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Recent Baltimore Crab house info

I've been reading the posts about the classics like Obrykis; Harris & Bo Brooks only to notice that the postings are mostly from 2005. Can I bring this question to 2008? Any recommendations for what is now the Top Crab house in town?

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  1. Bill's Terrace Inn
    Costa's Inn
    Crab Quarters
    Conrads (Parkville)
    Bills Seafood (Perry Hall)

    1. I posted on Obrycki's in March. Very good crabs.

      9 Replies
      1. re: jfish

        Good to hear, I was there in 1998? was searching for info on them and read some not so good posts from 2005, sorry to have missed yours; Thanks! Thanks bmore flavor for the listing too.

        1. re: C2Patsy

          Obryckis is a tourist trap, I would definately recommend Bill's Terrace Inn!

          1. re: hon

            While Obrycki's is definitely a touristy place, it is because it is widely recommended. While I like Bill's Terrace Inn, I have always enjoyed the crabs at Obrycki's too.

            1. re: hon

              What if we don't want to drive all the way out to Essex?? Can I assume Obrycki's is good enough for a tourist?

              1. re: cnote1500

                There's nothing wrong with the crabs at Obrycki's. They're expensive, but crabs are expensive everywhere.

                Obrycki's uses a more old-fashioned style of seasoning then most Baltimore crab places. It's black-pepper based rather than Old Bay based.

                1. re: Hal Laurent

                  apparently there are 2 "Bill's". I havent tried either and am confused as to which one you are referring to. Bill's Terrace Inn or Bill's Seafood in Perry Hall?

              2. re: hon

                In my opinion a tourist trape is a place that makes its living off the tourists but does not really deliver. Obrycki's delivers as far as steamed crabs go. That said, I too prefer the experience at Bill's but crab for crab Obrycki's can hang and I like their spice mix.

                1. re: jfish

                  The last time I had crabs at Obryckis they were overpriced and very light - I will never go back!

          2. towards the end of last year I was at Mr. Bill's Terrace Inn and it was fantastic

            5 Replies
            1. re: MarcDC

              I tried to take a buddy to Bill's and there was a wait; when I asked how long the wait was, the guy (Bill?) acting as host was a total jerk to me. We left and got crabs at Conrad's.

              1. re: uac1530

                Can you eat in at Conrad's? I thought it was just a carryout place.

                1. re: Hal Laurent

                  Correct...no tables, maybe one outside in nice weather!

                  1. re: crosby_p

                    There are a couple of tables - I've eaten there by myself a couple of times (sandwiches, not crabs), but they are mainly meant for people waiting to pick up their orders.

                2. re: uac1530

                  the big problem with Mr. Bill's is the wait, I agree. A friend and I read about that on the chow boards ltherefore went well before we were hungry. Our wait was about two hours on a Saturday but it was worth it

              2. Waht about Nick's on Insulator Drive for crabs? Just had my first crab at the end of last summer up near PA (Hereford?) and I hope to have many more this summer!

                6 Replies
                1. re: BaltoPhilFood

                  My favorites are:

                  Obrycki's - Baltimore
                  Costa's - Essex
                  Seaside - Glen Burnie

                  By the way, never settle for a light crab when dining in! If you get served a dud always send it back, don't be shy. They're too expensive to be unsatisfied.

                  1. re: cece_balti

                    Cece, what can you tell me about Seaside? I prefer Mr Bill's to Costa's, but have never been to Seaside. I live in Glen Burnie now, so it would be great to have a great crab place nearby!!!


                    1. re: venera

                      If you live in Glen Burnie now I highly recommend Anne Arundel Seafood on Mountain Road or it's sister store Fifer Seafood on Ft Smallwood Road in Pasadena. Both have very good crabs and any other style seafood you may want from raw - oysters, clams - to Fried - shrimp, fish, oysters, clams, crabcakes - to steamed - shrimp, fish, lobsters, clams, oysters - to crab imperials, stuffed shrimp, stuffed lobster tails - to soups, crab, cream of crab, oyster stew, clam chowder, to salads and sides. Also Subs and sandwiches. Both restaurants have picnic table style seating, and I believe have very good seafood.

