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HOW FAR DO I HAVE TO DRIVE FOR A CRAB HOUSE?

That's it. After reading numerous posts on the lack of crab in Montreal I've developed a hankering that just won't go away. Plan A : Where can I buy it and how do I get it to taste like crabhouse crab? Plan B: How far do I have to drive? I won't go as far as Maryland but am willing to drive all day (round trip).

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  1. Maybe go somewhere in Maine ? or Cap-Cod ?

    Is it still season to buy fresh crab in town ?

    6 Replies
    1. re: Maximilien

      There's crab in Chinese supermarkets and I'm pretty sure it's available year round.

      To make it taste like crab house crab, I don't really know, but I would guess Old Bay.

      1. re: SnackHappy

        I've asked this before... but anyone know where I can get lump crab meat? Do the chinese supermarkets have any?

        1. re: Gregoso

          Pre-cooked, deshelled crab meat? You could find that at supermarkets with a large fishmonger counter. It will likely be frozen, but i think that would be the case at a chinese supermarket as well.

          1. re: SourberryLily

            I've checked most supermarkets, and they do have frozen crab meat available in cans. I haven't tried it yet- I've been hesitant because I am trying to keep away from canned stuff. But maybe I will give it a whirl. Thanks!

            1. re: Gregoso

              I always buy fresh aka live stone and king crab from the fishmongers at both of the big markets, as well as the fishmonger on sherbrooke west... I'm sure you can find more interesting varieties in Chinatown also.

          2. re: Gregoso

            ive gotten some frozen lump crab meat at some fish mongers at jean talon market. good but kind of costly.

      2. I know there is usually some available in Rivere du Loup and around...4 hours each way and a beautiful drive!

        1 Reply
        1. re: davidpg

          Live or served? Not driving that far without specifics. For the live, I think I can get them here in Montreal thanks to someone's post. However, if Rivière du Loup has a crab shack, don't hold back, I'll b-line my way there on the weekend. Thanks

        2. There's an episode of Diners Drive-ins and Dives where Guy visits a famous crab shack in (I think) Baltimore. You might want to see if the episode is available on YouTube. The owner steamed his crabs in a large pot. He covered them in a mixture of spices but no Old Bay. I remember Guy commenting on this because Old Bay was created, and named after Baltimore's bay. The owner did list the spices he used though. He then covered the crabs with several ears of corn. When done, they were brought to the resto's tables in large bowls and dumped onto the tables, which were covered in brown butcher paper so it could be tossed. The bowls were then used for the shells. Customers were given little mallets and various dipping sauces and went crazy.

          I'm starting to think the reason we don't have this in Quebec is that folks can't be trusted with the mallets.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Haggisboy

            Or perhaps it's because there aren't any crabs in the Lac des Deux-Montagnes.

            1. re: SnackHappy

              I very much appreciate this comment. Exactly.

            2. re: Haggisboy

              Here's the YouTube link to that segment of Diner's, Drive-ins and Dives I wrote about. The ingredients for steaming them are shown. Geeze I wish we had a place like this in the Montreal region.

              http://youtu.be/dfg9PRrIwHU

              1. re: Haggisboy

                There's an episode of The Wire where they're doing that but I wouldn't know if it's the same place or a regular Baltimore thing.

                1. re: Haggisboy

                  Haggisboy you're making me drool......BTW Baltimore is in Maryland and a round trip would take a minimum of 30 hours (straight through). Gonna wait for live "Gidneys" where they apparently stock Old Bay seasoning. Their tanks should be filled with live crabs in about a week or so. I will try the corn ears thanks but are you sure it wasn't just the husks they used to trap the steam?

                  1. re: levanty

                    Actually, it's closer to 20 hours round trip...and the crab is indeed worth it!

                2. I had an AMAZING soft shell crab sandwich off the tapas menu at Seb l'Artisan in St-Jovite two weekends ago.

                  1. I agree w/ Mr. Spam: Chinatown (Swatow G&D grocery) or Kim Phat on south shore. Get the livelest ones and cook the same day. They will keep a day or two in the fridge if covered with wet newspaper.
                    Steam with a blend of 1/2 vinegar 1/2 water.
                    Use a mix of 1/2 Old Bay, 1/2 salt and sprinkle on each layer of crab in the steamer basket (they don't like this very much!).
                    I don't have a steamer pot, so improvise with a colander.

                    New York city has a few places offering this. I enjoyed some at Fish on Bleeker
                    http://www.fishrestaurantnyc.com/
                    A search might get you more (check if they have them as they are seasonal in some places).

                    Apparently these puppies are found in the Hudson river as far north as Albany, but I have yet to find a restaurant in the Hudson valley offering them.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: porker

                      Isn't the Hudson one of the most polluted rivers in North America? Sheesh, and I was worried about eating Basa (Vietnamese catfish, sold everywhere here) which comes from the polluted waters of the Mekong River.

                    2. I don't think you have anything that's a day trip. Used to be a couple of places in NYC until the 90s. City Crab has some but its not a crab shack. There is a place out in Brooklyn that I have not been to but they claim to be a MD style place. http://clementescrabhouse.com. I think your best option is to mail order some crabs and steam them youself. My mom used old bay and salt enhanced with red pepper as we liked them spicy. The crabs will be fighting you as you try and put them in the pot. You sprinkle the blend on each layer of crabs as you get them in the pot. The spices don't get into the crabs. Its more that it gets all over your hands and then into the meat as you eat the crab. Spread newspaper on your table, get some beer, lots of napkins and wood mallets. FYI - Hudson is pretty clean these days, but the problem is that the mud and muck holds all the stuff that has settled out of the water and guess where crabs hang out.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Bkeats

                        you're right about city crab not being a crab shack. Ate there awhile back and was not impressed...