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Any restaurants w/ a decent Maryland Crab Cake?

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I used to hate crab cakes growing up in CA. But then I moved to Maryland for a year and realized that I just hated California crab cakes! Now that I am back, I miss having nice big Maryland style crab cakes. One without any fillers, no onions, peppers, herbs, or other gunk to mess up the taste of pure lump crabmeat and the lightest glob of mayo mixture just to keep it together. I keep seeing "Maryland crab cakes" in restaurants, only to order it and be majorly disappointed when I bite in. Is there such a thing out here? A pure, unadulterated crabcake?

I did see a thread on cooking them at home - but I've messed up boiling water before, so making them myself is not an option.

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  1. Nope - sorry!

    Different crab here, and a low level of appreciation, likely due to unfamiliarity.

    Hey, I'll be in Baltimore the end of the month, something I always look forward to.

    1. Try the crab cake at Looney's barbecue in Berkeley. I hated crab cakes, too, figuing why order and eat a mass of filler? But the cakes I've had there have been surprisingly good. As has the Caesar salad with large whole anchovies atop, another thing I never saw the point of and now love.

      Looney's gets panned here and I just don't get it. The meat is always good and the sides (except the awful spicy and mushy coleslaw) great.

      1. I grew up in Philly, not a very far piece from Ballmer. And they didn't load the crabcakes up with bread and other crap the way they do here, so that you cannot taste the crab.

        When I make them I don't put in mayo. And I do season. And I bind it together with oyster cracker crumbs and egg. NO BREAD. So there.

        And the cakes at Looney's feature the crab, not the other crap.

        1. Sounds like I am going to have to go to your place for a good crabcake dinner! ;-)

          I'll check out Looney's next time I'm in Berkeley. I've tried them for bbq ribs, and I thought the meat was a bit tough but the sauce was tangy and good. I didn't even know they had crabcakes (although I doubt I would have trusted their seafood abilities even I did know). I'll give them a shot, thanks!

          1. I'm surprised about the Looney's crab cakes, since they describe them as "BBQ Crab Cakes, Deep Fried Smokey BBQ Crab with Looney's Bad Attitude Sauce" on their website. To me that sounds like an awful lot of stuff that could potentially cover up the taste of the crab.

            Thanks for letting us all know different... I'll definitely give them a try!

            3 Replies
            1. re: chemchef

              I always get sauce on the side. And never use it. Now I do not say that they're like homemade. They aren't. I gently fry mine in a mix of butter and oil. But the last times I had them they were tasty. Lots of crab. Don't blame me if they changed the recipe. And have some fries.

              And surprisingly also, Tropix on Piedmont has pretty tasty crab cakes but they're kind of ...island. And by that I don't mean Fenwick.

              1. re: lintygmom

                I think maybe they've changed the recipe. Last night I had the crabcake. For $7 it was a single hockey puck of deep fried matter, with no crab-taste at all. Don't know what was "Smokey" or "BBQ" about it, either. The sauce, on the side, would be okay for fries, maybe, but not for the crab cake. I guess crab is out of season, so maybe I shouldn't have ordered it, but if so, they shouldn't offer it, either.

                I had a really good crab cake at Vanessa's Bistro on Solano a couple months ago. Fusion, yes, but still very good, with lots of crab. It was also $7 and came with organic greens and a nice aioli.

                1. re: Glencora

                  Yes, sadly, I had it the other night and it's different. Tasty to me still (I was coming off a horrendous gi problem and couldn't eat spice at all) but not crabby. I apologize if I was the one who led you to order it. The mashed potatoes were still yummy, though.

                  Sea Salt has crab cakes on the menu now--Dungeness not bluepoint, but they may be good! http://seasaltrestaurant.com/menu/main/