Ocean City, MD trip report....
Thank you to all the CH'ers for your suggestions and help.
Day One: Arrived at the Narrows Restaurant, Kent Island, MD, in time for lunch. It was our first time having a crab cake native to Maryland. Very good introduction!!! Hubby also had the crab vegetable soup. Since I was recovering from a viral infection, I couldn't "share" with him & take a few tasting sips. Dinner later that evening after arriving in Ocean City & checking into our hotel was at The Shark at the Harbor. AWESOME! It has the organic farm/sea to the table atmosphere. I had the crabcake (again) topped with crawfish & andouille sausage and hubby had the shark. It was a wonderful place to have dinner & we really enjoyed it. Had a Dogfish IPA with our meal - very good!
Day Two: Biked all ten miles of Assateague Island from the Visitor's Center. We pretty much had the whole island to ourselves....loved it. Pristine, beautiful & barren this time of the year. Saw some wild ponies but there had to be many more by the looks of dung left everywhere. We were hungry after all that biking so we decided on Crab Alley which is in the same neighborhood marina as The Shark on the Harbor. I had a crabcake (again) sandwich plus the Maryland Crab Vegetable Soup. Hubby had the Crab Wrap with the same soup as I had. Wonderful. We decided the soup was better than what the Narrows Restaurant served b/c it was more spicy & we love spicy food. After lunch we parked near the OC boardwalk & biked five miles of the OC boardwalk. Cheesy, touristy, carnival atmosphere & tattoos. Yuck!!! Never going back to the boardwalk again!!! Dinner was at the Fins Fish House & Raw Bar in Rehoboth Beach. We both had broiled Rockfish. Hubby also had a oyster sampler platter. Awesome. Rehoboth's boardwalk was much nicer although smaller.
Day Three: Lunch was at Crab Alley again for the steamer pot for two of Maryland Blue Crabs. We chose Crab Alley b/c it had more of a local atmosphere rather than a large touristy crab place. Plus it is at the Fisherman's Marina with nice views of the marina with the boats coming in/leaving. Crab Alley only had medium crabs on hand. I was a little worried b/c the recommendation for first timers is jumbo/large crabs. My husband & I watched videos of how to eat crabs before we even went so we felt comfortable with the challenge. My husband had the technique down pat with the first crab. I was on my third crab before I had it down pat. It took us over an hour to eat through a dozen crabs. There were some smaller crabs also in our pile & we could immediately tell the difference in the sweetness of the crabmeat - medium vs small. Great experience. I won't tell you where we went for "dinner" later that evening. After hanging at the beach & drinking adult beverages most of the afternoon, we didn't want to drive plus we weren't really hungry for a meal...we walked across the street from our hotel for appetizers & a beer. The beer is worth mentioning - but the appetizers are nothing to write home about - yuck!!! Crab Fritters like you would get at a chain restaurant up in Northeast Ohio. Never again for me!!!
All in all, it was a great trip - weather was beautiful & very few people this time of the year.
Glad you enjoyed your trip! But yes ALL the restaurants in O.C. can be "iffy" year to year and even season to season as owners, management and chefs can change as quickly as the weather.. Remember this IS a tourist location so many fly by night places open and close every year. Your best option Is talking to the locals that are there year round, not anyone just there for a summer job. In my experience barkeeps and servers whom work at places like "Anthony's" on 57th and ocean have the best info but be VERY specific in what your asking and how you ask.
I once asked a friend who had moved there for a list of places i should try while down there for a week and every place he sent me was decent food at a cheap price.........but nothing that would ever knock your socks off. Instead ask "If you could only have 1 more crab cake ore 1 more dozen hard crabs in your life with price being no object where would you go? You'll find the price difference nominal but the food incredible!
As a new CH'er and an Ocean City native, this is my first post. Agree with both comments; OC restaurants definitely cater to the tourist $$$. I'm always asked for recommendations and the few places I send folks are more than just SYSCO at resort prices. Ironically, most of the better restaurants are in West OC, before you cross over onto the island.
The Shark is good, as is neighboring Sunset Grille. There are several little 'funky' food places in the resort; but agree with Scott, you have to be very specific about what you want-quality/ambiance/price.