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Feb 4, 2009 04:35 PM

best crab cake baltimore

I recently had the best crab cake I have out in years. It was from Pappas on Taylor Avenue. Had them broiled and ate at home .delish. no filler. great crab flavor and not a bad value at $10 for 6 oz cake.

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  1. Captain Larrys on Fort Ave.

    It's either Tue. or Wed. that has half price sandwiches and platters until they sell out.

    Great fish sandwiches and fries too.

    1. I have been scouring the board and am surprised no native Baltimorians jumped on this

      I am interested in the answer to this - - heading there in 2 weeks to visit son @ college !

      2 Replies
      1. re: few

        One of the best crab cake dinners you are going to find is at Sly Horse Tavern in Crofton, MD. Can get a little pricey depending on the time of year, but give them a call first.

        1. re: few

          Here are my favorite crabcake spots: By The Docks in Essex, Pappas on Taylor Ave., and Dock of the Bay in Millers Island. In no particular order!!

          Dock of the Bay
          9025 Cuckold Point Rd, Sparrows Point, MD 21219

        2. - Faidley's at Lexington Market
          - G&M in Linthicum
          - The Narrows on Kent Narrows across the bridge on the Eastern Shore

          10 Replies
          1. re: Langrrr

            I had the crab cake at Faidley's - meh. Nice but not something to rave about.
            Oh, BTW their Maryland Crab Soup was utterly nondescript - loads of veggies & tomatoes, barely any crab in it. I would call it veggie soup with a suggestion of crab flavor. I think they are riding on their past (way past) glories.

            The crab cakes at The Narrows on Kent Narrows were nice. Good stuff. Their oysters (Delaware Bay oysters) were not that tasty. Meh on the oysters, yes on the crab cakes.
            (I had 2 dozen Cape May Salts oysters in Cape May later that day, they were excellent and far far superior than the ones I had at The Narrows)

            1. re: huiray

              True Faidley's crab cake is just okay, but compared to 95% of other places, it is still much better. It's usually a gateway crab cake experience to start you on a journey of crab cake enlightenment. Some of the fried fish sandwiches at Faidley's are very good, though. Try those next time.

              1. re: huiray

                Griffins in Annapolis has "Malpeqe" oysers on the half shell. They are the best Ive ever had. Eating a fresh Malpeqe is like truly kissing the ocean. Anyone know of another place that has Malpeqe oysters? Now I'll give you a bit of a secret, once a month at the Grasonville Md. V.F.W,. on one sat. per month, "you'll have to call to find out which sat." Has the best fried oysters and the best oyster stew you'll probably ever try. $7 bucks a pint. The oysters stew is INCREDIBLE.....and always sells out first. The fried oysters sell out second. It begins at 11:30am and ends around3:30 pm. There will be a line out the door by noon. And the average wait is about 15 minutes to get get served.............but soooooooooooo well worth the wait.

                1. re: Scott0

                  Dear ScottO--thought this thread was regarding crabcakes. But, I have to commend you for informing us with regards to oysters, since this is the Season. I love fried oysters--love them raw but won't eat them anymore on account of getting hepatitus (spelling?). Fried oysters can be amazing and I've had some of the best ones at Pappas on Ritchie Highway. Fantastic breading and plump oyster meat. But, will have to give it a go and try your recommendation. You seem passionate with your opinion. It's nice to see a different recommendation from the standard--with reagards to crabcakes--Faidleys.

                  which makes me question--why can't a local Baltimore area restaurant provide the Faidley's -like crabcakes? I can't believe that they are always voted best. I've had excellebt crabcakes at Pappas, Olive Grove, etc.. There is no miracle or mystery to making a great crabcake. I buy lump crab meat in season and add the various ingredients--sublime according to those who have eaten my balls of crabmeat. No scientific or magical invention. FoiGras

                  1. re: FoiGras

                    Ummmmmmm Ok back to crabcakes. My dear FoiGras, I used to think also that there was no mystery to making a truly GREAT crabcake, I've changed my mind about that over the years. My way of making crabcakes also. I'd love input on this people but the 4 points of crabcake judgement seem to be,,,,,1) The quality of the meat itself, 2) The spicing. 3) The style of cooking. And last but certainly not least. 4) The filler/binder and ratio o fsaid filler/binder to the meat in said crabcake. Does this seem about right to everyone? That being said, All these restaurants like "Phillip's" That use Asian crabmeat, Why? Yes I know it's cheaper but there is a reason that the local population in asia is happy to sell us ALL of their crabmeat, THEY wont eat it, It has almost no flavor. Same with florida crabmeat. We in this region CAN tell the difference between our beloved summertime Bay crab and all others. Now to spicing,,,,,,I am convinced thaat the guy whom "invented" Old Bay seasoning was someone whom had traveled to asia/india and who came back and tried to recreate curry powder here. But without the availability and quality of the spices available "there" and what he came up with is Old Bay. My point is that now we do not have to rely on Old Bay as the dominant spice for crab. As far as cooking styles? Fried is always best to MY palate but hard to do correctly at home. This also adds texture that you just cannot compete with in a restaurant unless........ Just before broiling at 450 degree's you roll the crabcake in "Panko" bread crumbs and turn as needed in the oven. As to filler?........I use none.........I use a binder only...still a work in progress to perfect but for now I use..... For 1 Lb. crab I mix 1 egg yolk, 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, and 1-1/2 Tblsp. cornstarch. Thats it. No bread or bread crumbs, or crackers.

