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October 30, 2007

Top Ten Best Crab Cakes

CrackPotCall me a coward, but in the interest of harmony, I'm going to give you three lists here. One is going to be Top Ten Best Crab Cakes, Readers Choice. The next will be Top Ten Best Crab Cakes, Recommendations Based on My Own Long-Term Experience and Other Sun Foodies'. These are the ones, apologies to Robert, I would try if my rich uncle came to town and was willing to pay while I took him around on a crab cake odyssey.

Finally, the list that may be the most useful to true crab cake aficionados who already know that Faidley's has great crab cakes and want to think outside the box: The Top Ten Best Crab Cakes I've Had in the Past Year.

Here we go: ... 

 

(Jed Kirschbaum/Sun Photographer)

List #1

First the list made up from recent e-mails and the comments posted under The Dreaded Crab Cake Question. These are the ones that got the most votes, although honestly, most votes was sometimes only two or three, so take it with a grain of salt:

*By the Docks in Middle River

*Captain Larry's on Fort Avenue

*Costas Inn on Northpoint Boulevard

*Duda's Tavern in Fells Point

*Faidley's Seafood in the Lexington Market

*Gertrude's at the Baltimore Museum of Art

*G & M in Linthicum Heights

*Koco's Pub in Lauraville

*Olive Grove in Linthicum

*Timbuktu in Hanover

List #2

Commenter Ray in Virginia says he led a dining group on a series of visits to the Baltimore area last year to find the best crab cake. I love that idea. Here are the crab cakes I would compare -- and the reasons I chose them -- if I were seriously going to try to find the best:

*Duda's Tavern and Koco's Pub...because both keep coming up as having great moderately priced crab cakes, something Baltimore needs, with good press from the City Paper, The Sun's Happy Eater Rob Kasper, LIVE reviewer Karen Nitkin, and various online food sites.

*Faidley's...because these seem to be the one to beat.

*G & M...because even though its crab cakes have gotten mixed reviews since it changed hands (to put it mildly; see comments referenced above) so I would have been wary, Rob did get a pretty good cake from there when he carried out last month. 

*Obrycki's...because we need to find a good crab cake downtown I can honestly recommend for the tourists who want an Old Baltimore-style crab house and don't want to travel to Essex for it.

*O'Leary's in Annapolis...because we need at least one place to try from Annapolis, and this is where I've had the best seafood.

*Pierpoint in Fells Point...because at one point chef/owner Nancy Longo's smoked crab cake was the most famous gourmet crab cake in the area.

*Canton's Dockside...because I've got to find a place on the water, in or near the harbor, that has an excellent crab cake. It's what people want. And I'm not comfortable suggesting a regional or national chain, otherwise I'd consider McCormick & Schmick's. Bo Brooks is another possibility, but I haven't heard much enthusiasm about it since I reviewed it seven years ago, and a couple of people have recommended Dockside's crab cakes.

*Prime Rib downtown...because I've always said, Don't ask what Baltimore's best seafood restaurant is, just go to our best restaurants that serve American cuisine and you'll get great seafood. Of course, you'll pay through the nose.

*Schultz's in Essex...because I love the atmosphere, and I've had good traditional Maryland seafood when I've eaten there.

List #3 

Personal Best: the finest I've had in the last 12 months. I enjoyed the crab cakes at Faidley's when I was following the Zagats around for a story, but that was about 18 months ago. Here are the best I've had recently enough to count:

*Artscape. Yes, it surprised me too. And I can't even name the stand. But this falls in the category of good cheap crab cakes, something we need more of. It's easy to make a good crab cake when you're starting with jumbo lump and charging a fortune. (This even, surprisingly, had a few lumps.)

*Crackpot in Bel Air. The crab cakes were moderately priced (for lump crab cakes these days), had the right balance of meat and binder, and come in ten different varieties for those who like to experiment. 

