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Feb 6, 2012 12:14 PM

Looking for great crab cakes

Where in Atlanta can you get really good crab cakes? By "really good" I mean mostly crab meat, with very little (if any!) filler, possibly just enough to bind the cake together. I spent many summers in Maryland, so I am pretty spoiled on this.

I was disappointed yet again after ordering crab cakes in Atlanta. The latest offender was Sage Woodfire at Perimeter. $10 for one nice-sized appetizer crab cake, served with a small amount of arugula and some type of slightly spicy aioli. I'd say it was more than 50% filler. I could barely eat 2 bites.

I have found that if you start trying to get servers to tell you whether their crab cakes are great or crap, either they don't know the difference or they're going to lie and tell you that they are awesome, when they are not. I have tried asking about how much filler goes in, etc, but servers are rarely able to make that distinction. I've also tried asking if they are made in house; servers say of course. This type of interrogations is kind of rude and embarrassing for my tablemates. So I end up ordering and paying for crab cakes I do not eat.

The one restaurant group in town where I have found crab cakes just as good as those found in high-end places in MD is the Sedgwick Group (Aspen's, VG Bistro, etc.) Theirs are amazing, but I'm looking for other options as well.


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  1. I think Baccanalia has the best crab cake in the city. 2nd prize for me would go to the creole mustard crab tart at Rathbun's--not a crab cake but one of my favorite options there.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ebennettatl

      @ebennettatl......... I like your choices! BUT...they both have "filler."

    2. hope youre sending thjem back if they dont meet your needs--thats the only way theylllearn

      1 Reply
      1. re: bobstripower

        I have no problem sending something back that's improperly cooked, such as an undercooked shrimp or overcooked steak. However, I don't send crab cakes back because their recipe is actually flawed or they are purchasing poor pre-made product. There's a reasonable chance that people who haven't had good crab cakes have no idea that these are bad. I like to think that the fact that a $10-15 appetizer going virtually uneaten would be a message, but I know that's probably not the case. If a manager is working the room and asks how things are going, I'll usually say something though. You do have a good point ;)

      2. Can't say any really good ones pop to mind for me, but I did a brief stint as a waitress at Atlanta Fish Market about 8 years ago and we were told to say the crab cakes were 90% lump crab with just enough filler to hold them together. They were made in-house. I didn't have the knowledge back then to judge whether that was accurate, but that little factoid popped to mind when I read your post. But I can't say I remember any crab cake experience in Atlanta dining that really compared to Maryland.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jboeke

          Jboeke, you have both a good point (asking about the % crab content) and an illustration of the problem: servers will just tell you what they're told to tell you. I don't really blame them. It sounds like AFM's crab cakes are probably pretty nice! I suppose I should just develop my own recipe and make them at home. Too bad I don't speak to my ex-mother-in-law; she has an excellent recipe!

        2. This got my interest up so just took my wife to Buckhead diner tor lunch and got crabcakes. They were incredible. The only breading they use is on the outside. Inside is 100% crab!

          1 Reply
          1. re: bobstripower

            How is that possible? What was binding it together? ;-) -mJ

          2. Ted's! Unexpectedly amazing crab cakes.