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Jun 27, 2008 10:42 AM

Authentic Baltimore Dining Experience

I'm coming to Baltimore for a conference and would really like to enjoy a true Baltimore dinner. We only have a Tuesday night to give and there will be 12 in our group. Where do locals go for their crabs? We're not so concerned with ambiance or service (although we don't object to either): We just want the best crab dinner.

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  1. LP Steamer's in Locust Point.

    Then drop into the Idle Hour for a Chartreuse digestif and some local microbrews.

    1. I wouldn't recommend LP Steamers at all. Although it's run by nice people, is in a convenient area, and has a deck with a really great view, the crabs are pretty lousy.

      How will you be getting around our fair city? I don't know any Baltimorean who goes out for crabs anywhere within the city limits. Also, you may want to search this board for past discussion of best crabhouses, since it gets discussed often, especially in the summer.

      4 Replies
      1. re: baltoellen

        I 2nd staying away from LP Steamers.
        The best crabs are outside of the city, Mr. Bills Terrace Inn in Essex or Costas in North Point, The Ocean Pride in Towson, etc.

        1. re: baltoellen

          We're staying at the Doubletree Inn on W. University Parkway, so I think we'd have to drive to whichever establishment wins out. Where do you go outside of the city limits?

          1. re: EmilyNY

            Ocean Pride in Lutherville, Bill's Terrace Inn in Essex, and Costa's on North Point Blvd are all approximately the same distance from there as the crow flies (although in different directions). Driving time-wise, Ocean Pride is probably a bit closer.

            1. re: Hal Laurent

              I was just at Ocean Pride this past week (posted about it, if you want to search) and was very pleased with the crabs and the service. It was packed at 7 pm on a Tuesday night though, so for a party of 12 I'd say make a reservation.

        2. The only place I've been to for steamed crabs in the past 10 years is Costa's out in Dundalk and it was good. We ordered the largest size crabs - they provide the most meat for the work of breaking the crabs open. You can call ahead and they will start preparing the crabs before you arrive so you won't have to wait as long.

          As far as crabcakes, We like By the Docks by Martin's Airport. I think Timbucktu and G&M are suppose to be comparable. I've noticed that others on the board recomend crabcakes at Faidley's but I don't think they have formal seating - just counters that you stand at to eat or you take them out. At one time (possibly still) Michael's on York Road was said to have good crabcakes. I'm not sure if these places offer steamed crabs.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Whitemarshjohn

            It's been a year or two since I went to By the Docks, but back then their crabcakes tasted like they were made with Asian swimmer crab meat rather than North Atlantic blue crab meat. They were big and pretty, with large pure white lumps, but were lacking in crab flavor.

            Unfortunately, this is becoming all too common around here, no doubt because the Asian crab meat is so much less expensive. It's even becoming harder to buy real blue crab meat for making crabcakes at home.

            1. re: Whitemarshjohn

              Stay away from G&M's. It hasn't been good for years. Asian crab, too much filler, blehhh.

              1. re: ko1

                Agree about G&M's. It gets posted on a lot, and I remembered it when I was up there so I went - nice decor and that's about it.

                However, just down the road I did eat at Snyder's. My coworker had the crabcake and apparently went back for it last week. I had the Maryland fried chicken (my first) and loved it. To me, it's the ultimate quirky Baltimore place, but I'm only getting to truly know Baltimore. BUT - it is staffed by many blue hairs calling you Hon (even though John Waters is disowning that endearment).

            2. The only crab place I know of that screams out "only in Baltimore" is Bill's Terrace Inn. However, the place is very popular,and does not take reservations. Expect a wait. They open in general about 4pm. Go as early as possible. Quite the experience. Worth going out of your way for.