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Marylander looking for proper steamed blue crabs in BK

Anyone know where to go for a proper crab pig-out? I'm talking brown paper on the tables, a dozen crabs at a time splashed on top, mediocre corn on the cob on the side, and some good hush puppies to tide you over while you're waiting for the next batch of steamed blue crabs to arrive.

Bonus points if the restaurant quotes the crabs by the price per dozen ("we have 60s, 75s, and 85s"), rather than the vague and ambiguous "small, med, large and xtra large".

I live in Williamsburg but am willing to travel pretty much anywhere for some quality crabs

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  1. Don't know of any. Just to make you a little more homesick, I was down in Annapolis a couple of weeks ago and had a feast at the Harris Crab House in Gransonville. I could eat crabs every day....Great soft shells also.

    4 Replies
    1. re: johnk

      Harris Crab House always has that great all you can eat deal, which is always fun on a nice day, out on their outside deck on the top level. Thanks for rubbing it in. Funny part is, that's exactly the place I was thinking about when I mentioned the hush puppies. Also, the crabcakes from The Narrows right there.

      I can't believe there's no place to get proper steamed crabs in NYC. They have that Hammer & Claw event every year in Chelsea, but I'm skeptical of it.

      1. re: MarcDC

        As a native Marylander here in NYC, I have only GREAT things to say about the Hammer & Claw event. It is the real deal. You do not want to miss it.

        1. re: Silverjay

          Good to know silverjay, I'll check the event out this year. Thank you!

          1. re: MarcDC

            Tickets for this year's event have just gone on sale.

    2. What about Brooklyn Crab in Red Hook? I haven't been there but it has "crab" in its name so maybe worth a try.

      2 Replies
        1. re: psnative

          I don't know how Brooklyn Crab is currently, but it was a hot mess when they opened. Beyond awful wait to sit, after sitting you deal with slow and harried service, long wait for food, with food ultimately being mediocre to bad.

        2. I'd also love to know!

          There was a place on Bleecker St. called Choptank which absolutely fit the bill (the guy named the place after the river he grew up on) but it barely lasted a year. Fish, which is just up the block from there on Bleecker and 7th, does an AYCE crab deal for $22/person daily from 12-4 (http://www.fishrestaurantnyc.com). It's a good deal and Fish is a ton of fun but it somehow doesn't have the full-on Maryland feel. Probably because they have no Natty Boh or Schlitz. Also, I think they're gulf blues, not Chesapeakes.

          Can't help you on your side of the river though.

          1 Reply
          1. re: nokitchen

            A guy from Choptank (maybe the former owner?) is behind the Hammers and Claws event in September. No Natty Boh or Schlitz. For some reason he brings in Abita beer from New Orleans...but the crabs are trucked up from MD.

          2. Never been, but Clemente's in Sheepshead Bay seems to do this right ... http://www.clementescrabhouse.com

            5 Replies
            1. re: squid kun

              That photo looks waaaaaay too pretty and organized, even in the early stages of a crab feast. LOL...But yeah, I've heard of but never been to this place myself. Seems like the real deal.

              1. re: Silverjay

                Agreed that it looks way too organized and neat, but it's closer than anything else I've seen. Just dump the crabs directly on the brown paper on the table!

                I'm gonna give this a shot, but something tells me it's simply gonna motivate me to drive back down to MD the following weekend lol.

                1. re: MarcDC

                  Not too worry, the picture is "staged". It's a crab shack kind of place.
                  If you find yourself out on Long Island try Mara's Home Made in Syosset. They fly in their crabs and oysters from the gulf. Big and meaty Jimmies!!

                  1. re: MarcDC

                    I've already bought my tix for the event in September and have a hardpicking crew of DC/MD/VA folks lined up to snag a table- http://www.hammerandclaws.com/ ....But yeah, I'll probably also do Labor Day down at the Eastern Shore.

                2. re: squid kun

                  If anyone goes here please post... (I was about to take my son for a long drive to MD next week for a crab day...)

                3. Clemente's in Sheepshead Bay!!

                  1. For about 3 weeks in the fall, usually late October-early November, London Lennies on Woodhaven Blvd in Rego Park has its crab festival. One of the selections is a Maryland style order of blue crabs, complete with mallet. Of course you could get a net, throw line, and fish head and get plenty of crabs from any accessible pier along the south shore, from Brooklyn to Montauk. Or you can hit any Asian market for as many blueclaws as you like, and steam them yourself...and the Asian markets tend to sell female crabs, so the shells are packed with roe.

                    1. There is a new crab place on Union Street in Park Slope which I saw last weekend. No further info than that but here is their website fwiw

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: jen kalb

                        I walked by the other day and did not see steamed blue crabs on the menu. Maybe I missed it.

                        1. re: Motosport

                          I haven't been, so can't vouch for the quality, but I saw a sign out front the other day that said Tuesdays they have Blue Crabs as a special.

                        1. Just wanted to update everyone here on what I decided to do. I ended up going to Chinatown and buying blue crabs from Aqua Best Seafood; I've had a great experience with them before when I bought some Fourchu lobsters and while the blue crabs weren't huge, they were pretty tasty. I got three dozen crabs for $105.

                          I bought a Granite Ware 19qt Steamer Pot off Amazon and steamed my own crabs. I did one dozen at a time, and used a 50/50 mixture of beer and apple cider vinegar. Covered the crabs liberally with some JO Spice and steamed for 25min. They turned out perfect and was much cheaper than a restaurant. If you go this route, don't forget to plunge the crabs in an ice bath for 10min before you steam them, otherwise they'll throw their claws off while steaming.

                          At some point I'll try Clemente's but now that I have my own large steamer pot, I think I'll go the homemade route when I have a craving.