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Looking for the best Blue Crabs in DC

Where can I get the best blue crab in the Washington DC city limits and suburbs?

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  1. I'm sure the 'Hounds on this board are just too tired of this question, but I tried searching and not much came up helpwise for crabs in D.C. I went to college in town and we used to trek up to the Dancing Crab way up Wisconsin, but this was YEARS ago . . . a friend suggested Quarterdeck in Alexandria but I don't know his foodie I.Q. (he works for the FDA so we can suspect him right there I think). Anybody want to help us both out on this, maybe point us to another D.C. crab thread? I wish I could, but I don't know that I can drive to Mr. Bill's this trip back east next week. Looking forward to an answer if there is one. (And I'll probably ask a few other questions of y'all elsewhere as well . . )

    1 Reply
    1. re: Pigeage

      Crabs have been in short supply for the past few years, so in-town crab houses haven't exactly been thriving lately. As far as the best crabs, that's more a question of when than where, and it's like asking when the weather is best. Quarterdeck is still reliable when the crabs are good, but they're not cheap anywhere unless you go down to the Southwest waterfront (Maine Avenue) and pick up a couple to eat on a park bench (which can be a good deal if you don't care about atmosphere).

    2. DC has one place (other than the Quarterdeck, Bethesda Crab House and Dancing Crab) selling steamed hardshells: Art and Soul on the Hill (415 New Jersey Avenue, NW 202-393-7777) is doing hardshells on Wednesdays (5:30pm - 10:30pm) out on their patio. The deal is for three super jumbo crabs, corn on the cob or vegetables, hushpuppies and potatoes. Market price. They also have regional microbrews on tap.

      http://www.artandsouldc.com

      1 Reply
      1. re: crackers

        Right on crackers, thanks - may be in the area just about 5pm on Wed!

      2. You should be able to snag crabs on the SW Waterfront as well.

        1. Quarterdeck is really the only place I've found that's similar to the classic crab houses of Annapolis and Baltimore. Ample outdoor seating, brown paper on the tables, and cold beer on tap. It's the best place, IMO, to do hardshells in the DC area.

          1 Reply
          1. re: aburkavage

            I'll second the Quarterdeck in Arlington, although I haven't been to any of the other local places (Dancing Crab, etc.). Make sure to call ahead of time to reserve, especially on weekends.

          2. Hey all - I REALLY want to thank everyone for the suggestions - chose the Quarterdeck right behind Arlington Cemetery (even heard them blowing taps at 11PM as we staggered out under the weight of two dozen medium blues and a pitcher of Bud!) The place is a gem - atmosphere is just what you want in a crab house with great (if harried) wait staff (a shout out for Emily - if the owners are smart enough to read this maybe they'll be smart enough to hold on to her too!), spice just right (not as flowery as Old Bay, which was great), beer cold, key lime pie tasty and soothing to the palate after 45 minutes of delicious salty sweet burn (an afterthought, but we couldn't help ourselves at that point!) . . . It's places like this that make me really jealous - gotta love America's regional treats. Thanks, again - off to Etete tonight to see what's become of Ethiopian here in town in the past 20 years . . .

            2 Replies
            1. re: Pigeage

              You're right, it's a gem.

              At Etete go for the vegetarian platter, add the fried fish for $1 (can't beat that price) and go for the Derek Tibs. What a great meal!

              1. re: Steve

                Hey Steve - didn't see your post until today but we did do the Vegetarian w/ fish and the Tibs raw (lion style) - really great place and a nice walk after in U district - big changes since I was here and the street life is terrific - will continue haunting your Board thru Monday when I return to L.A. best regards, P.