*Dogwood in Hampden. A fine lump crab cake. When I had it, it was part of a surf 'n surf with a small rockfish fillet and a lemon butter basil sauce, so it wasn't overwhelmingly large.

*Gertrude's at the BMA. I had the Tuesday $12 crab cake platter when I was doing a mini-review for the Dining Guide on Good Deals, and it was.

*Jack's Bistro in Canton. The crab cake is Jack's at its best -- imaginative (served with a horseradish aioli and grilled asparagus) but not imagination run amok.

*Micho's in Reisterstown. A tiny bit mushy, but generously full of crab and gently seasoned. Pairing it with a lobster tail was a very good idea, but it could stand on its own.

*Patrick's of Cockeysville. The nicely seasoned cake has so much jumbo lump and so little binder it needed the smooth hollandaise on the side. That's not a bad thing.

*Pierpoint. The smoked crab cakes are the signature dish, but I like the original just as much if not more.  

*Robert Oliver Seafood. I've heard complaints about this restaurant since my generally positive review last February and I haven't been back since, so take that into consideration; but the crab cake was gold, fat with snowy lumps and delicious.

*Watertable. I could have used a little less of the bready filler, but the cake was huge, lump-filled and seasoned just the way I like a crab cake. 


 

 

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 5:12 AM | | Comments (104)
Categories: Crab Cakes, Top Ten Tuesdays
        

Comments

Interested to see that no one mentioned Angelina's on Harford Rd. I know it may be a bit of a cliche that they have great crab cakes, and I must admit it has been several years since I've been there, but I do remember them serving up an extraordinarily tasty bit of Chesapeake heaven.

The former Gibby's of off Padonia and York Roads, now called the Rib and Reef, has the best crab cake dinner and it's a steal!! Large, all lump cake (delish--big huge lumps) with veggies, potato and a salad for $15.99, when I was there last Labor Day. Another place that I always love and recommend is Friendly Farms for their crab cakes (and the nice country ride and ambiance).
I have had the crab cakes at most of the other places that you have mentioned, however, the R& R really takes the cake!!!

I am beginning to think that the Crackpot in Belair took all that used to be good from the Crackpot on Taylor & Loch Raven.

My last two times there were BIG disappointments. Food that had been under the lamp seemingly for hours, very poor service, cream of crab soup that was so thick and starchy it could have been used as a dip to better effect. To say that a spoon could have stood straight up in it is only a slight exaggeration.

The service was a joke - several sides never brought and one main course that came out 10 minutes after the rest. In fact, one of the people at our table finally got up to go find our server to ask about his dinner and went around the wall to the bar and found him watching whatever game was on.

I was happy to brave the joke of a non-smoking section (the wall only goes so far up) for the wonderful food, but now that the food is definitely not wonderful, I won't be going back.

I am, however, willing to try the Bel Air location if I'm ever up that way.

The crabcakes at Mo's seafood on Eastern Blvd in Eastwood are as good as By the Docks. You should try them!!!

Clearly, this is an important issue that will require more research on my part..

G&M and Timbuktu are living off of their past reputations.

For the best crabcakes in the Annapolis area, you have to try the Edgewater Restaurant. Try to make it on a Wednesday night for the $15.99 crabcake dinner special - 2 huge crabcakes with just enough filler to hold them together. I'm a big eater, and even I have to box one up to take home.

I can not believe that G&M's has made the list twice. As far as I'm concerned they have some of the blandest crab cakes in town. There is hardly any seasoning in this softball sized lump of crabmeat.

I am disappointed honestly in these lists. I don't know if this is a popularity contest or not. Just because a bunch of folks pay $12 for a softball lump of crabmeat with no seasoning and no semblance of being a MARYLAND crabcake does not mean it is good.

And I'll say it again, go another block down Hammonds Ferry Road in Linthicum to Snyder's of Willow Grove. They have amazing crab cakes (broiled). They are well seasoned, appropriately sized, and reasonably priced.

