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:) Crab Cakes Anyone?

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I love crab cakes but alas do not eat them often because they are usually just average here in Jersey. The absolute best I've ever eaten were at fish joints on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. Made with the delicious blue crabs then deep fried, these babies are my yard stick for comparison.

Now for all you crab cake lovers out there - where can I get cakes as good as the ones described above here in central Jersey? Please DO NOT reply unless you have tasted the real deal crab cakes in Maryland. Thanks much!

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  1. I, too, consider myself a connoisseur of fine crab cakes. The best I’ve eaten are the lump crab cakes at Faidley’s in Baltimore, winner of “Best of Baltimore” best crab cake at least a dozen times. They are all hand made by the owner, Nancy Devine. You cannot duplicate them in New Jersey, or anywhere else, for that matter. All lump crabmeat with virtually no filler and deep-fried. You might want to have them flown in, as I do, and cook them yourself. As for crab cakes in New Jersey, I've tried many, many and none can compare. One you may find acceptable: Dock's Oyster House in Atlantic City.

    4 Replies
    1. re: elman1952

      Are you talking about the place in the market in Baltimore? I remember eating crab cakes at this mega-award winning joint there. Never had crab cakes like that before or since...yum.

      1. re: joonjoon

        Lexington Market, Paca Street - About five blocks or so from Camden Yards.

        1. re: MGZ

          Faidley's Crab Cakes! They are indeed the best I've ever tasted.
          http://www.faidleyscrabcakes.com/

          1. re: bgut1

            With a web site like theirs,(No prices listed at all) they better be outstanding!

    2. I've had scrumptious crab cakes,and you're right: When they are wonderful they are amazing. I order them all the time and am perpetually disappointed
      OK...Ok... No yelling...
      I know this isn't what you're seeking but as you continue your search , if you want a tasty crab "fix" you might want to head over to Piero's in Union Beach and have their delicious hot crab appetizer. Not what you seek, but chunks of sweet crabmeat in a tasty very delicious creamy sauce might hold you over until you find those 'cakes...
      Please be sure to let us know what you find
      Thanks! :-}

      http://www.pierosrestaurant.com/index...

      1 Reply
      1. re: Tay

        Get crab imperial at Mastoris in bordentown delicious, also try the short ribs!!!DEB

      2. Blue Claw Seafood and Crab Eatery in Burlington has the best that I've found around here, followed second by the Chart House in Philly. Blue Bottle Cafe in Hopewell also makes a great crab cake, but all fail in comparison to mine! =) -mJ

        1 Reply
        1. re: njfoodies

          We split njfoodies' recipe for crab cakes to its own topic on the Home Cooking board. That's where our cooks hang out and share tips on making great food at home, and you'll be passing on your expertise to cooks around the world during the summer blue claw season. The post lives here now: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/520584

          We ask everyone to keep the Mid Atlantic board focused on where to source great food locally, whether as raw ingredients, or as restaurant prepared meals. This helps keep your local board most useful for you and your neighbors. Thanks

        2. I lived in Baltimore when I was in school and had my fair share of Faidley's cakes in Lexington Market. I've eaten my share of cakes on the DelMarVa penninsula as well. In NJ, only my Grandmother made a better cake than me and our's start with meat we've caught and cleaned ourselves (she taught me even before I learned to surf!).

          That being said, I will endorse the cake at Brandl. The servers may be bitchy, but the man makes a great cake.

          2 Replies
          1. re: MGZ

            It's funny when an old thread pops up and stirs the memory. The foregoing was submitted the day before we first went to Trinity. In fairness, MD makes a better cake than Brandl.

            (I am also reminded that I miss living 3 blocks from Faidley's!)

            1. re: MGZ

              I have only tried Brandl crabcakes once and they were old and fishy, not something I would hold up as a "high standard." I do love the crabcakes at Daniel's Bistro, no filler, colossal crabmeat. Yummy, not deep fried either!

          2. Don't know if any of their locations are near you, but Bobby Chez crabcakes are pretty popular in southern NJ.

            http://www.bobbychezcrabcakes.com/

            Here's what Zagat says...

            “They have no equal” conclude cognoscenti about the “best” crab cakes “bar none” dispensed from these South Jersey specialists, where followers far and wide “stand in line” for the “legendary” signatures; note that the goods aren’t necessarily a bargain, and it’s not surprising that the quintet is touted for “takeout” (you can always “cook ’em up at home”) given the “basic” decor.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Rocket88

              Tried a Bobby Chez crabcake yesterday sooooo disappointed.
              It was ok but not anything like all the press I have read?!?

