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Two Days in Baltimore - Obrycki's? Eastern Shore?

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I will be heading from DC to Baltimore in a couple weeks for a Saturday night game at Camden Yards. I'll have pretty much all day Saturday and Sunday in the Baltimore area. Despite the cliche, I think I want to do crabs/seafood at least once if not for every meal... I'm planning on Obrycki's for dinner Saturday night. Any better options near Camden Yards for crabs?

Also, I'd appreciate any other suggestions for Sunday brunch, lunch, or dinner anywhere else in B-more. Finally, I think I might be going out to the Eastern Shore for some beach time - any restaurant recs out in that direction?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. You can satisfy your seafood craving at your sunday brunch....go to Mama's on the Half Shell.

    For all crab questions, a search of this board is the best way to go. Reviews of all the places in the kind-of-close-to-the-harbor vicinity seem to be mixed. It has been a while since I did crabs in that area but I would think three options worth considering are Obrycki's, Bo Brooks, and Canton Dockside. Obrycki's has a unique/atypical spice mix heavy on black pepper, not for everyone...I prefer the more standard load of Old Bay or Old-Bay-like substance. When I take out-of-towners (even though I am now one myself) up to Baltimore, I usually take them to Bo Brooks for crabs, where my primary disappointment is in the check (expensive) and not the food. Both places are pretty good about providing education to the non-initiated. I have not yet been to Canton Dockside, but most of what I have heard about it verbally is good...however, I read in a previous thread here that they served re-heated crabs on numerous occasions, which is a big no-no...when paying out the nose for these critters, they should be served directly from the steamer to your table. The consensus (and it is a fairly loose consensus) best places tend to be out in the suburbs. Mr. Bill's may be the only crab-focused joint I have not seen panned on these pages.

    1. A good place with an old-fashioned Baltimore atmosphere, and one not too expensive, is LP Steamers on Key Highway in Locust Point (not far from the stadium). It's an old neighborhood crabhouse joint, very uncommercialized, and if the weather is good, terrific rooftop deck with views across the city.

      Their steamed shrimp is also excellent, as is the coconut layer cake.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Roland Parker

        I couldn't disagree more, I wouldn't send anyone to LP Steamers, crabs are extremely inconsistant and usually reheated, the prices are ridiculous: whats the difference between the $62's and the $65's, a pica?

        1. re: hon

          I coldn't disagree more ;)

          I find LP Steamers to have great crabs. Yes they have a ridiculous list of sizes, but just get the largest they have. We should really not be eating Chesapeake crabs anyways and theirs come from TX/LA and are high quality. If we let the bay be for 4 or 5 more years, the crabs will rebound to respectable levels and a real sustainable harvest can be had. But the fact is that they are all blue crab and given their eating habits, there really isn't much difference. Bu the health of the bay crab population, as reported by Save the Bay, is still critical. If we blindly still insist on bay crab, well we will only have ourselves, well I don't eat bay crabs any more so some of you, to blame for the extinction of this population. I guess we will then repopulate the bay with LA or TX crab and no one will know the difference.

          Its not like Rockfish where the Chesapeake fish, well managed by the way, have a totally different diet than the fish from New York. The former are fish eaters and the latter squid eaters resulting in a meatier vs sweeter flavor. I like both.

          1. re: hon

            I need to definitely agree with Hon. In fact, I think LP Steamer's crabs are the worst I've ever had. I hate to say that since I love the location and view, and the South Baltimore "vibe."

            1. re: baltoellen

              I love LP Steamers space but will probably never go there again for crabs, ick.

        2. If you want real MD crab you need old bay, that's not done at Obrycki's. My suggestion would be Canton Dockside, I was actually there just a few months ago, a dozen large crabs wasn't cheap but they were HUUUUGE and so very good. Trust me, it's not the closest to Camden Yards, but Canton Dockside is the way to go if you want classic MD crabs.

          3 Replies
          1. re: hungry_fox

            The black pepper based seasoning at Obrycki's is probably more "classic" than Old Bay based seasoning. Old Bay was only invented a few decades ago.

            1. re: Hal Laurent

              My Baltimore born and raised Great Aunt who was born in 1896 and lived to be 94 said that the crabs they ate "back in the day" had no seasoning on them.

              1. re: Hal Laurent

                actually Old Bay is celebrating it's 70th anniversary this year.

            2. DO NOT, repeat, do NOT visit Obrycki's! I live in DC area and went there maybe 6 years ago with my visiting parents. Some of the worst service we ever encountered, mediocre (at best) crabcakes, crowded tables in small room, screaming children with large seated families (I know it's a family resto, but the wait staff habitually gave service to these large, loud groups regardless of service order of tables), way overpriced (and we're not averse to high price commensurate to high quality and service). Just a mess. Mentioned our experience to the manager, who was nonchalant and noted that it was Saturday service. There are many other places to find better crabcakes (and with much, much less filler than Obrycki's). Best ones in B'more to me are Faidley's in Lexington Market.

              1 Reply
              1. re: sb0717

                They have good crabs if that's all you want.

              2. www.salttavern.com

                Not for crabs, and not in a neighborhood where you leave your purse on the seat (or, um, pennies in plain sight...) but consistently outstanding and fresh food. Don't miss the duck fat french fries with trio of sauces and try to save room for the dessert...its one of my favorite non Inner Harbor, non-touristy, non-fraternity brother restaurants in Charm City. Sit at the bar...Paco will take care of you.