Kudos for taking on a topic that I suspect has as much to do with personal history and loyalty than culinary reason.

On a crabcake related topic, the photo posted on the homepage of the Sun's website shows a crabcake on a bun. In my book (here comes that personal bias I was talking about), this is heresy. Why go through the trouble of finding the perfect crabcake, with lumps and minimal filler, only to eat it with bread?!? Can someone explain?

It may not look like much from the outside (or inside for that matter), but Sip & Bite on Boston Street in Canton has very good grilled grab cakes. Certainly better than G&M's and Timbuktu, I haven't tried all the others yet. And a crabcake sandwich is only $6.50!

Pappas on Taylor in Parkville has excellent crabcakes! I haven't found any in the Baltimore area that even compare to theirs.

Padonia Station has a good, well seasoned crab cake. Can't say I liked Gertrudes.

Now that the Backfin of Pikesville is gone 9best crabcake in town), I have found an outstanding crabcake at Rib n Reef on Padonia Rd. For $15.95 you get salad an exceptional crabcake and 2 vegetables.
I think Gertrude's is one of the poorer crabcakes. Too many "foreign" flavors overshadowing the taste of the crab lumps.

A good late night crabcake is at the Sip and Bite Diner, on Boston St., canton. Tastes awesome at 2 am. It's only $7. It's a simple sandwich with no fancy stuff. And it's made fresh daily. I always take my out of town guest here

Have to agree with Jacqueline on this on - Mo's on Eastern Blvd in Essex is wonderful. Huge lump, hardly any filler, and broiled to perfection. This place is a gem.

Snyders' Willow Grove blows G&M out of the water. True, I've been in FL for 6 years, but I used to work just minutes from both places, and G&M's may have been huge, but they were full of filler. Snyders' were always perfect.

Romano's in Glen Burnie has some of the best crab cakes around. I agree with Mischa about G&M. I think they have been passed by

There are a couple of other places not mentioned that make outstanding crab cakes (and are part of the so-called "Greek mafia" branch of restaurants)

Hella's of Millersville make a monster lump crab cake, moderately seasoned.

Romanos of Glen Burnie makes a great lumb crab cake, and you can request the amount of seasoning. A sure sign that you are getting a fresh cake.

How dare you not include the Idle Hour in Federal Hill? HOW DARE YOU?

They might not serve food, but if they did, they'd have the best darn crabcake in town.

I am so angry right now.

I'd have to put the Pazza Luna crabcake (prior to its recent closing and subsequent reopening) up there with the best. It was full of lumps, delicately broiled, and the orzo side was a perfect complement. Anyone else get to enjoy it before Pazza Luna was reincarnated?

In the 43 years I've lived in this state the best bar none crab cakes I've ever had were at Angelinas on Harford Rd.

The most overrated were at G & M in Linthicium.

Annapolis where I live has no good crab cakes unless you're a fan of bread crumbs and mayonaisse.

I second GPT's nomination of the Edgewater Restaurant -- truly great crabcakes.

On the flip side, we took out-of-town guests to Robert Oliver Seafood last week, and the crabcakes were an embarrassment -- crabcakes that bad should never be served in Baltimore. [The shrimp was also overcooked and the service erratic.] A big disappointment, because we really need a good restaurant in that area of town.

Elizabeth,

Portside Tavern is located just off of the square in Canton, thus it is not on the water.

You're absolutely right. I was thinking of Dockside. I'll make the correction. Thanks for pointing this out before it got too late in the day!

Try the crab cakes (or even the stuffed mushrooms) at the Silver Moon Diner at Pulaski and Middle River Road. Huge lumps, little filler, great taste and very reasonably priced. What would have thought???

Kocos by far.... the best crabcake in baltimore or any surrounding town. I encourage you to try them.

Annapolis Seafood has great carry-out
crabcakes. Fried, broiled, or just packaged for you to take home. Try them! You will NOT be disappointed!

