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Jul 31, 2008 10:21 AM

a crab dinner?

Hi folks - my SO and I have recently been craving a Baltimore-style crab dinner... nothing fancy, just a huge pile of crabs steamed in Old Bay, served in a comfortable place that serves beer. Does this exist in Boston? Any reccs would be very much appreciated. Thanks!

(fyi, Summer Shack isn't quite what I'm looking for... it's maybe more upscale than we desire for a meal like this)

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  1. Why is the only one I can think of in Boston proper the Barking Crab?

    1. not in Boston.
      even the Barking Crab only serves previously frozen crab legs.

      if i'm wrong i want to hear about it, quickly as now i'm craving me some crabs.

      you could buy the live crabs from any of a number of places in CTown and DIY.

      3 Replies
      1. re: ScubaSteve

        I called over to James Hook to see where they stand with crabs. Al said they have both rock and dungeness crabs at their temporary location on Northern Avenue.
        And, they hope to have some retail set up, at the old location in a couple of weeks.

        photos and more details here.

        1. re: ScubaSteve

          Haven't been this summer, but last summer, Barking Crab had a blackboard which listed the variety of crab they had available on that day.

          1. re: Pegmeister

            that's usually there but what they're selling are not whole crabs but leg sections.

        2. I had it at the summer shack on I think Wednesday or Thursday night (give a call) but it was awesome!!!

          Thank You

          1 Reply
          1. The Baltimore crab boil traditionally refers to Blue Crab which we don't see very much of up here because it's more indigenous to MD,ND,LA,FL and TX (if it's any consolation, they don't enjoy a lot of our wonderful soft shells). You certainly could do a home boil with dungeness, which has a slightly less meat to weight ratio than blue crab. That being said, I don't know of any local restaurant that does the newspaper on the table with a steaming heap of crab in the Boston area.

            As Scuba Steve mentions, I think about as close you will get is King/Snow crab leg clusters w/ drawn butter.

            I'm hoping someone will chime in and tell me that I'm totally of the mark on this one.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Food4Thought

              Soft shell crabs are not native to Boston, usually from MD or Delaware.

              1. re: StriperGuy

                duley noted, I should have been more specific in mentioning that that New Englanders seem to "prefer" soft shells, the molted blue crabs which as you point out are found south of Boston.

                1. re: Food4Thought

                  Blue crabs can be found in our waters, but not in the same quantities as in MD. They are probably not a commercially viable fishing option here, but if you do happen to catch one, they still taste great.

              2. re: Food4Thought

                I don't see them at restaurants as much, but you can buy them in chinatown during the summer/crab season. One of my favorite treats is to steam my own blue crabs at home. Not sure why it hasn't caught on more at restaurants.