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The man wants crab hammers

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The gentleman whose pending marriage we will be celebrating over the Preakness weekend in Baltimore has heard from an unknown source that during crab season, "the greatest city in America" has establishments that hand you a hammer and feed you an unlimited supply of crab. Needless to say he wants to "get in on it"!

We will be residing near Piers 5 and 6, and would be most appreciative of any thoughts, suggestions and advice anyone can provide.

Many thanks in advance

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  1. Generally, an unlimited supply of crabs is a bad idea -- all you can eat places exist, but the crabs tend to be light and not as good as those you buy by the dozen. There are only a few places in the area you're at that are known for steamed crabs.Two of the three aren't very good, and the third I haven't tried. Will you have a car? Would you be willing to drive a bit?

    4 Replies
    1. re: JonParker

      Thank you kindly for your reply! The group is about 20 large (popular guy!) so we would need to hire a minibus or a fleet of taxis as none of us will have cars. If the third is quite a hike, would you be so kind as to recommend somewhere to buy them by the dozen please? We would be looking for a venue leaning more towards the casual side given the size of the group.

      1. re: goodtucker

        In the harbor area you basically have three easy options. LP Steamers is in Locust Point, and not worth the trouble. Bo Brooks is in Canton and while I have had good crabs there, I've also had really poor ones. I don't recommend it.

        That leaves Obrycki's, which I have not been to. It's very close to the harbor -- easy walking distance, but I hear it's on the expensive side.

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        Bo Brooks Restaurant
        2701 Boston St, Baltimore, MD 21201

        1. re: JonParker

          I steam my own but Canton Dockside is referenced as a good place for crabs quite often on this board.

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          Canton Dockside
          3301 Boston St, Baltimore, MD 21224

          1. re: mcattrone

            The few times I had crabs at Canton Dockside they were reheated, wouldn't recommend the place. Last summer I had crabs at Bo Brooks and they had been reheated to the point where the claw meat was like claw jerky, gross. Obrycki's is an overpriced tourist trap and LP Steamers crabs are flat out bad. The crab deck at Captain James landing has decent crabs but they are on the pricey side (as opposed to county crab houses). Your best bet is to head to the county to Bill's Terrace Inn if you have transportation. They don't do AYCE crabs and I wouldn't recommend that anyway.
            Also, it's not a hammer, it's a crab mallet, just an FYI.

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            Bo Brooks Restaurant
            2701 Boston St, Baltimore, MD 21201

            Bill's Terrace Inn
            200 Eastern Blvd, Essex, MD 21221

            Canton Dockside
            3301 Boston St, Baltimore, MD 21224

    2. I thought a hammer is considered a bad way to open crabs.......

      1 Reply
      1. re: Steve

        Hammers (wooden mallets, actually) should only be used for the claws. If you know what you're doing, you should be able to get the rest of the meat out with your hands, and maybe a paring knife.

      2. I have yet to have subpar crabs at Canton Dockside and I've been there about a dozen times. The quality blows Bo Brooks out of the water. Crab soup is good too.

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        Bo Brooks Restaurant
        2701 Boston St, Baltimore, MD 21201

        Canton Dockside
        3301 Boston St, Baltimore, MD 21224

        1. I have had consistently excellent crabs at Obrycki's, with prices comparable to other crab joints, others report otherwise. It seems the only place that everyone here agrees is excellent is Bill's Terrace Inn. Bill's also has a real Baltimore feel to it, so it may be woth the effort.

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          Bill's Terrace Inn
          200 Eastern Blvd, Essex, MD 21221