              1. re: shabbystorm

                Chez's crab cakes are good but not deserving of the hype. Faidley's are much better.

            2. We've had Bobby Chez a few times and they are good. I'm not a big fan however of their cakes that are deep fried. The sauteed cakes are decent, but I don't like the peppers and pimento or whatever it is that they put in them. I want my crab cakes to taste like crab, not like peppers. Regardless, Chez are a good substitute. Many people swear by them, and we frequent the Mount Laurel lcoation from time to time. -mJ

              11 Replies
              1. re: njfoodies

                Charleys in long branch makes a pretty decent crab cake. Lots of lump meat with minimal filler. The sauce was neither too hot nor too heavy.

                1. re: agruel

                  Copper Canyon has an excellent crab cake. All very large jumbo lump (or better?) crab meat. Very large, and charged as a loss leader.

                  1. re: hotfoodhot

                    "charged as a loss leader" - how may I ask do you know this? BTW, jumbo or colossal lump is the highest grade of crabmeat.
                    http://www.phillipsfoods.com/index.cf...

                    1. re: bgut1

                      Funny, I know. I have this wierd, ocd-like thing with spelling, and as I started to spell c-o-l-o-s-s-a-l (well, I just had to look up at yours, because I actually spelled it with 2 l's!) so, I just wrote the jumbo. Why did I think I could slip that by!! As I said, I have had conversations with some people there who let me know that they didn't apply the usual "mark-up" to that dish and the kitchen often sends it out to impress.

                      1. re: agruel

                        Chef - Thanks you for the reply. Are you also hotfoodhot?

                        1. re: bgut1

                          obviously the sarcasm was lost in translation, I was referring to hot food hot's post

                          1. re: agruel

                            Thanks a lot, chef. I think I can demonstrate my own lack of knowledge without your help. Nice to have seen you at Avenue. Next time, I'll keep my idiosyncrasies to myself. Why didn't you post about your lunch?

                            1. re: hotfoodhot

                              Well, to be honest I didn't post about my lunch for my fear of going against the trends of the Chow Gods.....but if you so desire, and having seen me there, I will. I had the ALT sandwich. Avocado Lettuce and Tomato finished with a creamy goat cheese spread. The food was amazing and the service was impeccable. Mind you it was Lunch and they were clearly overstaffed, but I was impressed nonetheless. My mother had the tuna nicoise sandwich, it was served openface and was well dressed, seasoned perfectly and had an ample amount of fresh tuna. I'll be back.

                              1. re: agruel

                                There, now..... that didn't hurt, did it?

                  2. re: agruel

                    I went to Charley's about a month or so ago and had the crabcake. It was good but I noticed more filler than crabmeat.

                    1. re: vtt7

                      I like the crab cakes at Ray's in Little Silver, though they are a tad on the small side...

                2. My favorite crab cakes are the ones to be had at the Captain's Galley on the docks in Crisfield MD.(the "Crab Capitol of the World") they are made they way a true crab cake should be prepared:
                  1. Blue crab (calinectus sapidus)
                  2. All jumbo lump
                  3. No filler. You have to wonder what is holdinging those sweet morsels of crabmeat together.
                  According to the Captain's Galley site the cakes are made using their grandmother's recipe.
                  Unfortunately most South Jersey crab cakes are really "Deviled Crab" = claw meat and special meat with the peppers onions etc. They aren't really bad, some of them are quite tastey. Surimi can be tastey as well, but it ain't crab meat. And as far as I am concerned "Deviled Crab" ain't a crab cake.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: ChrisOC

                    Is there a particular season for crabcakes in MD? This post is making my want to take a trip...

                    1. re: njchowgal

                      Yes the Chesapeake blue crabs are seasonal. Go here and find out some facts about crabs[ http://www.cantlers.com/maryland-blue... ] then call Cantler's and find out when the peak of the season is. Finally take a trip down there and try one of the local crab restaturants such as Canteler's for the best crab cakes you will ever eat. There is simply nothing like them in Jersey and anyone who suggests otherwise has not been to the Chesapeaek durring crab season.

