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Jul 17, 2007 09:59 AM

Crabs in Northeast Baltimore City area?

We recently moved from the downtown area up to the Parkville/Hamilton area. Our favorite crab place was Captain Dick's off of Rte 1 only it's a bit too far to drive to now.

Any recommendations for crab shacks in northeast bmore? We tried Hale's the other weekend and I wasn't too impressed. I don't care if they're MD crabs or not. I care that they're meaty and freshly steamed (and decent prices of course).

Someone said he has friends that swear by Crabby Cousins on Harford and their lot always looks packed.

Any thoughts?

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  1. You might get better results asking for Northeast rather than Northwest.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Hal Laurent

      Yep, that might help, huh? I'm much more used to being west, not east, having grown up west of the city.

      Do you have any suggestions for northeast baltimore?

        1. re: hon

          I second Conrads...and about two months ago they had mussels that were about the size of the palm of your hand! delish...and their fresh fish is good too, AND they have a great takeout sandwich and meal menu, plus wine and beer!

    2. If you don't mind a 20 minute ride the Bird River Inn is great. They're on Bird River Road in the Chase area of Baltimore County. 410-344-9220. I'd highly recommend eating-in there, the crab room has lots of personality, and a jumbo-tron sized TV.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Vespa1

        I've seen you mention Bird River Inn in the past. The past two summers, for some really stupid reason, we've been exploring restaurants/crab houses in the East Baltimore County area. (Usually, we look for places by the water....)

        And, I'd love to hear more about BRI, especially if there's something besides crab that's worth ordering. (Of course, I'm always up for good crabs too, but just wondering!)

        BTW, searched on google for them, not much there, besides your posts...;-)

        1. re: baltoellen

          Yeah, I'm getting pretty keen on this place. They have been really reliable for the past 3 years and while I'm sure that there are a bunch of places just like it, I keep going back. Their crab room is the best above-ground replica of someones lousy, suburban basement I've ever seen. White washed, wood grain paneling, builders grade bathroom fixtures, bad trim molding-it has it all! Oh, and just like my Dad they have a gigantic TV set. You get 2 draft beer choices; Coors Light or Bud. The Bird River Inn is actually 2 buildings; the crab house and the bar. They don't serve crabs in the bar as far as I know. The bar is your standard east Baltimore hillbilly joint complete with competition-grade horseshoe pits out back. To be honest I've never seen their menu but they always offer the standard Eastern Shore surf-and-turf of crabs, chicken and corn when you sit down. They steam shrimp, too. Prices are incredibly cheap. One night I called around to three places; two famous places downtown and the BRI. The cheapest/smallest crabs at Obry... were $43 dz., at Bo Br... they were $46 a dz. At the BRI their next to largest crabs were only $40 and they were heavy, hot, and not a bad one in the bunch. Did I mention the all you can eat (or as their signs say, AUCE) crab nights 3 or 4 times a week?
          I'll also put in a plug for Cpt. Harry's on Fitch Ave. in Rossville, carry-out only but the Ridge Inn next door used to have a crab room in the basement.

          1. re: Vespa1

            ohhhhhhh, Vespa1, thanks so much for this great description. This is soooooooo my kind of place. Should be there in the next few weeks, and will definitely report back.

            Also, don't sell this place short! I've been to plenty of places in the greater Middle River area (for want of a better term!) and none sound quite this retro kitschy and all with good crabs and a horseshoe pit! :-))

            1. re: baltoellen

              Ok. The description of BRI fascinated Mr. Baltoellen to such an extent that he decided he wanted to take a drive out there, even though we weren't going to eat there, and it was in the complete opposite direction of all the places we had to go.

              Anyway, the bar WAS your standard 'hillbilly' place, 1:30 on a glorious summer day, and very dark bar was full of people taking about some sport (Nascar, maybe?). I asked if there was a carry-out menu. No, was the reply. We'll pkg food for carry-out, but no menu. Had to read the little board for specials like hot open turkey sandwiches, etc.

              Went over the the 'crab house.' Really, like nothing I've ever seen, and the big screen TV took up an entire wall. I was just astounded by the pre-fabness of it all.

              I asked about crab prices, and was told about all you can eat (AUCE!!!), was Mon-Thur, and $18/per person. The woman there told me that they were, of course, small, but heavy. I asked something about "AUCE" contributing to the declining population of local crabs---really, sometimes the things that come out of my mouth surprise even me!--and that if it's "AUCE" people don't seem to eat the entire crab. Just get what the think this best, and move on to the next one.

              She said, well, not here. And, went on to say that unless you've picked that crab clean, claws and all, you don't get any more.

              I had to respect that...and, boy, not a touch of irony in her voice!

              On the weekend, they have the 'couples special,' which is crabs and shrimp and corn (I think, but could be wrong), for $30, $40, or $50 per 'couple,' depending on crab size. I forget exactly.....but, the entire thing was a bit intriguing!

              Anyway, at some point, I'll be back there....Just too bizarre not to try! Thanks for the tip!

              1. re: baltoellen

                I had a crab craving and decided that based on the above, I'd check out BRI. Prices were 22/32/42. we did a doz 32 and a half 42. crabs were small but heavy, so we were happy. the place is as described...right out of someones basement. Unfortunately, that also includes smoke. The place was thick w/ blue haze and i'm pretty sure every table but ours was puffing at least 4ciggarettes. There's no extractor fan, no ventilation and no open doors/windows except when the server runs in and out to drop the crabs. Even for a reformed smoker, it was a lot. Luckily for us we got there as the crowd was getting ready to pay and leave (8:30) so the smoke left with them, but i have to say, that was the longest and most headaching 20mins! Service was pretty slow, there was just one guy and the room was full except one table, so it took us 10 mins to get seated and 20mins to get orders in and then another 15 to get drinks etc...a long process. The crabs were good and I'd recommend them to go! Unless, of course you are a smoker, in which case, this is prob right up your alley.

              1. re: hon

                The Bird River Inn
                10529 Bird River Rd
                Baltimore, MD
                Phone: (410) 344-9220

        2. Stimply - I live in the same area. We just tried Costas Inn a couple weeks ago, another 10-15 min drive out North Point Blvd - it was great! biggest crabs I've even seen in years (& most we've ever paid but worth every penny).

          Costas Inn Restaurant
          4100 N Point Blvd, Dundalk, MD 21222

          1. Blake's on Erdman Ave. just before Pulaki Highway. Great crabs, great value.

            1. Have you tried the corner crab house on Erdman and Federal Sts. Nice prices and the crabs are nicely seasoned. I like crabby cousins too.