                    1. re: Scott0

                      ScottO--we Baltimoreans can't keep ourselves from referring back to the CRABCAKE. I am certainly impressed with what sounds as though an amazing crabcake that you personnally make. If not already--you should open a restaurant and feature your crabcakes--hey, isn't that the scenario of many local restaurants who proclaim to have the BEST CRABCAKE. It doesn't seem to matter what else is offered on their menu-just the CRABCAKE.

                      I can somewhat agree that fried crabcakes are the best--the way my Mom always made them in the late summer when we were able to purchase the real local lump crabmeat. Actually, come think of it-I believe my Mom's crabcakes weren't all about the lump crab meat. IN the summer months we ate our steamed crabs on Saturday nights--with Lawrence Welk on the tv in the background. the leftover crameat was picked and then on Sunday--oh yeah--crabcakes, fried green tomatoes, potato salad and cole slaw, along with corn on the cob. Those were great chowhound times.

                      I believe the Panko breading must be fantastic with the broiling method.. the best onion rings I've eaten are covered in Panko.

                      Thanks for your "recipe" and recommendations. Getting ready to chow down--alas--not crab nor oysster--veal francaise with pasta. FoiGras

                      1. re: FoiGras

                        And of course all this is subjective, specifically to each palate with it's own memory of days past. Hee hee..........I am just seeking as many here a basic truth that we can all use here. A great crabcake. And a place to get it that is true. I havnt yet found this place, nor a recipe, that always fullfills that itch for what I know exists but is yet so elusive. Thus the quest continues. Tommorrow I'll go back to "The Narrows" and have a talk with the Chef before ordering a crabcake and relate what I've read here this week, Hopefully I'll be one step closer to answering my 47 year quest.

                        1. re: Scott0

                          No mayonaise in your binder? Awesome! I hate mayo. I hate it so much that I rarely eat crab cakes, even though I usually can't taste the mayo in it. I'll have to try your recipe next summer.

                      2. re: Scott0

                        I used to get Malpeque oysters at the raw bar in Black's in Bethesda. But that was years ago. I don't know what their selection is lately. Thank you for the oyster recs!

                  2. In no partucliar order
                    Faidley's Lexington Market
                    Pappas on Joppa Rd
                    Koco's on Harford Rd
                    Gunnings of Rte 100 at Coca Cola Drive

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Hue

                      Pappas is on Taylor Avenue

                      1. re: Hue

                        I visited Koco's during hurricane Irene. The crab cakes are huge with no filler and the wait staff are great. I must say that I still prefer Faidley's over Coco's for overall flavor - they taste like the ones my Mom used to make, yet I'd go to Coco's again just to be able to sit down and enjoy the crabcakes. I don't like standing while I eat.

                      2. are they better than The G and M's and have you ever tried The Edgewater in annapolis It's worth the trip.

                        23 Replies
                        1. re: fannie

                          I'll have to try some of these other ones, but my opinion is that G&M blows Faidley's out of the water. I've probably been to G&M and Faidley's for crabcakes each about 5-10 times, and I'm not sure what people even like about Faidley's - G&M's crabcakes seem to be about double the size with much less filler for the same price (or less), and Faidley's never seem to be cooked through. I'm talking about the expensive lump ones, not the cheap ones, although I've had those too and they're awful. I'm not honestly sure that I'd call Faidley's any good at all for crabcakes.

                          1. re: fedhillfoodie

                            Is there more than one G&M? Unless, they changed their kitchen staff in the last year or so, you couldn't pay me to eat that crabcake.

                            1. re: bmorecupcake

                              Agree--G&M doesn't have the best crabcake. And, don't get me started with the Faidley's (they are only OK).

                              It's a very subjective topic, and gets all of the Chowhounds up on their pedestal of opinion (which is great). \

                              I had a luscious, plump, flavorful crabcake at the Rib 'n Reef on Padonia Road. Much better then G&M and certainly, more lump crab then Faidley's. In addition, the atmosphere is certainly a plus. White linens, candle light, and terrific salads, sides (i.e., twice baked potatoes, rice, steamed vegetables, onion rings, sauteed or fried spinach, cole slaw, etc.).

                              I suppose there will never be a consensus on Baltimore's Best Crabcake. Actually, IMO, I make a terrific one. But, I do prefer to just dine out and enjoy someone else's expertise in making a crabcake. Same with crab imperial. FoiGras

                              1. re: FoiGras

                                I went to Faidley's yet again (I like to take out-of-towners to see Lexington Market and they find it a safe choice) and found it much-worse-than-average yet again. So did the out-of-towners. I wouldn't call G&M a good crabcake, but I do think it's better than Faidley's. Maybe G&M is Asian crabmeat, beats me - the net I'm looking for is "did I like it?" and I've never left Faidley's thinking that I liked it. That's a bad sign.