                      1. re: JerzeyShore

                        Sylvesters on 21st in Avalon, NJ. Awesome crab cakes!!!!

                        http://www.sylvesters-avalon.com/

                        1. re: JerzeyShore

                          Thank you for sharing your knowledge!
                          This one gets added to my things to do in this lifetime list :)

                          1. re: JerzeyShore

                            With all due respect to Cantler's, there are better: for crab cakes the Narrows on Kent Island are the absolute best in the state of Maryland. For crabs:
                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/171420

                            Also:
                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/171496

                            Additionally, there are threads on here (i.e. home cooking) which note the recipe for Faidley's and the recipe for the Narrows. At one time Jerry's in Lanham, MD had a fantastic crab cake as well as a crab "bomb" but Jerry's has since been sold. Angelina's on Harford road in Baltimore once had a great crab cake and even better crab imperial. Angelina's was also sold.

                            The Narrows on Kent Island is the destination you want.

                            1. re: Joe H

                              Joe H, my personal memories of the Chesapeake Bay area and the wonderful crab meals are from about 10 years ago. Canteler's was a great down and dirty place where we pounded on hard shells on top of tables with a brown paper covering and enjoyed the atmosphere as much as the fantastic crabs.
                              But, you are right they did not have the best cakes.

                              Maybe you can help me out. My memory of the best fried crab cakes was a place in Saint Michaels right on the water. I recall that we docked right in front ,got off the boat and walked into the restaturant which was right there. I can not remember the name of the restaurant however. Do you know the name?

                              I would like to plan a trip back down to the Chesapeake when the blue claws are in season. As I indicated above there is nothing here in Jersey that even comes close to the Maryland crab experience. Thanks for your reply and the links provided above.

                              1. re: JerzeyShore

                                Probably the Crab Claw in St. Michael's but if you are coming on a boat you REALLY want to go to Waterman's which I wrote about. It is a legend and regarded by a number of sources (i.e. magazines, tv stations, etc.) as Maryland's best overall crab house. Coming from Jersey Rock Hall is a bit closer also. http://www.watermanscrabhouse.com/home/ Cantler's has a great deal of atmosphere, as does the Crab Claw and Stoney's on Broome Island, etc. But Waterman's has probably the best atmosphere of all along with a number of sides that are particularly good. Suicide Bridge is also an excellent alternative.

                                1. re: Joe H

                                  Again much thanks for your reply and as I'll be driving down this time I will be sure to try one or more of your suggested crab recommendations.

                      2. With all these posts, I'm a little surprised no-one's mentioned Grabbe's Seafood in Westville, NJ. It's a funky old bar that serves great seafood, and makes especially good crab cakes. They have an excellent source of fish and shellfish--out in back is their own seafood store.
                        Don't be afraid of the way it looks- the building probably won't fall down while you're there.
                        It's South Jersey, not Central, but might be worth a trip.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: johnpm

                          That looks like a great joint!

                          http://www.grabbes.com/

                          1. re: MGZ

                            Interesting. I've never seen a restaurant website that doesn't provide a phone # or indicate where the restaurant is located...

                            1. re: equal_Mark

                              Maybe your browser blocked out the 'contact us' and 'directions' buttons?I'm thankful for any restaurant website that doesn't use flash.

                              19 Delsea Drive
                              Westville, NJ 08093

                              Restaurant Phone: (856) 456-3594
                              Store Phone : (856) 456-2625
                              Fax: (856) 456-2003
                              E-mail: sales@crabs.net

                              Restaurant Hours of Operation:
                              Mon. 4pm-12am
                              Tues-Sat 11am-12am
                              Sun Closed

                              Seafood Store Hours of Operation:
                              Mon-Sat 10am-9pm
                              Sunday 10am-4pm

                              1. re: equal_Mark

                                LOL - Googled
                                Grabbe's Seafood Restaurant
                                19 Delsea Dr
                                Westville, NJ 08093
                                (856) 456-3594‎

                                1. re: shabbystorm

                                  I went to school in MD for a time and would recommend Mr. Shrimp in Belmar for a good crab cake. Not AS good as MD, but will fill a craving without the drive.

                          2. The crab cakes at Morgan Fishery on rt 35 in Sayreville are/were quite good but not of the Md caliber. I have heard, however, that the place has recently changed hand. I recently had crab cakes in NOLA, Mobile and Savannah. Average at best, too much flavored breading, or was it stuffing? We came up rt 13 on DELMARVA, but found no shacks. What did we miss?