Try the Essex Diner on Eastern Blvd. near Back River Bridge (formerly Casa Luna's). I also agree with the Silver Moon Diner. Local diners can be a big surprise!

I left out Bluefins on Eastern Blvd. on Back River bridge. This area is loaded with great crab cakes!

Hmmm...I once saw Maryland Crabcake on a menu on some unknown albeit nice restaurant in Lexington, KY. With the bragging rights scattered all over our great state, as evidenced in the comments in this and other of your similar blogs, I guess I'm glad I didn't order that one.

Greek Village on Eastern Avenue in Eastwood has a very delicious crabcake and is very reasonably priced.

I like the crab cakes at Henningers Tavern and Dudas, my sister swears by the cakes at Friendly Farms!

Box Hill in Abingdon and their 2nd location in Riverside have one of the best crab cakes in town. I was fortunate to have the very best at Pazza Luna.

It has been a few years since I've been there but the crabcakes at Michael's Steak and Lobster House were quite good and quite large. I think G&M's are good, though I think they get over-hyped. Best ones I've had in the area were at Faidley's.

my mom's are still the very very best. no mayonnaise and served on crackers with a shot of worchestershire

In the words of Rodney King, "Can't we all just get along?" C'mon folks, we're never going to get this right. It's all a matter of taste and taste is an individual thing. Some people are "purists" and prefer very little if any seasoning while others like a little crabmeat with their Old Bay. Who cares? If you like it, fine. Allow others the right to their opinion and respect it.

have to say I'm a bit disappointed Larry's didn't make it to List #2!!

The best crab cakes in Harford county are at the Box Hill Pizzeria in the Box Hill shopping center in Abingdon, right off the Bel Air exit from I-95, and at its twin location, the Riverside Pizzeria, in Belcamp in the Riverside shopping center, right off the I-95 exit for Rte. 543 (one exit from the Bel Air exit). These are the old-fashioned Maryland crab cakes made the way God intended. And don't just have the best crab cakes you've ever tasted--be sure to try their Greek salad with house dressing, the Greek spinach pie platter, and, of course, their pizza. If you missed this place in your survey, it's because no old-time Harford countians weighed in.

A big thank you to Father Damien. Time for a new topic, Elizabeth!

Believe it or not, some of us just don't care THAT much about crabcakes. (I know, I know, I'm not "from around here ...")

I have lived in Maryland for 30 years and been in florida for 10 years and make a trip four time a year to enjoy maryland crab cakes. I agree sip & bite is good, G& M is great, But Snyders is the BEST..

I also have G & M ship them to us in Florida 3 times a month, Snyders does not do this.

Do a commentary on UTZ, We do not have them in florida and every visitor to our house has to bring UTZ with them

Have a great day

By the Docks has the best crab cake I've eaten in a while. Large, filled with lump crab meat, and seasoned to my liking.

I appreciate the suggestions for Silver Moon and Essex Diner, gonna try 'em

Patrick's used to be good, but have you been there in the last year? The crabcakes are mostly filler, and the servers they have now are slow and rude.

I went in late June, and while I wasn't wild about our meal in general, I did say the crab cakes had large lumps and little binder in my review. I hope people aren't getting the idea that this is my list of Personal Best ever. These ten are all in the past 12 months.

Darlene I hate to disagree with anybody but being a Marylander and not talking crabcakes is like being from Philadelphia and not talking Cheese steak sandwiches.

Anyway my vote still stands as a lifelong Marylander with Angelinas on Harford Road being the Best. I would have said Haussners on Eastern Ave but as we all know they're no longer with us.

Angelina's was very good, but I haven't been ina few years, and I think they changed hands. Little Havana on Key Highway has big crabcakes that are quite good. They are half price once a week, I don't remember which night.

Born and bred in Baltimore, but get back home from San Francisco a few times a year. They use Dungeness crab out here and unfortunately don't have a clue.

