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Tourists in Baltimore

i
isf2007 Feb 27, 2007 06:29 AM

I'm traveling to Baltimore for a fun weekend with my three sisters. We only have two nights of dining out. Any suggestions for a fun Baltimore experience? Would prefer skipping the trendy/touristy type restaurants, but looking for a good, solid crab eating experience! Thanks,

  1. h
    hon Feb 27, 2007 09:40 AM

    Crabs aren't in season right now but go to Mamas on the Half Shell in Canton for a full on Maryland Seafood experience!

    www.mamasonthehalfshell.com

    6 Replies
    1. re: hon
      ptcandy Feb 28, 2007 01:38 PM

      The link is dead. I did find the following:http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertain...

      This is the same restaurant, right?

      thanks

      1. re: ptcandy
        h
        hon Mar 1, 2007 05:24 AM

        Wonder why their link is dead?
        Yes, thats the same place, great seafood!

      2. re: hon
        p
        pbergen Feb 28, 2007 01:46 PM

        When are crabs in season, anyway? Someone told me that early autumn (early September through mid-October) is a great time to go because the crabs are nice and fatty, but just want to hear from you guys if this is true. Is it only advisable to go during these times, or is the entire spring/summer/early-to-mid autumn fair game? Asking because I'm obviously from out-of-town and would like to time my next trip to the area during an optimal time for crab eating.

        1. re: pbergen
          t
          tubman Mar 1, 2007 04:54 AM

          Maryland blue crab season runs from April 1-October 31, and bringing blue crabs in from warmer out-of-town waters (N. Carolina, Louisiana, Florida, Texas) extends this somewhat at both ends of the calendar.

          The timeframe you heard is the best time to get local crabs, but frankly so many of them are coming in from elsewhere to meet demand even during local crab season. You may wind up with a skinny Louisiana crab in September or a fat Texas crab in July (just throwing out hypotheticals here, I don't know the best parts of their seasons--but hopefully you get my point).

          But so long as they're steamed live, rest assured that a blue crab is a blue crab regardless of where it comes from. It's the traditional preparation here (sprinkled with Old Bay, beer and/or vinegar added to the steam) that makes for the local taste.

          1. re: tubman
            h
            hon Mar 1, 2007 05:22 AM

            Actually Maryland crabbing ends December 15th, best crabs I'd had in a long time I had the first week in December.

            1. re: tubman
              p
              pbergen Mar 1, 2007 11:38 PM

              Thanks for the tips, tubman and hon. I really appreciate it.

        2. p
          pomme de terre Feb 28, 2007 08:38 AM

          Where are you staying, isf2007? Any food preferences besides one night of crabs?

          3 Replies
          1. re: pomme de terre
            i
            isf2007 Mar 7, 2007 04:52 PM

            This is a fun, long weekend trip with my sisters. Nothing terribly expensive, but we are looking in the waterfront/downtown/tourist area. No car available. We are pretty open to alternative cuisines. Any recommendations are welcome!

            1. re: isf2007
              BmoreHound Mar 8, 2007 05:02 AM

              If it were me, for the first night, I'd probably take a cab to Dockside near Canton (close to the water) for crabs. It's a little more upscale than your average crab joint. Afterwards, go to Canton Square (just a hop, skip, and jump away) and take in the nightlife.

              For the second night, I'd head over to Fells Point and look at menus and see what strikes you. Peter's Inn on Ann is a good bet, as is La Cazeula (Ecuadorian) on Eastern Ave., but there are also a bunch of bars with better than bar food -- One-Eyed Mikes on Bond and Aliceanna, Duda's on Thames, the Waterfront on Thames, or you can go a little upscale with the Black Olive, Kali's Court, Mezze, Louisiana, or Timothy Dean's, just to name a few.

              1. re: BmoreHound
                h
                Hal Laurent Mar 8, 2007 05:53 AM

                While Dockside is close to the water, it's hardly in a scenic area. That said, I've heard good things about the food.

          2. ianliam Feb 28, 2007 09:11 AM

            Definitely try Cross Street Market. There's a series of restaurant stands in the back of the Market that are under the umbrella of Nick's Seafood Co. Good oysters, steamed clams and a raucous fun informal experience. Nick's also has a sit down, more formal, restaurant about 3 miles from Cross Street.

            For an incredible brunch with a view of the harbor try Pisces at the Hyatt. Brunch includes plated breakfast (rock lobster, filet, crab eggs benny) raw bar, waffle station, and a very nice cointental/salad buffet. Elegant and sumptuous.

            1. b
              blossomlover Feb 28, 2007 04:50 PM

              The season's summer through early fall, but that doesn't mean you can't find some great crab dishes while you're here. Mama's on the Half Shell is a great suggestion, but for an all-crab weekend I arranged for friends from NYC last fall, we also had the crab cake at Faidley's (Lexington Market), fried hard crab (a crab stuffed with a crab cake) as well as softshells at LP Steamers on Fort Ave., and for the piece de resistance, the crab and fried green tomato eggs benedict at Miss Shirleys (breakfast and lunch only). Also, while I normally won't touch a crab cake anywhere but Faidleys, we went to Joe's Bistro in Canton for the first time recently and a friend ordered theirs and I have to say, it was a close and delicious second. d

              1. t
                travelbuff Feb 28, 2007 04:51 PM

                The Brewer's Art is a great, unique place. Unfortunately, a lot of the crab served in Baltimore (even when it's in season) is from southeast Asia. On menus "Maryland-Style" is code for not local crab.

                1. t
                  tallullah Mar 2, 2007 05:27 AM

                  My boyfriend and I were just there a few weekends ago and had a great crab picking experience at Bo Brooks. It's probably really touristy in the summer, but we enjoyed it.
                  We also at at Mamma's on the Half Shell and had an excellent dinner. I would highly suggest the filet with crap imperial...oh my!

                  1. j
                    jacko1109 Mar 9, 2007 11:06 AM

                    I can't believe nobody has mentioned the Rusty Scupper....it has the best view of the harbor hands down if that's what you're looking for. And I second the call on Bo Brooks.

                    When I think of "Baltimore" eating, I don't every think of fancy places like Brewer's Art or Mama's on the Half Shell. I think of, "put me on a crab deck, give me a bucket of beer and bring the crabs." When I have friends in from out of town that's what we do. This time of year Bo Brooks may be the closest you get to that. Also I know it not exclusively "Baltimore," but the crab and gouda quesadilla at Nacho Mamas is peerless!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: jacko1109
                      h
                      Hal Laurent Mar 9, 2007 11:30 AM

                      Sounds more like you're talking about the old Bo Brooks rather than its modern incarnation in Canton.

                      1. re: Hal Laurent
                        h
                        hon Mar 9, 2007 11:57 AM

                        The new one is a real tourist trap!

                        1. re: hon
                          ko1 Mar 10, 2007 08:10 PM

                          I'd avoid the Scupper, too, although the view is nice.

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