Weekly reviews of crab cakes around the MD and DC area

Pat's Pizzeria

Pat's Pizzeria, or Pat's Family Restaurant as you may also know them, started out in Pennsville, NJ back in 1974. Since then, Pat's has grown to be a regional pizza chain in the MD/NJ/DE/PA area. They've always been known as Pat's Pizza, but in 2004 they felt that they had evolved enough that they upgraded their dining rooms and altered the name to be Pat's Family Restaurant. Their pizza speaks for itself, and when the pizza is good, the other menu items tend to follow suit. Did this pattern stay true for their crab cakes? Let's find out!

The Peppermill Restaurant

The Peppermill Restaurant, located right off the beltway on York Rd. in Lutherville-Timonium, has been a local institution since they opened back in 1982. While The Peppermill has been on tour radar for a while now, it took the suggestion of Friend of the CCR, Mike A., to convince us to go. He, along with most other online reviews, warned that the clientele is made up of a mostly older crowd, but the younger generation are starting to discover what they have to offer. Will their crab cakes wow and amaze diners of all ages? Let's find out!

The Front Page

The Front Page has witnessed a lot of events in DC since it opened up almost 25 years ago. Not so much at the restaurant, but more so in the neighborhood. Located in Dupont Circle, The Front Page was just named one of the best brunches in America by Open Table. Catering to everyone from the causal sports enthusiast to politicians and businessmen, they have something for everyone. For us, they had crab cakes. Will we find a decent crab cake in DC? Let's find out!

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!

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