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Edited by Jan Marion Scott Suchman Spot Illustrations by Jason Schneider Opening Spread: Styled by Janelle Ehrlichman Diamond by Suzanne Loudermilk, Mike Ungar, and Lydia Woolever Photography by Jan Marion. Hair and makeup: Brian Oliver and model: Kyler Garner, both from T.H.E. Artist Agency. Shot on location at Schultz’s Crab House.
Best Place To Eat Blue Crabs In Baltimore Md
“How do I love thee?” Elizabeth Barrett Browning once asked. When it comes to Maryland crab, we can barely count the ways—there are so many. But let us try to show our passion. Every state has its own pride, from Maine blueberries to Idaho potatoes. Here, in the Mid-Atlantic, Maryland is for crab lovers. With no disrespect to oysters and rockfish, the blue crab reigns as the undisputed king of the Chesapeake Bay. And while they can be found as far north as Nova Scotia and as far south as Uruguay, a third of our nation’s blue crab harvest comes from our local waters.
Prepare To Pay Up To Fulfill Your Craving For Crabs This Weekend
In Maryland, there are two seasons—crab season (May through November) and waiting crab season. The latter occurs in the colder months when the crabs burrow into the bottom of the bay and hibernate through the winter. As soon as the thermostat turns up, the crustaceans clamber up with the warm water and swim into the crab trap, when they’re as fine and thick as the salty-sweet and buttery crust that’s unique to our saltwater . Sure, you can travel to Birmingham or Boise and see “Baltimore-style” or “Maryland-style” crab cakes on the menu, but there’s no truth to that ad. Ours is the best and we’re happy to throw down the challenge – make it a mallet to anyone who argues otherwise. Unlike other blue crab states—that’s North Carolina, Texas, and Louisiana—where the hard shells are often boiled, we steam our Bay Beauties, which means they stay musty and moist, and of course, with crab seasoning. Our iconic home state brand of masala. Old Bay.
And while it may seem overly obvious, it must be said that there’s only one place to eat authentic Maryland crab—and that’s smack dab in the Old Line State, where an almost religious fervor surrounds this seafood dish. We have a little bad news on that front: Because of the demand for this seasonal seafood, as well as recurring visa issues for crab pickers, it’s not always possible to get real Maryland crab. In fact, most seafood houses—even in season—fill their local catch with other domesticated crab, while the meat can come from as far away as Asia. That said, other blues make for an acceptable substitute, as not so many places serve Maryland crab. your best bet? Always ask where crab meat comes from.
Crabs have long been an essential local protein along the Chesapeake. As early as 1,200 BC, these crustaceans were an important food source and were consumed consistently through the 17th century, when Native Americans and early colonists enjoyed eating them. Although crab shells are fragile and brittle, sites across the estuary have turned up their archeological remains, from places such as George Washington’s Mt. 19th-Century African-American Residences in Calvert County, From the Vernon Homestead to Sukike’s Cabin.
Given this history, it’s safe to say that our craving for crabs is deep in our DNA—and this time of year the cravings kick up in full force. And we don’t limit ourselves to crab cakes, hard shells, or soup. We use crab everywhere: folded into dips; stuffed in dumplings; sprinkled over pretzels, waffles and deviled eggs; Pile high on chicken cheesesteaks—you name it. You can find crabs in their various incarnations at local seafood shacks, fine-dining dens, pizza parlors, food trucks, food halls and malls—and even at gas stations in Hawaii.
Steamed Maryland Blue Crabs — The Bell House
Below, find your fix, however you like to eat them. Then get ready to celebrate the return of blue crabs to a paper-wrapped table near you—and with it, one of Maryland’s most tried-and-true traditions.
Scenes from Choptank: The scene after the crab feast; Grapefruit and Orange Crush; crispy crab fritters with remoulade and pickled vegetables; Historical entrance.
