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My "welcome to Baltimore" dinner

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So, tomorrow I get my first paycheck from the state of Maryland. I'm officially a resident of the city of Baltimore, officially a Marylander. For the first time in the last two months, I've got money to spend and feel like I've finally come home. (The O's have already broken my heart.) Here's how I'd like to celebrate: A crab house dinner, a view (doesn't have to be water), a bucket of (decent) beer, all inside of a bicycle's ride of my Canton rowhouse. (A long waterfront bike ride would be heaven.) Where would you go?

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  1. IMO there are no decent crab houses a bicycle's ride from Canton.
    I would go to Mamas on The Half Shell on Canton Square for loads of beer and loads of seafood or Henningers Tavern in Fells Point for something a little more refined but still casual: www.henningerstavern.com
    Welcome to Bawlmer!

    1. Well, depending on just HOW much celebrating one does, I'd start @ Mama's for a bevy and oysters, ride thru Fells Point and (avoiding John Stevens) grab a beer @ Duda's or outside @ Admiral's Cup, thru the IH and either stop in @ Cross Street market for raw bar fare, or bypass FedHill all together and hit Captain Larry's for Friday's specials (www.captainlarrys.com) and then....still wanting crabs? Ride over to LP Steamers on the corner of Fort Ave for a view (sit on the top deck if the weather's nice) and a steamer meal - perhaps the crabs aren't Bawlmer's best, but I've always thoroughly enjoyed my meals here. Alternatively, if you want to support 'new Maryland' cuisine, aka fusion cooked by local boys, check out Nasu Blanca or the Wine Market, both of which are opposite LPSteamers.
      Hope this gives you some ideas! Have fun

      1. Welcome to town! Its good to see you have come with the heart pre-broken by the Orioles, makes it easier that way.

        I like the idea of a rolling tour. LP Steamers fits your bill perfectly. They have a roof top deck with a decent view, cold beer and steamed crabs. I would start there. Depending on the time, I would stop in on the Cross Street Market for a beer (they close at 7pm) and maybe a couple of oysters. Then hit Duda's in Fells Point. Those three would be great "Welcome to Baltimore" stops.

        1 Reply
        1. re: hon

          I think their pricing is part of their charm. Of course its absurd! Embrace it! Love it! Appreciate the quirkiness!

          I went to LP Steamers two weeks ago, after reading about your experience. The crabs were wonderful. and I think I isolated a key differentiator. I went early on a Saturday. At least at that time, the crabs were big, meaty and freshly steamed.

          As hon reported at that time, there is some indication that they do not steam the crabs to order. Indeed, when I called, I got the impression that they get crabs every morning (e.g. they couldn't tell me what sizes they were going to get in a day in advance), steam them all, re-steam and sell what they can and pick the rest at the end of the day for crab cakes. (This is just my guess, I could be wrong about that).

          Assuming this is true, it seems you have two options:

          1. Go early in the day to catch them right out of the steamer.

          2. Call ahead and specifically ask them to hold a dozen for you and to steam them when you arrive.

          There aren't that many true local crab houses in the city anymore. Any news ones that open (e.g. Nick's under the Hanover St. Bridge) lack the certain charm of the old places. I say, we as the local hounds have a responsibility to help keep those local gems open, even if it means recommending they change some of their business practices.

        2. Welcome to Canton. Well, honestly the Crab experience is best in someone's back yard or table with a few Natt Bohs ice cold from a can surrounded by loads of newspaper, knives or mallets, roll of paper towles, loads of Old Bay. For waterfornt in Canton you cycle short distances to Captain James (fells pt) who offers on the water outdoor crab picking and Bo Brook's which also offers on the water crab dining. No one will probably agree that these places have the best or the cheapest but both offer what you asked for rides along water, beer in bucket and steamed crabts. For a LOCAL experience cheaper, go to the Sunday Farmer's Market under 83 overpass (8-12 or sell out) Pleasant Street. There are 2 fishermen selling live crabs by the dozen, males and females. We got 12 lg females for $15 last week, steamed them in old bay and beer and they were awesome. Males are running 20-50.00 a dozen, females 12-20.00. Local crab season is just now picking up and is at its best here Sept-Oct. Legally, they can bring in until Dec. 15th. Fishermen last year sold at the market through mid Nov. all depends on the weather. The longer it stays warm, the longer they will be selling. All this info. was provided to me last week at market by the Female Fisherman set up next to the soup lady. Enjoy...if you are looking to meet other bmore foodies. Check out yahoo group charmcitycheapeats or charmcityhounds.

          1. best crab house in baltimore is Obrycki's. You could easily get there on a bike although it is not in the greatest neigborhood in the world. A cab ride might work better. Do the bike ride in fells point or canton or around the harbor and then go home shower and go out for crabs. I always buy the largest crabs. Big lump meat.

            3 Replies
            1. re: dining with doc

              The neighborhood around Obrycki's is not particularly dangerous. The biggest drawback to going there by bicycle from Canton is that it's an uphill ride.

              1. re: Hal Laurent

                Coming home it's uphill, getting there is downhill. Either way, I always bike along the water since it's flat and a lot less traffic to worry about.

                1. re: aussiewonder

                  I guess that depends on where in Canton you're coming from. I'm pretty sure Obrycki's is at a higher elevation than say, Canton Square on O'Donnell St.

                  From my house in Butchers Hill, it's uphill back home from anywhere. :-)

            2. Wharf Rat in Fell's Point, down the street from Johns Steven's. Are they still doing the "three beers, three bucks" thang with their local brews? Hubba hubba. I can still taste the Ace Pear Ale they had way back when I used to drink a lot...

              Wwelcome to Bawlmer, Hon!

              1 Reply
              1. re: venera

                343 at the Rat has been modified slightly to 3 beers for $4. Still a great spot.