                                1. re: fedhillfoodie

                                  AGREE--what is the big deal with Faidley's crabcake? Also, G&M crabcakes are okay. I've had much better at Rib 'n Reef on Padonia Road.

                                  And, I know that I'll get a LOT OF SLACK ON WHAT I AM GOING TO NOW SAY--I actually like the crabcakes at Ruby Tuesday. I have no idea the origin of the crabmeat. The lumps were huge, no filler--very flat cakes, though. But, they were perfectly seasoned and very tasty.

                                  What perplexes me, is how people can determine where crabmeat originates when they are eating crabs steamed in high seasoning--how can one taste the "sweetness" of the meat with all of the seasoning?! Same goes for crabcakes. I suppose my palate isn't quite as sensitive or sophisticated as those who can distinguish the origin of crabmeat once it has been incorporated into a dish (or steamed) with seasonings. FoiGras

                                  1. re: FoiGras

                                    I'm not sure what's going on here, but I just took out of town guests to Faidley's last week and the crabcakes were good. Of course we don't all have to share tastes, but I don't feel like Faidley's has a lot of seasoning in their crabcakes at all. Certainly not enough to mask the sweetness of the crabmeat, in my opinion. I guess we can agree to disagree, with a sprinkling of cynicism, hehe.

                                  2. re: fedhillfoodie

                                    Just to tell you....Faidley's, Timbuktoo's and several other area restaurants are using the SAME crabcake! All Manufactured by G&M.
                                    If you'd like to try an excellant crabcake a bit different from all the rest, try the newly rebuilt "Hemingways" on Kent Island. Just make sure you order the crabcake appetizer and get it fried! Trust me............
                                    The panko crust crisply surrounds this baseball sized, perfectly fried crabcake.

                                    1. re: Scott0

                                      Faidley's is not using G&M crabcakes. That may be the most ridiculous thing I ever read on these boards. I assume your recommendation has similar credibility.

                                  3. re: FoiGras

                                    Would you mind sharing your crabcake recipe?

                                2. re: fedhillfoodie

                                  Double the size for the same price or less is a big red flag for me. It indicates that it's likely made from the less expensive but lacking-in-flavor Asian crabmeat rather than North American blue crab.

                                  I've become quite hesitant about getting crabcakes in restaurants lately, as use of the inferior crab species is becoming more and more prevalent. I've been sticking to making own crabcakes at home from crabmeat with known provenance.

                                  1. re: fedhillfoodie

                                    While the crab cakes at Faidley's have been known to vary in quality from visit to visit, when they're on their game it's my favorite, at least since Angelina's changed hands a couple of years ago. And they always use domestic crab meat.

                                    G&M uses the cheaper and much less flavorful Asian swimmer crab meat. I thought it was repulsive -- flavorless "crab" stuck in a doughy mess of filler with the texture of cookie dough. I'm with Hal -- double the size is not what you are looking for in a crabcake.

                                    1. re: JonParker

                                      That's a pretty good description of G&M's texture. I felt like I needed a glass of milk in order to get it down... tons of filler and undercooked.

                                      I have to go with Koco's and Duda's.

                                      1. re: gregb

                                        For some reason I never think of Duda's as a place to get a good crab cake, but I've had it before and liked it a lot. They're half price on either Tuesday or Wednesday -- I can't remember which. They don't have a web site.

                                        1. re: JonParker

                                          I think it's tuesday thats crab cake night there.

                                          1. re: hon

                                            Their half price crab cakes are made with backfin rather than the jumbo lump, so they are different but still good.

                                            It goes back to what Hal way saying, the prices are usually lower for a reason.

                                            1. re: gregb

                                              For what it's worth, there is a distinct school of thought that posits crabcakes SHOULD be made with backfin instead of the jumbo lump. I like both, but the crabcakes I grew up with were made out of backfin. There was an interesting crabcake thread on the Homecooking board last summer that talked about which kinds of meat make the best cake, and lots of Balt/DC posters weighed in. It was pretty interesting!

                                              1. re: gregb

                                                The backfin meat (of real blue crab, not the Asian stuff) tastes just fine. It's just in smaller pieces.

                                                1. re: Hal Laurent

                                                  Very true, the taste is not an issue. The texture suffers a little and the chance of getting some shell/cartilage goes up.

                                            2. re: JonParker

                                              I went to Duda's last week and found they were closed.... Have they moved?

                                              1. re: AlexDer

                                                What day of the week? Duda's is closed on Sundays.

                                                1. re: Hal Laurent

                                                  That explains it, i went on a sunday evening.

                                      2. re: fannie

                                        The Edgewater Resataurant on Mayo Road in Edgewater has the best crab cakes anywhere-- but don't tell anyone. It's a secret!

                                        1. re: DPGood

                                          Uh, no. I live walking distance from the Edgewater Restaurant and well in a word they're horrible. I'd heard the hype that their crabcakes were amazing but what I got was a greasy crabcake w/ alot of filler of undetermined origin. That and the service was horrible.

                                          Avoid it diligently.