baltimore seafood recommWadations
What exactly is your definition of "long" and are you talking specifically about a weeknight (since that is when the OP is coming into town)?
I tried to go to Mama's on a Saturday a couple of weeks ago around 5:30 and the wait was "At least 2 hours." We went elsewhere that night, since there was no room at the bar to wait at, so I have no idea if that is really how long it was taking, but judging from the crowd that seemed about right.
Now That wasn't totally unexpected, since it was a saturday night, but I thought 5:30 should have early enough to beat some of the crowd. Since I'm intent on trying this place (mostly thanks to Hon's apparently devotion), but weeknight dinners out aren't really an option for me, how early do you need to show up to at least get a seat (or some elbow room) at the bar to wait at (or eat at?) on a Friday or Saturday night?
And I assume weeknights are much less crowded (for the next time I have a free weeknight) right? Like...half hour or less wait?
Mama's is incredibly noisy and while i love the raw bar, i think everything else is too fried for my tastes and is not worth the $.
Do you want crabs? or a sitdown seafood meal?
For the full Baltimore crab experiece, check out: Bill's Terrace Inn - not a tourist spot, all the way out side of the Inner Harbour and in Essex, but worth the trek. Get there early, crabs run out fast!
If you want a more restaurant experience and less a baltimore crab hall/house, you could try Bo Brooks in Canton. Has a nice water view, it's a little pricey - but then, it is seafood - they have cold beer and crabs.
For a local and cheaper option: Cross Street Markets has plenty of steam and raw bar options, not to mention friendly locals, great specials and cold beer.
There are the usual chain-suspects: Roys, Oceanaire, McCormicks etc...all are in and around the Inner Harbour or Harbour East (Marriott is).
If you are on an expense account, def check out Kali's Court in Fells Point or Black Olive. Both are pricey and are 'sides ordered on the side' kind of places, so expect it all to add up.
Places like Salt and the Bicycle, while not traditional seafood restaurants have a strong seafood lean and have amazing food.
hope this helps!
p.s...i would avoid the Rusty Scupper, yes it's on the harbour, yes the view is pretty, yes it's seafood but....there's a reason i've only eaten there on someone else's reservation!
Are you saying that the Rusty Scupper is expensive - or not good? I've always had pretty good meals there, and not overly expensive. I certainly won't put it on an avoid list. It is a more sedate setting than some of the other recommendations.
And I can't believe no one has yet suggested they go to Faidley's for crabcakes - so I will: