's should still have local crabs as the season is still open for a few more weeks in Maryland. Most of the watermen however have switched over to oysters for the winter however since the demand for crabs drops off after Labor Day.
                          People don't seem to realize that the very best, tastiest crabs are Fall crabs.
                          The ones I had two weeks ago were the best I've had from the Bay in years! Luckygirl said the same thing about the local crabs she had.

                        2. Gunning's off Route 100 near BWI airport (Timonium area)? it sounds like it.