Used to go directly to G&M my first night home, but the last few times have been enough to convince me to give up. Even got a little sick last time.

Have always been a fan of Snyders Willow Grove. Old Baltimore style w/the candied apple on kale as garnish! You just don't see that anywhere else. Crabcake is always broiled just right; never disappoints.

Ocean Pride isn't bad for more of a tavern atmosphere.

Liz, how about a piece on best bar steamed shrimp and mussels? I'm a John Stevens fan, but wonder what other places folks like for good shrimp/mussles and brew at the bar.

Will be home for Thanksgiving, hon. Go Ravens!


I find Costa's way over rated for almost everything they sell, and am especially disappointed in their crabcakes. Lots of tasteless filler and very poor presentation. With so many really good places available, never again.

My Daddy use to say "If you want something done right do it yourself."

The same ingredients available to all these restaurants are available to you.

Buy some. Take them home. Experiment.

Only you can turn out a crab cake you like at a price you like.

Here endth the lesson.

Timbuktu in hanover maryland should deff. be added to that list. they are WONDERFUL!

Yes.... By the Docks is a great crab cake and they sell thousands of them a week. Busy all day everyday.

Also try the Landing Strip right down the street on Eastern Ave.

Lenny said: "Anyway my vote still stands as a lifelong Marylander with Angelinas on Harford Road being the Best. I would have said Haussners on Eastern Ave but as we all know they're no longer with us."

Have you been to Angelina's lately? The Angelina's you remember is gone just like Haussner's. Another long-gone crabcake is the one from the now-extinct Thompson's Sea Girt House.

Having been stationed in Guam for four years I have not had a Crab Cake Sandwhich in awhile. I do remember OCEAN PRIDE in Cockeysville having a stellar Crab Cake....Best Bartenders in Town

It's been years since we were there, but the Lowe's Hotel in Annapolis had good crab cakes. They were not "Maryland" crab cakes because they were made with angel hair pasta. An intereting twist on an old favorite.

How about a Top Ten on foods unique to Baltimore? I firmly believe that Berger's cookies are a reason unto themselves for living in Baltimore. Goetze's caramel creams? Boog's barbecue? Just a thought...

Living in Boca Raton the last 18 years, makes me feel good reading about crabcakes. Many restaurants here serve "Maryland Style" crabcakes. It's a joke. All stuffing and binder. Once a year when I get back to Balamer, I get off the plane and go directly to Lexington Market and Faidley's. Boca has the weather and beautiful beach, but I miss the Orioles and crabcakes.

these list usually seem to be about popularity contests (meaning places people already know about). there's an irish bar w/ big, good crab cakes for not much money across from the railroad musuem. i forget it's name.

Patrick's of Pratt. They have a fabulous crab cake!

Definitely agree with you about O'Learys out in Annapolis. They do a great crabcake, or at least did when I last went to them about a year or so ago.

I have been to the Crackpot at Taylor & Loch Raven twice in the past month and the food was delicious. My husband had the Mexican style crab cake and I had the blackened. Both excellent in taste and choice. As for the service it was excellent, she even offered us a bottle of wine to compliment our meal. I just heard on the radio this morning that they are celebrating their 25th Anniversary and our giving a 25% discount on all dinner items including crabs! I will definately be back.

Box Hill Pizzeria also ships frozen crabcakes to Marylanders who have wandered afar and long for the food of the old country. You can order them at their store or their Web site, www.boxhillpizzeria.com. I don't get any compensation from them or work there, I'm just a raving fan of their crabcakes.

I went to Michael's on Eastern Avenue yesterday for the Crabcake special and believe me, they were the best I have ever had. I had to box the other one up to take home. Good price ($15.99) for 2 large lump crab cakes and also 2 sides.

The Olive Branch on Reisterstown Road has excellent crabcakes -- as big as G&M, but much more solid and meaty. The crab cake meal, with endless salad and other sides, is a fabulous bargain.

