The Alley Cat is an interesting establishment to visit, no matter what the time of day is. During the daytime when things are slow, you can see how this would be one of the local party establishments amongst Northern Virignia locals. At night, well, I can't really speak of at night, but word around town is that this is one of the most happenin' holes in the walls.
Not really near Old Town, but safely tucked away across from Landmark Mall, they claim to have not only one of the largest kitchens in Alexandria, but also one of the largest dedicated parking lots. Bold claims, but the place is really big, so I won't doubt them on that. The one thing that I would put them up to the challenge for is their crab cakes. "Soon to be world famous!" their menu says. Are they ready for the world stage? Follow along and find out!
The crab cake sandwich is lump crab meat with Old Bay seasoning, served with fries or a side salad, along with a side of cole slaw and tartar sauce, but no lemon or cocktail sauce. There is also the crab cake entree, which is 2 broiled crab cakes served with steamed rice, fresh vegetable of the day and a house salad. Also available is a crab cake appetizer, served with tartar sauce and fresh lime aioli.
The crab meat itself has a decent flavor to it. The spicing is just right without going overboard. The cake itself came out a bit thin, possibly from being pressed down as it was going in a sandwich (I fluffed it up a bit there in the picture). Because of the thinness of the cake, the crab was a bit dry and overcooked.
Overall, this was not a bad crab cake for a sandwich, with a decent ratio of lump crab pieces to shredded bits. The spicing and flavor of the meat also worked well with the potato roll. Thumbs up if you're in the mood for a decent crab cake sandwich, but I'd be a little wary if this is going to be the same crab cake used in the entree.
I did see a couple sharing what looked to be the crab cake appetizer, and it looked way better than my sandwich, as it looked not only broiled, but was also a decent size cake. If I'm ever back in the neighborhood , I'll be sure to stop back in and give it another try to see if there is any difference or not.
Have you tried the crab cakes at the Alley Cat? Tell us about it in the comments!
- Restaurant Name: Alley Cat
- Address: 2 South Whiting St Alexandria, VA 22304
- Neighborhood: Alexandria
- Restaurant Type: Local
- Website: http://www.alleycatalexandria.com/
- Review Date: 09/02/2011 11:50am
- Atmosphere: Not Busy
- Item(s) Ordered: Crab Cake Sandwich
- Cooking Style: Fried
- Other Styles Available: Yes
- Available by mail order?: No
- Price: 13.00
- Order Type: Sandwich
- Crab Content: Lump
- Filler: Minimal
- Spice: Average
- Overall Impression: Average
Rating (out of 5 crabs):