When we walked into this far-flung storefront in a Carroll County strip mall, we couldn’t help but notice the bags of carryout orders behind the counter. Takeout steamed crabs and seafood are big business here. There’s also food service, but we couldn’t see the dining room right away. Noticing our confusion as we entered through the bar, a friendly cashier directed us to a concrete door that opened into a connecting room with about 10 tables. It’s a bare-bones but cheery spot with pictures of docked boats and crab house views. Depending on the time of year, the cooked-to-order crabs are a mix of Maryland, Virginia, and Louisiana hard-shells, dusted with the kitchen’s own seasonings. And the restaurant’s crab expertise is evident. After all, owner Dan Shuman, who runs the crab house with his brother, Mike, has been in business since 1971, putting in time at the Randallstown Seafood Market before Captain Dan’s opened in 2003. Simply put, crabs are fab.
People love cracking crabs while sitting near the water, but Captain James takes it a step further by giving guests the chance to eat crab near the water and on the boat. Okay, it’s not an actual boat, but a boat-shaped restaurant with an adjacent crab house that has a large deck out on the water between Canton and Fells Point. That central location certainly contributes to the restaurant’s popularity, but the place wouldn’t have hung around so long if it didn’t also deliver quality. When we visited on a Friday spring evening, we found both the food and service to be stellar. The sight comes with a price tag: These were among the most expensive crabs we’ve encountered, ranging from $100 for a dozen mediums to $155 for jumbos (they’re only sold by the half-dozen or dozen). . They were well seasoned and well cooked, with sweet flesh. Corn on the cob, a cold pitcher of beer, and an order of delicious fries that tasted like the boardwalk completed our meal, which was just as good as the view at Patapsco.
Enjoy Blue Crabs In Delaware For An Iconic Summertime Meal
Crab Take: Captain James Crab House is one of the last places in town to offer all-you-can-eat crabs (with a two-hour meal limit), available Monday through Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m.
Just steamed crab at old-school Costas Inn in Dundalk; Alfresco dining and live music at The Choptank.
At first glance, a casual visitor may not realize that Choptank is the place to eat steamed crab. The outdoor area has a happy hour atmosphere, and the cocktails flow faster than the waters of the nearby harbor. But once you sit down and peruse the menu, you realize this is a crab house. Before the steamed shells arrive, your table is covered with brown paper and the proper tools appear—mallets, knives, and even a shell cracker (for those addicted to lobster). While we waited for the crabs to steam (from Louisiana on our trip and available local), we dug into a worthy mound of seafood nachos filled with grilled fish, shrimp and lump crabmeat. Half a dozen of our large, J.O. The seasonings were mostly coarse specimens, but one was mild, so an extra crab tossed in the kitchen.
If your crabs taste like some of the freshest shellfish you’ve ever had, it’s because they can literally be out of water. Owner Tony Conrad—a triple-threat waterman, restaurateur, and entrepreneur (who recently expanded into Harford County)—probably just got off his boat after a morning of catching crustaceans in the bay. There are plenty of reasons to come here, from free buckets of popcorn to whet your appetite to amazingly delicious salads (which don’t usually shine at crab houses) to scrumptious desserts (strawberry shortcakes, tiramisu) or refreshing Melon Crush. But we are sorry. It’s really all about those reliably delicious Maryland crabs, served hot, heavy, coated in the restaurant’s own proprietary seafood blend, and piled proudly on plastic trays.
Crab Feast Images, Stock Photos & Vectors
Crab Takes: In a DIY mood? Conrad’s also has its own seafood market in Parkville, where you can buy live crabs to steam at home. While you’re there, grab a house-made crab pretzel or a pound of spicy steamed shrimp to go.
Since 1971, Costas’s has been a stalwart of the local crab circuit and, in many ways, it’s a crossroad of Baltimore, hosting everyone from families leaving church service to a half-dozen stiffs after their shift. Swing for the ball. Couples enjoying date night. The diner-like menu, too, showcases a medley of dishes native to the eastern parts of the city—things like Italian lasagna, Greek gyros, and, you guessed it, a whole host of dishes featuring crab. Everywhere you look, there are old photos of Lexington Market and Preakness, and TVs to watch everything from NASCAR to Orioles games. of course there
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