                            1. Belford Bistro had according to my discerning wife the best she ever had...

                              1. http://www.mudcitycrabhouse.com/menu6...

                                lump crab no fillers

                                1. Stopped at Caffe Aldo Lamberti Cherry Hill NJ for one of their Zucchini Crabcakes.
                                  Pulled into the parking lot, saw the Bentley's, only had flip flops on, no proper shoes LOL

                                  In any case, this was all lumb crab meat with a thin layer of zucchini on top, with a touch of bread crumbs on each side, lightly seared, served over a bed of baby spinach. Good, but not mind blowing.

                                  Side Note: They serve some amazing olives, Maybe Castelvetrano - Noccellara del Belice - WOW~ Gimme More!!

                                  Any one tried Back Bay Crabcakes - Collingswood NJ
                                  http://www.backbayseafood.net/

                                  1. I grew up eating and picking crabs and probably consumed more by age 10 then most people do in a lifetime. In fact I was a commerical crabber in South Jersey in my youth. Having eaten crab up and down the East coast I have to say Bobby Chez's crab cakes are the best (next to my grandmother's) not just in Jersey but on the East Coast.
                                    I am a bit puzzled by all the posts that rave about Maryland Maryland crabcakes. For staters, very few crabs are pulled out of the heavily polluted Chesapeak Bay so 80% of the crabs they serve you in MD as MD crabs are actually from LA, NC, SC, and yest to you Jersey haters NJ. Second, and this is just my opinion, a MD crabcake features mayo as a binder which I believe masks the crab taste (and I personally hate mayo so I may be a bit biased here) so I am partial to any recipe that forgoes glopping up the delicious crab meat. If you want pure crab with little binder, filler, and flavors that mask the crab then try Bobby Chez's.
                                    ps. Don't be fooled by the mythical hype about a MD crab tasting better than any other blue crab it is all marketing bunk!

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: Foodphanatic71

                                      I agree with Foodphanatic71. I have family in Maryland and have had MD crabcakes many times. They are nothing special....

                                      1. re: reeree

                                        Interesting. Where do I go to find "Bobby Chez's" crab cakes?

                                        1. re: Joe H

                                          Hi JoeH
                                          Bobby Chez's - there are seven locations in NJ and Philadelphia.
                                          http://www.bobbychezcrabcakes.com/mai...
                                          The day we tried them, went to the Cherry Hill NJ location.
                                          Definitely post and let us know your experience.
                                          Hope this helps.

                                          1. re: shabbystorm

                                            The photos of it looked like it is fried. I prefer a broiled crab cake. Still, it is definitely worth pursuing. Thank you very much.

                                            1. re: Joe H

                                              I believe you can get them fried, baked, broiled (not sure though).... Haven't had a Bobby Chez in a while but my memory is a good one. I know of BChez lovers and those who... not so much. I just think the "Crab Cake" is such a personal endeavor. You can not please everyone as... EVERYONE... has their own opinion as to what makes one ultimately 'suberb'. In the meantime...it's fun tasting your way to your favorite!

                                      2. re: Foodphanatic71

                                        Sorry, I have to disagree. The crab cakes I've had in NJ are good, but they don't come close to the ones from Box Hill in Bel Air, MD. Almost 100% crab, large pieces. No mayo that I noticed. Very little binder.

                                        1. re: Foodphanatic71

                                          I agree with you about Bobby Chez, Foodphanatic. I've lived in NJ for 6 years and have tried many a crabcake, but so far Bobby's is the best. Trouble is, although Bobby has several NJ locations, none is nearer than about 35 miles from us.

                                        2. Red in Red Bank just won the Crab cake cook off at Monmouth Park, in case anyone is interested. I've never had them there, myself.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: MichelleM131

                                            Michelle,

                                            Thanks for your update, much appreciated ...

                                          2. mud city crab house in manahawkin won people's choice award at the jersey shore crab cake cook off! the lines were unbelievable for the jumbo lump crab cake. they are seasonal but they have a little spot that will be open year round for crab cakes in Lacey mud city crab cake company. The Philadelphia enquirer review by Craig Laban called them the king of the crab cake and NJ monthly has awarded them best crab cake in the past..
                                            www.mudcitycrabhouse.com
                                            www.mudcitycrabcakeco.com