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...