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Oct 19, 2010 05:05 PM

Visit from NYC seeking Md. Crabs

Hi. visiting childhood friend in DC. Suggestons for best Md. crabs in DC.?


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  1. Check out the Quarterdeck in Arlington, VA. You can also go to the Maine Avenue waterfront. Crab season is mostly over, but you can still get them.

    3 Replies
    1. re: flavrmeistr

      Quarterdeck. Call first to make sure they still have them.

      1. re: flavrmeistr

        Now is the best time to get crabs, they are fattening up for the winter, heaviest crabs all year.

      2. you'll get far more tips by doing a search on this subject, so many your head might spin. it's one that comes up a lot and many people have differing opinions. the likely places don't change too much.

        1. Crabs that are being served this time of year are from NC or FL. With that being said, LP Steamers in Baltimore has the best crabs. I have never heard of a good crab joint in DC. Annapolis/Kent Island, maybe. But never DC.

          5 Replies
          1. re: SteviesBaby

            Quarterdeck is a great crab spot. But, strictly speaking, you are correct, given that the Quarterdeck is across the river in Arlington.

            1. re: SteviesBaby

              No they aren't, the best time for local Maryland crabs is now, had some great MD crabs in Catonsville 2 weeks ago. Fall MD crabs are the heaviest and sweetest.

              1. re: hon

                from my local "crab monger" today (11/02)

                Coveside Crabs Today we have the popular “Early Week Specials”! The #2 males are just $10/ dozen, and the “Big Boys” are only $20/ dozen. The frost on the pumpkin means the crabs are storing more sugar for their winter naps. If you have never enjoyed late fall crabs, you are about to experience an awakening! The girls remain at $6/ dozen. Open at 1:30 today.

                1. re: hon

                  Excellent! I'm going out for crabs tomorrow night. Can't wait!

                  1. re: flavrmeistr

                    I am getting some this week too!

            2. Alright now, kids, one says crab season is about over,one says it's the best time and someone else says they're not local. ??????

              6 Replies
              1. re: c oliver

                The three comments aren't mutually exclusive. Blue crab season (in terms of peak quantity to be caught) generally runs from April till the end of November, the size of crabs tends to peak during the second half of that period, and blue crabs are caught all along the Atlantic seaboard so many places do get them from outside the immediate area (although I'm not aware of any reason in particular that later in the season we'd be getting crabs from elsewhere as SteviesBaby asserts, other than perhaps the fact that the crab population here is still recovering so the waters here might get all crabbed out earlier in the season than other areas).

                1. re: sweth

                  Oh whew. This is like the SF board where I dabble occasionally :) Thanks.

                  1. re: sweth

                    The answer is really much simpler than that. You can get Virginia crabs year round. Same crabs as MD and the states have about the same annual harvests.
                    MD's season runs through November but after Labor Day, the demand drops off. (That's actually a shame because Fall crabs are the best. Full and fat as the crabs prepare for winter.)
                    The same watermen who crab also oyster so they convert their boats, store the crab gear, and begin tonging or dredging for oysters. The supply of local crabs drops steadily until season's end. Most waterman stop when the water temperature drops below 60 to 62 degrees because the crabs don't run and it isn't worth their while.

                    There isn't a large enough harvest from the Bay to supply the local demand even at the height of the season, so crabs are "imported" year round from the Gulf and during warmer weather from along the Atlantic Coast from the Carolinas south. The blue crabs from warmer waters are also larger than local crabs; many consumers prefer these larger crabs and are willing to pay premium prices for them.

                    1. re: MakingSense

                      Is "we run out of crabs sooner than other areas" really more complicated than "we run out of crabbers sooner than other areas"?


                    2. We bought crabs this weekend on the upper eastern shore from a family run business- being that it was 2:00 p.m. the crabber was right there in the office eating his lunch. X-large Fat crabs 40.00 a dozen - a pint of oysters $10.00

                      They will have both through the end of November- we got crabs from the same place last year the night after Turkey day and they were execellent.