The Crackpot in Towson hasn't changed a bit. I moved away 5 years ago and I was able to pass through MD on business two weeks ago. I had the crabcake dinner and it was just like I remembered. Boy, how do I miss Maryland seafood. My server, Courtney, was as friendly as could be. I heard that they just opened a new place in Bel-Air. Maybe next time I pass through, I'll give them a shot. If there half as good as towson, I'm sure I won't be dissapointed

FROM A FLORIDIAN WHO WAS BORN, RAISED, EDUCATED, LIVED IN BALTIMORE FOR 67 YEARS, AND WAS PART OF THE COMPANY THAT OWNED OLD BAY SEASONING. MANY FLORIDA RESTAURANTS ADVERTISE "MARYLAND CRAB CAKES" AS THEIR SPECIALITY AND LIKE YOUR TOP TEN THEY VARY MUCH LIKE THEIR CONSUMER. SINCE I WAS RAISED ON THOMPSON'S CAKES OF YORK ROAD FAME, THAT IS MY MEASURE OF QUALITY . THE SECOND BEST MARKER I HAVE FOUND IS TO STEAM YOUR CRABS THE WAY YOU LIKE THEM, PICK THE BEST MEAT OF YOUR CHOICE FROM THE CRAB AND THEN MAKE A SANDWICH ON THE BREAD OF YOUR CHOICE WITH THE ADDED BASICS OF YOUR CHOICE. NOW THAT WILL BE ONE OF YOU NEW TOP TEN.

ABM

If you are looking for the best crab cake in Baltimore, just look down the road a bit to Perring Place Resturant. I have had others and none compare...

Get in your car and go directly to Koco's. The crab cake is without a doubt one of the finest you can get anywhere. Be certain to savor the tomato with the Old Bay seasoning. I've lived in Baltimore for nearly 60 years and have sampled crab cakes from most of the places listed in this blog. Koco's is where I head when thinking about scratching the Crab Cake itch.

koco's crab cake not at all cheap--
good but not cheap.
Best buy in town: cheap and delicious is By the Docks

The Edgewater Inn or restaurant has the BEST CRABCAKES!!!!! Michaels in Timonium and Tamborinos in Bel Air are also very good. Angelina's in Baltimore is pretty good as well. I never tried Faidelys but have always wanted to.

Faidley's at Lexington Market has too much filler to be #1 on a "Maryland Crabcake" top ten list. Oyster's on the half shell are the best bet there.
If Faidley's is high on any list then Michael's on York Rd. is off the chart.

Pappas on Taylor avenue has the best crab cake in baltimore, bar none. Wednesdays are $10 crab cake platter night and you can get a draft beer for $1.25.

Don't Know Tavern on Light Street in Federal Hill! I've had some great crabcakes, but so far, I think their's are the best! They're reasonably priced to begin with, but hit them up on Thursdays when crabcakes are half-price!!

Angelina's are OK. G&M way too much filler. Bo Brooks, doesn't matter because since they moved they moved to Canton, they are way too expensive. By the Docks are the best, with Tamberino's in Hickory coming a close second. Box Hill in Abingdon also pretty good. I have lived on the east side for most of my life, and I didn't even know that Koco's had crab cakes, need to got her soon...

By the Docks are the best

Only if you value size and "prettiness" over actual crab flavor.

I see one comment about Michaels on York Rd. They are the best in town. Also, great atmosphere. Did anyone forget to try these?

I had lunch at Ryleigh's in Federal Hill last week and their crab cake is superb-- very little filler, big hunks of crabmeat. The only drawback I found was that there was too much roll with it but I always just use a fork anyway so it didn't bother me too much

I was in Baltimore about five years ago and had the best crab cake I have ever had, unfortunatly I can't remember the name. All I remember is that it had numbers in the name; like 345, 567, 789,...does that sound familair to anyone?

