Crab cakes are on the menu as both a sandwich and an entree. Crab cakes on both offerings are broiled (although the entree refers to it as charbroiled); the sandwich is served with fries, lettuce, tomato, onion, and a seafood sauce; the entree is served with garlic sautéed vegetables and a side salad. All crab cakes are market price. If you ask nicely, they can serve you just a crab cake as an entree, which comes with a side of Old Bay and tartar sauce.
The crab cake contains lots of large lumps of crab, held together with a mayonnaise and breadcrumb binder, lightly spiced. The crab chunks are meaty and plentiful with a hint of sweetness, but the binder becomes more of a paste. Spicing levels are complementary, and the side of Old Bay allows you to kick up the flavor if you so choose.
While the crab cake looked impressive when it first came out, it was only so-so after that. When you break into it, it just all falls apart, making you wonder how it all stayed together on the trip to your table. While the crab had a meaty flavor to it with a hint sweetness, the texture and lack of sweetness indicates that the crab meat was frozen. And the binder flavor, while non-intrusive, was pasty, which took away from the overall moisture of the crab cake itself. We really hope that by indicating 'market price' on the menu that they use fresh crab meat when they can get their hands on it, but this time around, the frozen crab and lack of moisture led us to the conclusion that while it wasn't bad, it wasn't that great, either.
Just to clarify: there are two El Rodeos in the area -- one in Edgewood, and the other in Towson. They do not appear to be related, and this review is for the Edgewood restaurant (the Towson restaurant does not have crab cakes on the menu).
Have you tried El Rodeo's Crab Cake? Share your experience with us in the comments!