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Jun 22, 2007 07:11 AM

Baltimore crab soup thread

I've been on a hunt for really good Maryland crab soup for what seems like forever. I try a cup, at least, of it at almost any new place I go that has it on the menu, and am almost always disappointed.

I'm not looking for anything exotic--no pink salt, nothing like roasted anything in it--but just a classic, crabby, peppery, with decent veggies put together in the right proportions in a bowl of hot soup.

I think the best bowl I've had of this local fav in the past few months has been at that lunch counter in Cross Street Market (right at the Charles St. entrance--and the name escapes me, maybe Steve's Lunch?) and in the past, I thought Theresa's in the B'dwy Market was pretty good, except a bit heavy on beef.

So, what are your picks for the best bowl of Maryland crab soup in the greater Baltimore area?


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  1. Steve's Lunch is at the Light Street end.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Tugboat

      Of course it is at the Light Street end! D'oh!

    2. quick question interjection on the topic of baltimore crab: is $18.99 a normal price for one crab cake?

      being from FL, i really wanted to try a genuine maryland crab cake on a short BWI layover - the price at the obrycki's in BWI astounded me, and i couldn't see shelling out that much for a crab cake.

      i don't think it's just an airport price thing either, because the obrycki's online menu has the same price......

      4 Replies
      1. re: hitachino

        First, I agree about Steve's Lunch at Cross Street. I get the crab soup every time I go to Cross Street.

        Regarding the Obrycki's crab cake, I would never pay that much for a single crab cake. But then I'm a crab cake snob and rarely eat them out, because my mother's are better than anything I've ever purchased. She doesn't make them much anymore (picking through the crab has become difficult and tiresome for her), but buys good cakes at Annapolis Seafood and just cooks them at home.

        I have also had good crab cakes at Gertrude's in the Baltimore Museum of Art. Closest approximation of my mother's that I have found.

        1. re: hitachino

          Just a clarification. . . A light fare crab cake at Obrycki's is $14.95. The crab cake dinner is priced at $18.95 and includes two sides.

          Also, keep in mind that we (yes, I work at Obrycki's) use only fresh crab meat, not the pasteurized, tasteless Asian crab meat that is sold in most places these days.

          It's your money, so spend it as you see fit. But sometimes, if you want the best you have to splurge.

          1. re: Crabman

            I've never eaten at Obrycki's but if you're eating at the airport, you should always expect to be reamed on price.

            1. re: onocoffee

              BWI has a "street pricing" policy. Operators are not allowed to charge higher than normal pricing. Our pricing is the same at either location. . . guaranteed.

        2. I found the crab soup at Ikaros to be very good.

          Nothing has yet met the standards Mom set. Moms crab soup did not have crab meat
          added...Dad would clean and shell the crabs and Mom would break the crabs in half and add to the soup. With a bowl of soup you got a half a crab. Mom also always swore that a thunderstorm would cause a pot of crab soup to go "sour".

          1. The Maryland crab soup at Fifer's seafood (Elizabeth Station, Pasadena on Ft. Smallwood Road) is a real winner. Peppery, chock full o' veggies, and lots of crab. The last time we had it, we proclaimed it the best we've eaten in recent memory.

            Their seafood is awesome. Sunday through Wed they have an all-you-can-eat deal where you can choose from a gazillion steamed, fried, and other seafood options on the menu. Their steamed clams are the best I've had. Definitely worth the drive out.

            I agree that usually the Maryland crab is disappointing. I'm trying to think of one I had before Fifer's that wasn't all that disappointing, but am blanking on where that was.

            1 Reply
            1. re: venera

              Fantastic story, Hue! I'll bet you've more of them, too & wonder if you ever try to make that wonderful soup yourself--but on a clear day, of course!

              I go to Greektown fairly often, so will need to stop by Ikaros and try their soup. I wonder if I can do my own food crawl, soup there and then go to my normal Zorba's or Samo's for the main meal.

              Venera, I've never heard of Fifer's, but googled their site, and they look GREAT. It is definitely on the list, and thanks for the tip!

            2. This is a bit far afield, but two weeks ago we ate at Fish On! in Lewes DE. Mrs. W. -- a Baltimore native and crab soup expert -- tried the Delaware Crab Soup and pronounced it excellent. I think the main difference was a different variety of veggies (no corn, for example).

              Interestingly, on a thread I started on the general topics board about "beloved local favorites that aren't all that" that got a ton of responses but for some reason was deleted in its entirety, I cited Maryland crab soup as one of the leading offenders. My point in starting that thread was to warn tourists about likely disappointments but the mods must have seen some sort of more sinister motive.