Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Best Crab Cakes in Baltimore - Part II

My search for best crab cakes in Baltimore continues...

One of the places I tried was Phillips, which someone had told me was an institution in Baltimore. I'm not sure how true that is, but the location was convenient and close to where my meeting was so we came in here for lunch. Despite having had crab cakes the night before, I chose to have crab cakes again - I figured, when in Baltimore... eat lots of crab! You can choose grilled or fried and everyone told me that grilled was better. The crab cakes were pretty good - I thought they were similar to the ones at McCormick & Schmick's - except the ones at Phillips were a little smaller. They were decent but nothing extraordinary.

So where is the best crab cakes in Baltimore (at least on this trip)? Drum roll please...

After three straight meals of crab cakes, G & M was going to be the last place to try before I left town. It was a bit out of the way (close to Baltimore airport though) but good food is always worth traveling for. I was late for a meeting so I knew I wouldn't have time for a sit-down meal so I called ahead and ordered crab cakes for pick-up.

I walked through the restaurant side to get to the pick-up counter and the restaurant was packed at lunchtime. My order was already waiting by the time I got to the counter and the service was prompt. I couldn't wait to start eating them! When I opened up the carton I was shocked by how big the crab cakes were - they were the size of a baseball each! Whoever said size doesn't matter obviously wasn't talking about crab cakes! The crab cakes were full of lumps of crab and rightly flavored. It came with no sauce but none was needed. I wolfed down one and I was already getting full, but who was I kidding, I can never turn down a good crab cake.

So this concludes my search for best crab cake in Baltimore. My quest was fulfilled and I can't wait to come back to G & M again.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Best Crab Cakes in Baltimore - Part I

I was in Baltimore for a business trip and was hunting for the best crab cakes in town. Little did I know that I would end up eating crab cakes for four meals in a row! The good thing is that I got to try different crab cakes from a number of restaurants and now I know which one is my favorite.

The first place I tried was McCormick & Schmick's - it wasn't my choice because I preferred to try non-chain, local restaurants, but I was meeting up with a friend and this was his pick. It turned out to be pretty decent. The restaurant is located conveniently in Inner Harbor with a view of the water (depending on where you sit). I started with the Maryland crab chowder that came out with plenty of crab piled on top. The soup was a bit on the salty side but was flavorful. I got the crab cakes for entree and the portion was pretty generous. The crab cakes were good-sized with plenty of crab chunks and not too much filler. The sauce was okay - I wasn't really a big fan though.

Conclusion: crab cakes were good but not mind-blowing. My search for the best crab cake in Baltimore continues...

I went to Obrycki's based on the Yelp reviews. A friend had told me that the restaurant was located in a really bad part of town so I was a bit worried. Yes, I drove through some sketchy parts but I didn't think it was that bad (i.e. I wasn't afraid for my life or anything).

Even though I came for their signature crabs, I couldn't resist getting crab cakes as well. I decided to get it fried this time and it came out golden-brown. Obrycki's crab cakes were a lot smaller than McCormick & Schmick's, but what I liked about it was the fact that it came with a cocktail sauce whereas the others came with a tartar sauce. The cocktail sauce had horseradish and a good kick to it, and it complemented the crab cake well.

Next came the crabs - I've been dreaming about this for a while... The first time I visited Maryland was more than 10 years ago and my friends had taken me to a crab place where they just tossed dozens of crabs on butcher paper-lined tables and we just cracked them with a wooden mallet. This was the same experience. It's a lot of work for very little meat (I love crabs but it is soooo much work to eat them) but the little meat that I was able to get out was sweet and juicy. I probably could have eaten a lot more crabs, but soon I got tired of cracking. I knew I would be hungry in less than an hour. Nonetheless, I left satisfied and would definitely come back the next time I'm in Baltimore.

As for my search for best crab cake in Baltimore... well, while Obrycki's crab cake was good, but I expected more from Baltimore. Stay tuned to see where I found to have the best crab cakes in Baltimore...