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A Tale of Two More Crabcakes (well, more than two actually)

Steve Green Oct 29, 2011 12:32 AM

After my visit to Baltimore in 2009, I thought I knew good crabcakes. Maybe I did, but back in June I learned the difference between good and excellent crabcakes.

In ’09 I posted about my crabcake experiences here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/630656

To summarize, I loved Duda’s, really liked Obrycki’s, and was less than impressed with Faidley’s. I had also made some unfavorable comments about Lexington Market, which seemed to have offended some locals. For this I apologize, although I stand by my assertion that in the context of great public markets, Lexington doesn’t rate, notwithstanding the inexplicable love some locals seem to have for this run-down urban cesspool with its mediocre fried foods, overrated seafood, and downright lousy cookies. The crab itself was quite good in the Faidley ‘cakes, but they were heavy with filler and poorly spiced – apparently I hit them on a bad day. As for the beloved Berger cookies, I’ve had far better cookies from the packaged-cookie aisle at the grocery store. YMMV.

I digress. Since then, I’ve had a couple of stellar crabcakes. First, back in June by following the advice on this board, I had the crabcakes at The Narrows in Grasonville. Even though it had been two years since my first visits to Duda’s and Obrycki’s, I remembered them well enough to recognize that the ‘cakes at The Narrows were far above either in quality. Sweet, lovely blue crab and not much else. The cream-of-crab soup was also outstanding. Pleasant waterside setting.

I’ve also had crabcakes twice this year at the airport outpost of Obrycki’s while passing through BWI, and they were very good, but just not in the same league as those at The Narrows.

Now to the present: I had been telling people that the crabcakes at The Narrows were the best I’d ever eaten; after the other night I’m not so sure. After seeing Pierpoint mentioned on a food network show (The Best….), I went there when I was in Baltimore last week, and tried out their smoked crabcakes. Very subtle smoked flavor – the high-quality crab was the star of the show here. I would rate them equal, or at least very close, to those at The Narrows. (The soup was also a winner – sort of a tomatoey vegetable soup with a good amount of crab and bacon.)

Chatted with the owner/chef, Nancy Longo – very nice lady, and quite talented in the kitchen. I’ll go back for sure, next time I’m in Charm City.

BTW, a few days earlier I stopped in at Duda’s, and am sorry to report that (based on this visit at least) those crabcakes have fallen far behind Obrycki’s. I had last eaten the Obrycki’s ‘cakes only a month ago, so they were fresh in my memory. The crab in the Duda’s ‘cakes just wasn’t as good – I think it might have been a freshness issue.

If I make it back to the Eastern Shore, I'm thinking about trying out a couple of other places I'd happened upon while driving around in June: Kentmorr on Kent Island, and The Crab Claw in St. Michaels. Opinions?

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Lexington Market
400 W Lexington St, Baltimore, MD 21201

Pierpoint Restaurants
1822 Aliceanna St, Baltimore, MD 21231

The Crab Claw Restaurant
PO Box 156, Saint Michaels, MD 21663

  1. f
    FoiGras Oct 30, 2011 04:28 PM

    I'm certain that I will cause a major debate over this particular suggestion--but Pappas on Ritchie Highway has excellent crabcakes. They are quite large,, very meaty, not a lot of filler and just some subtle seasonings.

    I never tried the Taylor Avenue Pappas, but am quite impressed by the Ritchie Highway location. Their fried oysters are fabulous and the best of any I've had elsewhere.

    So, I can't wait to here the derogatory comments as to --"pasturzied crabmeat--tooo much filler--too llittle filler, etc."

    Crabcakes in the Baltimore region are most certainly subjective. Hey, those G&M crabcake lovers swear by the product. I've had good crabcakes at Olive Grove and Romano's ---not good ones at Timbuktu..

    Heading north of the city--I actually like the non-traditional (i.e., Baltimore type) crabcake at the Stoney River in Towson Town Mall.

    So, on that note, I am, going to eat a crabcake somewhere tomorrow and spook anyone who has anything to say about my choice. Happy Halloween!!! FoiGras

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    Olive Grove Restaurant
    705 N Hammonds Ferry Rd, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090

    1. i
      ivysmom Oct 30, 2011 04:19 PM

      Nancy Longo has been making those smoked crabcakes for a long time now, and they are always very good. I still like my own homemade crabcakes best. Crabcakes are just a very touchy subject here in Baltimore. As is the Lexington Market. Everyone has an opinion!

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      Lexington Market
      400 W Lexington St, Baltimore, MD 21201

      1. s
        Steve Oct 29, 2011 09:01 AM

        You can have any opinion you want of the food at Lexington Market, but when you start disparaging people or the neighborhood, then you start getting into dicey territory.

        Not one Chowhound on that thread put it in the 'context of great public markets', so you have started a Straw Man Argument. I don't know a single Baltimore Chowhound who wouldn't go to LM if the food warranted it. In fact, I think the ambience is the best thing going for it.

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        Lexington Market
        400 W Lexington St, Baltimore, MD 21201

        1 Reply
        1. re: Steve
          agarnett100 Oct 29, 2011 09:38 AM

          I’ve also had crabcakes twice this year at the airport outpost of Obrycki’s while passing through BWI, and they were very good, but just not in the same league as those at The Narrows. - Duh its the airport the crab cakes served there are just so so nothing to write home about

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