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Fisherman's Crab Deck or Harris Crab House for Maryland Crabs???

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Hi CHers:

My husband & I are headed to Maryland's eastern shore the end of September for three nights of R&R w/o the kids. We're coming from Northeast Ohio. One thing on the agenda is sampling Maryland's steamed blue crabs which will be a first for us. I am hoping it will still be crab season from what I've read on the CH boards - the peak was the last weekend of August.

Since we'll be heading east on Rt 50 crossing the Bay Bridge about lunch time on a Sunday, I'm thinking of either Fisherman's Crab Deck or Harris Crab House for lunch in the Kent Narrows area. Which would you recommend for a first timer??? I understand either the Xtra Large or Jumbo crabs are recommended for first timers. Not interested in any fried foods of any kind. Just want to try steamed Maryland blue crabs.

Thanks for all your help!

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  1. Crabs are still peak. Either place is good although I personally prefer the crab deck lately. Have fun

    2 Replies
    1. re: dining with doc

      Thank you for responding & answering my question on Crab Deck vs Harris Crab House. We are Maryland bound this weekend! Super excited to bike & sightsee & eat our way through!

      1. re: CurryLover

        Where else will you be? I can give you some more recs
        Make sure someone teaches you how to open and clean the crabs or you are going to waste a lot of delicious expensive crab meat. You may want to supplement your meal with Maryland crab soup, corn on the cob, sliced Maryland tomatoes, spiced steamed shrimp and even a crac cake

    2. For several years my wife's birthday present was crabs at Harris. We always sat outside upstairs with the view of the narrows.

      For a first timer, the thing to remember it is not about eating a meal. It's about the experience of sitting around in no hurry whatsoever, chatting with friends, picking crabs and sipping whatever you prefer, for most of which is beer. If you are eating crabs, you will not be rushed and you'll have time to get every morsel of crab meat so none goes to waste.

      4 Replies
      1. re: RC51Mike

        Thank you to RC51Mike & dining with doc - I am re-thinking my plan to stop at Harris or Crab Deck & save the crab experience for somewhere in the Ocean City area. You are right - we don't want to be in a rush & want to be able to enjoy a beer & don't want to get dirty & smell like crabs when we still have a two hour drive to OC. I am realizing that a crab house is not the right kind of place to stop at for lunch in the Kent Narrows area on the way to OC. We'll have three nights in OC so I am working on a lunch & dinner restaurant list that I hope to post here before the weekend & see what the CH'ers think. I watched a couple of videos on how to eat blue crabs so I have a pretty good idea for a first timer. Also, I am getting most of my restaurant ideas from a Baltimore Sun article on Ocean City area restaurants. This CH board seems to be on the slow side & not very active so I appreciate all the feedback!!!

        1. re: CurryLover

          Hi CH'ers:
          Now that we're not going to do our ultimate "steamed crab experience" in the Kent Narrows area on the way to OC, is there any place we can stop in the Kent Narrows area for a good crab cake or even rockfish sandwich? That would be do-able & we can be on our way to OC.

          I am studying the restaurants all the way from Assateague Island to Lewes, DE. We will have a lot of flexibility & don't mind driving/biking for lunch/dinner. I've put together a short list of what looks good so far. Please feel free to chime in with your recommendations/feedback.

          The Shark on the Harbor - OC
          Crabcake Factory - OC
          Just Hooked - Fenwick Is.
          Fish Tales - OC - looks like they are open for lunch & dinner
          Crab Alley - OC
          Henlopen Oyster House - serious oyster house - Rehoboth Beach
          Fins Raw Bar - Rehoboth Beach
          Dogfish Head Brewery - beer only, not food???
          Fenwick Crab House - steamed crab experience
          Assateague Island Oasis - is that a good place to stop for a beer after a day of biking on Assateague Island???

          I understand that Phillips & Hooper's are to be avoided. Trying to find some place that doesn't remind us of Myrtle Beach. Went to Myrtle Beach maybe ten years ago & will never go back again - too many chain restaurants & all you can eat seafood places. I hope Ocean City is not like Myrtle Beach or we'll be disappointed.

          Thanks for all your help/feedback/recommendations!!!

          1. re: CurryLover

            The crab restaurants at the beach are not as good as those in Kent Island
            My favs at the beach
            Breakfast---Bayside skillet OC
            Upscaled dining The Hobbit inOC
            Fantastic Seafood - Blue Coast- Bethany Beach
            upscaled italian- Defebo's in Bethany Beach
            lunch either Arena's deli in Rehobeth or Capriottis Sub Shop in Bethany (The Bobbie is the best sub in the universe)

            1. re: dining with doc

              You can always have lunch at the Narrows Restaurant on Kent Island.....they have great crab cakes, cream of crab soiup and Rockfish is defintely in season so expect that to be fresh. Poster above is dead on though that the crabs will most likely be better on Kent Island......the crab houses at the beach are more touristy IMHO. Do yourself a favor and always call ahead to where you thinking about eating crabs and ask sizes and price and reserve them.....new crab eaters always do best with the biggest they have since it requires less work. I do not have too many in town OC reqs....but your Rehoboth choices are dead on...try Fins for Happy Hour where shrimp, oysters, & clams are less than half off and beers are stupidly cheap. Go directly across the street for Dogfish Head where the beer is much much better than the food...it is decent bar food. Just Hooked in fairly new and very, very good....go there for their sea/farm to table atmosphere.....make reservations. We go to DiFebos all the time and it is a good solid Italian with everything home-made....they have early bird specials including a great veal chop. In Rehoboth itself, there is quite a food scene and you should do some specific searching on that topic alone.....great restaurants!! Nage, Blue Moon, Planet X....too many to name.....just remember that is at least a 30-40 minutes ride from OC depending on where you are staying.