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Old Bay Steamed Crabs

layne123 Jun 23, 2011 09:45 AM

I did a search and there's alot of opinions about the best steamed crabs restaurants in Baltimore. I went to some place last year that was good, yet the place used some custom seasoning for its steamed crabs. I grew up in Baltimore eating bushels of various fresh, Old Bay steamed crabs on various picnic tables around Maryland, yet have no idea where we got them...
Can someone please tell me the best place in and around Baltimore to sit down and eat the Old Bay steamed crabs of my childhood? Just to be clear we want to eat at the restaurant - not take a bushel or 10 to go.
Thanks for any assistance!

  1. l
    layne123 Oct 20, 2011 07:53 AM

    We went to Nicks during hurricane Irene and the crabs may have been re-heated. My Dad only ordered 6 so it's possible that anything under a dozen doesnt get the full attention of the staff. The meat wasnt juicy yet more slimy and squishy on some crabs and others were dry - the claw meat was hard to remove. My experience has always been that with freshly steamed medium crabs or larger, the meat is really easy to get at and it has a soft, moist consistency. I'm going to push for Bill's next time we're in town. Thanks for all the input!

    1 Reply
    1. re: layne123
      hon Oct 21, 2011 12:50 PM

      they were definitely reheated but going in a Hurricane, they probably hadn't gotten any live crabs in due to the weather conditions, no one was crabbing in that.

    2. x
      xtian Jun 24, 2011 07:25 AM

      Thanks to the suggestion of Chowhounders, we went to Chris's Seafood in Canton this weekend to pickup crabs. They were some of the best we've had! The place is just a corner takeout joint in the neighborhood, but the crabs were heavy and well-seasoned-- a combo of Old Bay and rock salt.
      We had also eaten at Obryki's over the weekend and the crabs were good-- we're like they're unique take on the seasoning, but overall they were more expensive, smaller, and lighter than what Chris's had to offer.
      We also stopped at the Captain James Landing to check it out. I thought the prices were super high and the crabs small, but the deck is a nice spot and I guess you are paying for the ambiance.

      Captain James Landing
      2127 Boston St, Baltimore, MD 21231

      1. s
        Steve Jun 23, 2011 06:42 PM

        You probably went to Obrycki's.

        For the only-in-Bawlmer experience, I recommend Bill's Terrace Inn. They open at 4pm, and you should get there as close to that as possible or be prepared for a serious wait.

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

        1 Reply
        1. re: Steve
          Hal Laurent Jun 23, 2011 08:18 PM

          Obrycki's uses a black pepper-base spice mix that is really more traditional than the modern Old Bay-like spice mixes.

          Obrycki's will be gone after the end of this season.

        2. h
          Hal Laurent Jun 23, 2011 02:22 PM

          If the weather isn't too humid for outdoor dining, the crab deck at Captain James Landing has a great water view.


          Captain James Landing
          2127 Boston St, Baltimore, MD 21231

          1. d
            Dithyramb Jun 23, 2011 01:05 PM

            I think Dockside in Canton would be a nice spot for you. Relative water view, picnic tables and cold beer.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Dithyramb
              layne123 Jun 23, 2011 01:31 PM

              Thanks for the info. My Dad's now interested in Nick's fish house... Yelp reviews say crabs are great yet the service may suck. I'll keep the Canton Dockside in mind as reviews are quality, yet does anyone have any experience with Nick's? Thanks!

            2. h
              hon Jun 23, 2011 10:28 AM

              Most places either use a custom blend or a seasoning specific to steaming crabs, they usually taste somewhat like Old Bay anyway. I personally like the JO Crab Seasoning:

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