Weekly reviews of crab cakes around the MD and DC area

Old South Smoke House

The Old South Smoke House is a local BBQ joint located north of downtown Port Deposit. If it wasn't for the neon beer signs, you might actually mistake it for someone's house. That house is actually a 200+ year old house that used to serve as part post office and part something else. The house was relocated to its current location, which comprises almost half of the restaurant. It's small, it's quaint, it smells like BBQ when you step inside, and they advertise crab cakes. Of course, that just means that we had to stop by! Follow along and see how our visit went!

Ryleigh's Oyster

Ryleigh's Oyster started out in Federal Hill as a relaxed oyster bar with upscale cuisine. They pride themselves on making everything from scratch each day, using quality seasonal and local ingredients that support sustainability and local farmers. Recently they expanded to a second location in Hunt Valley, so we decided to check it out and see what they can do with local ingredients. Read on to see how it went!

Steelefish Grille

Remember Freddies in Bel Air? Sure, we all do. Well, they closed down in April 2013 and sat vacant for quite a while. Then, earlier this year, we saw the Steelefish Grille was going to open in it's place. Members of the Steele family used to be part owners of the old Freddies (as well as the Hickory Lodge down the street). Now they are reopening a new seafood restaurant in its place. Freddie's used to have a really good crab cake, so we had to see if the Steelefish Grille could also deliver. Read on to see what we thought!

Skipjack's Crab House

Skipjack's Crab House has a long history behind it, despite only being open since 2009. There was a seafood wholesaler/retailer down in Louisiana (Seaside Seafood) that would provide Louisiana crabs to a few select crab houses in the Baltimore area that started in the early 70's. Around 2003, two college buddies bought that business, and relocated the carry out to Glen Burnie, which they still operate (known as "The Carry-Out"). Skipjack's exists because they wanted to expand to the north side of Baltimore and be the go-to place for Louisiana-style seafood. While they're not featuring Maryland crabs, Louisiana crabs are often flown in during the off season and are still pretty tasty. But where their crab cakes just as delicious? Let's find out!

Ocean Pride Seafood

Ocean Pride has been gracing the Luterville/Timonium area since 1971. At that time, the place was owned by Robert Curreri. The Bielski brothers worked at Ocean Pride as crab steamers from the time the place opened until 1980. Then, in 2004, they bought the place and have been running it ever since. Not only has Ocean Pride been acknowledged as some of Baltimore's best crabs, they also have a store onsite that sells seafood (such as crabs, crab cakes, lobsters, etc.), adult beverages, and restaurant swag (t-shirts, coolers, etc.). The CCR stopped by to see how their crab cakes stack up against everyone elses. Read on to see how they were!

Michael's Cafe

One of Baltimore Magazine's Top 25 Crab Cakes of 2013! Michael's Cafe dates back to 1984, when the Dellis family opened a restaurant where they focused on quality, service, and atmosphere. Fast forward 30 years, and that winning combination, in addition to a world-famous crab cake recipe, has Michael's Cafe going strong, recently completing their third major renovation that adds an inside lounge and an outdoor patio. Considered one of Baltimore's top crab cakes year after year, we just had to stop by and pay our respects. Was the hype worth the trip? Read on and find out!

Jumbo Jimmy's Crab Shack

Jumbo Jimmy's Crab Shack doesn't lie when it comes to the name. Around the corner from the Hollywood Casino, tucked away on a local road, is The Shack. Complete with Tiki Bar, package store, and restaurant.  As the name implies, the big draw here, aside from live entertainment, is the crabs, which you can smell as soon as you walk in. As much as we love crackin' a few with friends over a pitcher of beer, we decided to take a gamble on their crab cakes. Did we win the jackpot, or should we have folded? Read on to find out!

Schultz's Crab House Backfin Crab Cake

Last week, the CCR reviewed Schultz's Jumbo Lump crab cake. This week, we continue our review of Schultz's and try their other popular offering, the Backfin crab cake. In case you missed it, Schultz's has a history dating back to 1950. Originally a barroom, in 1969 the place has expanded to the establishment that it is today while still carrying on the Schultz name. We felt their Jumbo Lump crab cake was quite nice, but the backfin is certainly cheaper and was on special the night we stopped by. Is it as good as the Jumbo Lump? Let's find out!

Schultz's Crab House Jumbo Lump Crab Cake

Schultz's Crab House is a Baltimore landmark that dates back to 1950. When Schultz's first moved into their current building, it housed three separate storefornts: the bar, a spaghetti carry-out, and an appliance store. After knocking down some walls and moving some things around, Schultz's Lounge was in business. The Lounge operated as a barroom only until 1969, when the liquor license was sold to the current owners, who then renamed the business to what we know it as today. With all of this history, in addition to the business' longevity, we would expect them to know a thing or two about crab cakes. Read on to see how our adventure was!

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