23 Skidoo?

All of you who are saying "By the Docks" are driving a few blocks past what "we on the east side" truly believe are the best crab cakes in town.

By far, the Landing Strip Bar - (building with an airplane on its roof - on the north side of Eastern Blvd - about 1/2 mile after you've passed Martin's Airport) makes the best crab cakes I've ever had. HUGE lump crab meat..... seasoned just right !!! You're truly missing a great crabcake if you don't try the Landing Strip. Trust me - I was hesitant at first - but now firmly believe they're right up there at the top! (Course, I like my crabcakes seasoned before they are broiled.... not at the table like they do at By the Docks)

Try them and get back to us !!!

Sadly, the Crackpot in Bel Air is closed.

Searching for crabcakes I came accros this site, great to read all this about "good old Baltimore". Grreat!!
Today we'll be making crabcakes in Holland! 10 years since we left Baltimore.... mm good old memories!
I feel very sorrie I can't come over to taste one of the good ones you'll have overthere!....
Now we have to use canned crabmeat, believe it or not... from indonesia.... Where are the fresh blue crabs!!! But we're lucky we still have a can of Old Bay Seasonings! So we trying to make the best crabcakes of Holland!
The Baltimore Sun is invited to rate our efforts ;-)

Definately Pappas on Taylor Ave in Parkville serrves the most outstanding crab cake. Their imperial mix is great in stuffed mushrooms. A place not to miss when checking out the best.

Jerry's of Annapolis & Lanham beats them all. As an Eastern Shore native I have had every kind you can imagine. Going to the Shore, try Suicide Bridge Restaurant in East New Market and SkipJack Seafood in Salisbury (THE place to get a bushel for the beach!!)

It's been a while since I've been back, but Brewsters Saloon in Glen Burnie had an outstanding crab cake. More of a biker bar than family spot, but the food is very good.

As stated above - Suicide Bridge is also a great place for crabs/crab cakes. Great atmosphere.

By far, Costas Inn on North Point Rd. in Dundalk has the best crab cakes and steamed crabs. The open area for seating isn't too fancy, but worth the trip and the $. Everytime my husband and I have gone, the service has been great.

I agree with those that say that G&M crabcakes are overstated because of their size. They are bland. Snyder's just down the street offers a much more flavorful treat. Mikes crabhouse in Edgewater is very good. Surprisingly, the Green Turtle restaurants have an excellent lump crabcake. Also, Kaufman's of Gambrills is a crab cake officionado's delight, with just the right balance of flavor, lump crab meat, and size. It may be the best of the bunch.

My first time in Maryland last week. I LOVE crabcakes and Koco's was recommended. By far the best I have ever tasted. The serve was very welcoming and for the most part a decent dining experience. They are on the pricey side I dont think I have ever paid market price and ate with paper goods lol, but the crabcake was worth every bite.

The Rib and Reef has outstanding crabcakes!!!! Hardly any filler. The taste is sweet and wonderful....I have changed my family Christmas dinner from turkey to Rib and Reef crabcakes

by the docks and catonsville gourmet

hellybelly: please post your mom's recipe. I'd love to find a crab cake recipe with no mayo and no egg. Is it possible?

Casa Mia's has the best Crab Cakes around. Just ask the beltway gourmet Doug Roberts. He raves about them. They have four locations and the same man, George the owner, makes them for all the restaurants. They opened a new place a while ago on Shawan and Falls Roads. All jumbo lump with little filler.

Anyone been to the Valley Inn on Falls Road for a cake? I think they are terrific--moist,lumpy and a nicely spiced cake that does not taste boiled but you still can get the crab coming through. No a jumping place but worth a stop if in the neighborhood.

