Della Rose's has been Baltimore's tavern since 1944, when they first opened in East Baltimore. A lot has changed in that amount of time. Around 1961, they moved the restaurant to the Overlea section of Belair Rd, expanding their already well known menu to include sour beef and dumplings along with some seafood specialities. Then in 1998, that location then moved to where it is now, located in The Avenue in White Marsh. A second location was opened in Canton, just 2 miles from their original location, but that has since closed. No matter, as their tradition lives on in White Marsh. With this much local history, we were excited to try their crab cakes. Follow along and see what we thought!
Della Rose's serves crab cakes in two different sandwich forms, as well as a single or double entree. The Crab Cake Sandwich is grilled or fried, and served on your choice of bread with chips. The entree comes with two sides. The other sandwich available is the Grilled Norfolk, which is a fried crab cake, tavern ham, and cheddar cheese on buttery grilled rye bread.
The crab cake has a decent ratio of lumps to broken pieces, held together by a creamy mixture of mayonnaise, breadcrumbs, and spices. The crab meat has some flavor to it, although it's more of a meaty flavor than sweet. The binder and spice flavor come across as strong as the crab flavor, and while they fight for attention, you can still taste all of it on the same level. As far as the sandwich goes, the bun isn't bad, but it's not the best, as it falls apart way too easily.
While not knocking our socks off, we felt this crab cake was better than average, but not enough for a 4 crab rating. While the crab meat did have some flavor, there wasn't a lot there, as some lumps of crab were tasty, and others were near flavorless. The binder had a nice bready flavor to it, and the spice did a good job of not making it taste only of bread, but overall the experince was not very memorable. If your'e going for a sandwich, we'd recommend getting the crab cake fried, as the broiled cake fell apart way too easily.
While the crab cake didn't impress us all that much, the Grilled Norfolk sandwich was quite tasty. We weren't able to taste the crab cake right away, but it's flavor contribution did make itself known as you go through the sandwich. It all works together nicely -- ham, cheese, rye, and crab -- where you could identify those flavors easily. While not factored into the review score, if you find yourself at Della Rose's and need to satiate your crab cake fix, give the Grilled Norfolk a shot!
Have you tried Della Rose's Crab Cake or Grilled Norfolk? Share your experience with us in the comments!
- Restaurant Name: Della Rose's Avenue Tavern
- Address: 8153 Honeygo Blvd Nottingham, MD 21236
- Neighborhood: White Marsh
- Restaurant Type: Local
- Website: http://www.dellarosestavern.com/
- Review Date: 03/09/2014 4:44pm
- Atmosphere: Not Busy to Moderate
- Item(s) Ordered: Crab Cake Sandwich
- Cooking Style: Broiled
- Other Styles Available: Yes
- Available by mail order?: No
- Price: 14.50
- Order Type: Sandwich
- Crab Content: Jumbo Lump
- Filler: Average
- Spice: Average
- Overall Impression: Average
Rating (out of 5 crabs):