Jerry's Seafood in Bowie...Anyone been there yet?
It appears that the newest Jerry's is now open. Just wondering if anyone has been there yet? Is the food as good as the one in Lanham? Are their prices justified? Any comments on what to order would be greatly appreciated.
They are not okay. I wrote this about Jerry's on here almost seven years ago: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/165306
Perhaps twice a year we would drive from Reston to Seabrook because they were so good. We have not been in about two years because there are a number of reports that after the sale it was not the same. Several people whose "opinion I trust" were very disappointed in the Annapolis outpost. There have also been several other negative reports on here and other message boards. Frankly, I loved this place but we've found ourselves driving to Kent Narrows (from Reston) to go to the Narrows because I believe it is now the best Maryland seafood restaurant. Jerry's once was.
I would like to hear that it is still is what I wrote about in 2002. If anyone has been to the Seabrook original both before and after the sale please post your thoughts on here. Otherwise, without being willing to sacrifice a 70 mile roundtrip drive, we'll continue to Kent Narrows and elsewhere.
I should also note that Angelina's which I mentioned in the above link was also sold. We were there six months after the sale: it wasn't even a shadow of the original.
I really would like to hear that the Seabrook original continues in its excellence. Otherwise it seems that one man's obsession drove it. And now he has gone.
As noted above the orignial owners have moved on and quality is nowhere up to par at the original locations and off-shoots. About a year ago Jerry opened a restaurant (Jerry's Place) in Prince Frederick, MD (Calvert County) that is amazing--super fresh and delicious food at great prices to boot. Staffed by many family members (some who migrated from the "original" place after being upset with how the new owners were running the place) it is a warm, friendly place. Jerry can always be found ciruclating through the dining room with a plate of "samples" of food for the kitchen. It is worth the trip (about 50 minutes from DC)
Please go back to my ORIGINAL question....Has anyone eaten at the new Jerry's in Bowie? Not to be rude, but I'm not interested in past years, other locations, or other seafood restaurants. Really just wanted to hear constructive words, good or bad, about the Bowie location. Didn't mean to stir up a hornet's nest over a simple question.
I was very specific: is the original restaurant in Seabrook as good as it was under the old owners? This is a question that should be important since for over 20 years many people considered this to be not merely a very good Maryland style seafood restaurant, but the BEST Maryland style seafood restaurant anywhere in the state. When it was sold outposts opened in Annapolis and Bowie. I know at least four people who have been to the Annapolis location and were disappointed. All were regulars in Seabrook. As for Bowie you will not be able to make a judgment on how good it is unless you visited the Seabrook original under the old owners who have now moved on and had the same dishes in both stores. Specifically, is he using Venezeulan crab meat in his crab bomb, topping for his $7.50 a cup soup and in his crab cakes and imperial? Or does he continue to use Maryland or Carolina lumb crab meat which helps justify the $35+ crab bombs. Is the coconut cake truly extraordinary, laden with butter and made with a freshly cracked coconut?
Please read my post from seven years ago linked above. I went into a great deal of detail about this place. I merely want to know if it continues to day as it did then. I am told that it has changed. I am also told by others that the Lexington Park location is more in the "spirit" of the old Jerry's and well worth the lengthy drive.
I am not asking if it still "delivers excellent dining and customer service." I am asking if it is as obsessively, deliciously operated as it was for so many years. There were reasons this place was so difficult to get into and we would drive 70 miles round trip to go there. We were REAL fans of Jerry's Seafood. Regardless, we'll go back ourselves over the next month or so and report our reactions on here.
As O'Donnell's on Pennsylvania Avenue in the '50's, Busch's Chesapeake Inn on route 50 in the '60's and '70's, Phillips (YES, the ORIGINAL 200 seat crabhouse on Ocean Highway in O. C. in the early '60's, Jerry's in Seabrook was part of a small select group of restaurants that represented the absolute best that the state of Maryland once had to offer. I might through Suicide Bridge and the Narrows into this mix, too along with Stoney's in Broome Island from five or more years ago and once upon a time Angelina's on Harford road. Almost all of these are gone. Almost all are landmark Maryland restaurants that were the best of their kind. Anyway, it's important to me that whoever reports on this be really familiar with its earlier operation in relation to its current operation. For myself it makes a difference. And also either steels us for disappointment or provides relief that we'll find the excellence in place that was there at our last visit several years ago.
re: Joe H
"As for Bowie you will not be able to make a judgment on how good it is unless you visited the Seabrook original under the old owners who have now moved on and had the same dishes in both stores."
But the Seabrook original no longer exists. It has new owners. It's like comparing your current spouse to the first love of your life who died years ago. You can either go on pining for that lost love, or learn to live with what you have now, in spite of their flaws.
The Seabrook Jerry's is good, not great. I expect similar results from the Bowie shop.
Monkeyrotica, your post is speaking volumes. There are iconic restaurants that are sold and, far too infrequently, become even better under the new owners. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/473826 is a "review" of mine about Chef Vola's in Atlantic City which, in many ways has a lot in common with Jerry's in Seabrook. This was a landmark restaurant which dated to the '20's, obsessively operated with a level of excellence that attracted "Frank" as virtually a regular customer. It was sold in the '80's. Remarkably, the new owners are even MORE obsessive-Chef Vola's is an even better restaurant as a result of this.
It is also still one of a kind.
Jerry's in Seabrook was built by one man over 25 years into the best restaurant in Prince Georges County. It became an icon that was almost impossible to get into without standing in a long line at off hours of the day. During traditional mealtimes-waits ballooned to two + hours.
As Chef Vola's was sold so was Jerry's. I doubt that anyone visiting Chef Vola's today (if they can get a reservation!) would feel that it is not as good as it was before the present 25 year owners. Most, I believe, would say it is better. Jerry's in Seabrook could have experienced this. New owners with the same kind of obsessive passion, the same quest for continuing as Maryland's best, or even better.
But I don't think that has happened. Rather, there are new locations in Annapolis and Bowie. A different direction for Jerry's. Certainly, it would seem, not the same direction that the "new" owners of Chef Vola's took 25 years ago when they took over from the family that started the nondescript beachhouse in the '20's.
Again, we will revisit Jerry's. For myself it will be a real shame and sense of loss if it is not on the level it was before the sale. There ARE restaurants that do not change with a new owner or, if they do, sometimes as Chef Vola's become even better.
I fear Jerry's is not one.