                      1. re: venera

                        I'm sorry for the late reply venera, here is Seasides website: http://theseasiderestaurant.com/ It is on the small side so you may want to arrive early. The crabs have always been heavy and good. They use the traditional Old Bay seasoning.

                    2. re: BaltoPhilFood

                      I just had crabs last weekend at Nicks and was severely disappointed. We got the 50's and they were very small. They were about the size you would expect a bar to give away on $1 crab night. At least two of the two dozen were practically empty (i.e. "light").

                      1. re: KAZ

                        Jumbos are running $80+ right now. In a popular, touristy place perhaps $100 or so if you can get them.

                    3. I had crabs at Bo Brooks in December. They were overcooked and one of my dining compatriots got what he said were two bad crabs. Not impressed, although the onion rings were very good.

                      1. LP Steamers in Locust Point.....Casual and fun.
                        Capt'n James Landing in Canton....deck on the water (and parking)
                        Ryliegh's in Fed Hill.....go early it gets crowded with youngters by 9.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: jimmitch923

                          Ryleigh's does crabs? I thought they only did oysters.... doesnt look like a crabhouse...

                          1. re: MarcDC

                            Tue night is shore night at Ryleigh's. $2 crabs. The night I went you had to order crabs five at a time. They were ok, not great. But for $2 acceptable. The oysters on the other hand were excellent.

                            1. re: jfish

                              Agreed on all points, factual and opinion. For $2 crabs they are decent enough. But their oysters are fantastic.

                          2. re: jimmitch923

                            While LP Steamers is run by nice, easy going folks, and in a great location, their crabs are, unfortunately, far from being the best of the bunch.

                            1. re: jimmitch923

                              do not, i repeat - DO NOT go to captain james for crabs (or anything else for that matter). we went last year, for the $30 all you can eat, in August when the crabs should have been heavy and delish. these were the exact opposite. they were presteamed, watery and light. the meat tasted salty and mushy. the seating/view outside is great; too bad its wasted and not worth enjoying it because the food is awful.

                            2. I have never had a bad or light crab from Putty Hill Station.

                              1. Just went to Costa's and had a good meal there
                                Price's up in Havre de Grace is still my favorite, but it's a hike. One of the few places that does real blues, although this season I'm not sure anyone's going to have them.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: pleiades

                                  I'm pretty sure that Price's closed for good recently.

                                2. Last summer, some freinds and I did carry out crabs at Jimmys on Holabird Ave. in Dundalk. The crabs were good sized and heavy. I can't remember the price though.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: amethiste

                                    Eating in the big dining room at Jimmys is a trip complete with rotating dessert cases.

                                    1. re: amethiste

                                      I had truly awful crabs there, along with truly terribly treatment there a few years ago. Not only did I vow never to return, I told the manager that I would talk about what a totally pathetic, and lousy place it was, with the most detestable service. So, consider it done!

                                      (The offense was watery crabs. I mean, you tilted the crabs and buckets full of water would come pouring out. The not so good folks at Jimmy's refused to replace the crabs with non-waterlogged ones, or take the cost of those pathetic creatures off of our check.)

                                      1. re: baltoellen

                                        That is terrible treatment. It's definately not my favorite crab place, thats for sure, but I have friends who always insist on going there.

                                        1. re: baltoellen

                                          I'm sorry that you had such a bad experience at Jimmy's. My wife and I have been eating crabs there for years, and crab for crab Jimmy's has been the most consistent (heavy and properly steamed). We've tried pretty much all of the others on the list, but always gone back to Jimmy's (even over the so-revered Bill's).

                                          I have to say that I'm surprised by the love for Obrycki's. It seems every time I have eaten there the crabs have been poorly steamed (talk about water logged), and I guess I'm more of a rock salt guy because their black pepper seaoning just doesn't do it for me.