Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Great Crabcake Tour of 2009

A/K/A My Trip to Ocean City, Maryland over Labor Day Weekend.

Well gang, I have enough to tell you about my trip to fill way more than one post. This weekend trip was very last-minute and taking a last minute trip over a holiday weekend to a place that you've never been before can be kind of insane.

Just call me crazy.

In a nutshell, we ate our faces off. We found what, in my opinion, is a legendary cross stitch shop. We ran into friends unexpectedly, and we laughed at some college students' drunken antics. (During the daylight hours, anyway. It was a different matter when it happened in the middle of the night)

So today, I'll tell you about how I ate crabcakes from one end (North Ocean City) to the other end of the island (South Ocean City). Seriously, I'm not joking.

All right...we arrived in town early Friday evening, and after a walk on the beach and time to watch the ocean, we went to On the Bay Seafood (4204 Coastal Hwy), where I had...of course, the crabcake platter. Yum! They were filled with lump crabmeat. Slightly sweet, and not a lot of spice. Although I like mine a bit more savory, these were very good. And cheap? My platter of two good sized crabcakes, french fries and coleslaw was only $18. I think the true deal of the day was the All You Can Eat Steamed Crabs for only $20, and lots of people were enjoying their crabs.

Dave and I particularly liked the atmosphere. It's a take-out place, but out front they have several picnic tables where (in good weather) you can hammer and pound crabs to your hearts content. And smaller parties, like Dave and me, share picnic tables with other small parties and so some of the fun is meeting your tablemates. We sat with some locals who steered us in the direction of some other great places to eat and play. They don't have a website, but I'm not surprised. It's a low tech, unfancy kind of place.

Saturday was a non-crabcake day. I had a fantastic meal of sausage encrusted grouper at Macky's Bayside, but let's get back to the crabcakes....

On Sunday we ventured North to The Crabcake Factory for lunch (12000 Coastal Hwy), where I had a Crabcake salad. Basically, some mixed greens with tomatoes and mushrooms and a crabcake plopped on top. But boy-oh-boy, it was a delicious crabcake! I ordered the regular backfin crabcake, not the lump crabmeat cake, and I liked it much more. To my taste, it's more flavorful. And again, not terribly expensive. My single crabcake on a salad was only $11.99, and perfect for a lunch that focused on the star of the show, the crabcake! It was a nice restaurant/sports bar kind of place, with some outside seating. They also will pack flash frozen crabcakes for you to take home with your, or they will ship their crabcakes around the country

Sunday evening we met friends at Fausto's Ristorante Antipasti where I had linguine with..(can you guess?)..lump crabmeat in a light red sauce. Good, but it was no crabcake.

And finally, our last meal before driving home Monday night was at Harrison's Harbor Watch at the far South end of the boardwalk, where I had the crabcake sandwich. I know that I sound like a broken record, but it was wonderful. It's a close call between this one and the Crabcake Factory, but I think Harrison's edged it out slightly. Really perfect with just the right amount of spice and crispyness, along with fries and slaw and our waiter even gave me an extra plate of green beans that were out of this world. (Something about them offering unlimited side dishes? I didn't quite get it.) Peppery and lemony and maybe a touch of vinegar? Delicious. And all the while we watched the sunset and saw the boats and jetskis come and go at the inlet. I imagine that during a non-holiday evening it's a lovely and romantic spot. It was hard to get in the car and drive home after that!

So that's my 2009 Crabcake Tour and now I'm terribly spoiled and will probably turn my nose up at any non-Ocean City crabcakes that are offered to me. Now let's see....where's that order form from The Crabcake Factory??

6 comments:

  1. When I was last in Maine, I woke up in the mood for clams one day, so when we went to Mikes for dinner, I had clam chowder followed by steamed clams before I had my clam roll. So I can totally see how you would eat crabcakes every day of your vacation. And fall in love with them. (Also, I ate calamari at least three times on the Slovenian vacation; when people do something really well, it's your job as a tourist to appreciate it.)

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  2. Your post made me hungry (lol) Think I'll go see what I can cook up.

    Sounds like you had a great time and have now become a crab cake connoisseur :-)

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  3. Mmmmmmmmm, I truly love crabcakes. My personal favorites can be found at Merion Golf Club, outside of Philadelphia. Oh, I can taste them just typing about them. Good job, crabby girl.

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  4. I'm glad you had a crab filled time! :D

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  5. Okay, some day I've got to try a crabcake! I see them for sale on QVC (I watch for whatever reason, but never buy for whatever reason, anything on that channel). Too bad you can't just order one or two in case they weren't your cup of tea.
    I hope we'll get to read a part two about the cross stitch store and where are the pictures???
    I'm glad you and Dave found some time to get away and enjoy each others company.

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  6. You know something? I don't think I've ever had a crabcake! My roots are pretty mid-western (lived there until the age of 12 1/2) and we seldom ate seafood. Even with the DH from NH with a noticeable down east accent, I have never developed a taste for the lowly mollusk or for the more expensive crustacean. DH feasted on lobster a few weeks ago in Maine...how could he not at $4.00 a pound?

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