Friendly Farms in Upperco have the best crab cakes in Maryland,

This morning my wife and I flew to St. Louis and as I was looking for the crossword puzzles in Southwest Airlines Spirit, I found a long article entitled “Meet Baltimore” (pp. 118-142 minus 8 pages of mostly Baltimore ads). Subsections included Live, Work, Play, Thrive (mostly about hospitals and research), Eat and Sleep. In each section the reader is introduced to key people, and I thought the choices were pretty good. Appropriate attention also to the suburban counties.

The Eat section featured a very good description of real Maryland crab cakes. Someone was paying attention: they have clearly learned what goes in one and what shouldn't.

Their benchmark is Faidley’s, but they gave a nod to Koco’s Pub and to G & M in Linthicum, so they've obviously been talking to someone who knows stuff.

The sidebar offered thumbnail descriptions of five restaurants: Helmand (highlighting the filial relationship with Afghanistan’s president), Sabatino’s, the Ambassador Dining Room, Miss Shirley’s and Charleston. Knowing how often these articles are ad driven, I looked through the magazine and to my surprise only two out of the five had ads at all: Miss Shirley’s (quarter page) and G & M, with a business card sized one. A quarter page from Meli, and smaller ones from Ruth’s Chris, Da Mimmo, Lucy’s Irish Pub, Jordan’s and Miller’s Delicatessen didn’t sway the editors.

Credits on the staff page were given to Waynette Goodson, Marian Cowhig, Ann Harvey, Juliana Janisch, Walker Kalan, Laura Laing and Jill Yesko. Don’t know if any are from Charm City, but I finished the article not just thinking that they made Baltimore look good, but that they got us right.

I guess I'll have to start looking for more than the crossword puzzles!

Wow! Those in flight magazine profiles are usually horrible. I once nearly became homicidal on a TWA flight reading on about Detroit that not only didn't mention a thing in Detroit proper, but was dead wrong about all the suburban stuff they mentioned.

You can do a lot worse than taking Faidley's as the Platonic crab cake. The only place I've been of the others listed is the Helmand, and while I wasn't horribly impressed, it isn't a bad place to send out of towners.

I only look at the inflight mags when they tell you to stow your stuff (a book, in my case) for landing.

Best crab cake EVER: Bud's at Silver Run about 6-7 miles north of Westminster on route 97. Stopped there on the way to Gettysburg. What a pleasant surprise.

I'm with NotableM... Friendly Farms has the best crabs cakes around. I still don't know what holds them together. Plus, you can't beat the all you can eat sides, sugar rolls and the great ice cream for dessert.

i recently "toured/shopped" the new wholefoods in annapolis where they had great fresh seafood on display.... the prepared crab cake for take-home and cook was very good...good size, no filler really and only $7.99.( i think you could also have then cook it there and eat at the tables provided :)

I enjoy crab cakes at the City Cafe on Cathedral Street, Peppermill in Lutherville, and By the Docks - very good!

Have you tried Pappas?

Pappas's CC is pleasant but the servers admit they're pasteurized imported crabmeat. Like G&M. It;s interesting how good heavy mayo can make this stuff taste acceptable to many, not good for our waterpeople.

I haven't had a CC that can hold a candle to the one that was served at Pazza Luna. Kim Acton's recipe went with her when she sold the place. Hey, Kim, if you're reading this, how can I get the recipe?

you can make crabcakes anyway you want but the best ones are your Mom's .mother was a superb cook,and I still can't make them like hers, I think they belong in memory.

There is a saying in Baltimore that crabs may be prepared in fifty ways and that all of them are good.

Thanks for the kudos. I still make Pazza Luna crabcakes for friends. It feels good to know that so many people like you feel the same about my CC's. It's even a better feeling to know how many people miss the old place. I miss it, too. In Garlic We Trust, Kim

My forever standard will be Thompson's Sea Girt near York & Belevedere

mo,s in glen burnie is not good at all. for 21.95 the combo plate suckssssss.

The Narrows Restaurant right over the Kent Narrows Bridge. The best place in the area for crab cakes.

G&M is a close second.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.
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