Koco's Pub is one of those establishments that mainly only Baltimoreans will know about. And even then, the locals may not know that Koco's is known for their crab cakes. Even if a tourist happens to hear about Koco's and has an interest, chances are they may get a bit scared making the trek out there (especially if you're coming from downtown). Located in Lauraville (NE Baltimore) since 1985, Koco's has a bit of a following, and is often interjected into discussions regarding where to go for crab cakes in Baltimore. Do all of the accolades and awards reflect the true nature of these mystical crab cakes? Follow along and find out!
Thursdays have crab cake "Original Platters" on special for $19.99. All other prices are market price. Sandwich comes on a roll or crackers, served alongside chips. "Original Platter" served with fries and slaw, or with just a Caesar salad. No cocktail, tartar or lemon served, but I'm pretty sure you can ask (not that you'll need them). Word to the wise: If there are going to be more than two of you and/or you don't like eating at the bar, I suggest making reservations beforehand. Also, be forewarned that parking might be a bit of a challenge, but well worth the effort.
First thing you notice when your food is served is that the crab cake is HUGE. Like G&M huge. Which, as you will often hear, bigger doesn't always mean better. Luckily, this is one of those cases where that statement does not hold true. Tons of jumbo lumps of sweet Maryland blue crab, with hardly any filler (just cubes of bread) or binder. Inside is what we would consider a "saucy" crab cake, but the sauce is quite delicious with a nice lingering of Old Bay after the crab has had its way with your tongue. The sauce also gives the crab cake somewhat of a creamy texture.
If I had to say anything about this crab cake, then I would almost wish for it to be split up into 2 smaller cakes. That way it would allow the sauce to cook a bit more. With bigger cakes, you always run that fine line of overcooking or undercooking a cake, and you need to get it right each and every time. Smaller cakes would help to reduce that possibility. But they've been doing crab cakes like this for years, so who am I to get in the way of tradition? I'm certainly not going to turn my nose up at one the next time I find myself at Koco's.
The fries were tasty as well, but I do have to comment on the slice of tomato that garnishes the plate. It is warmed and covered with salt, pepper and Old Bay. Very tasty and quite unexpected.
And yes, that is a paper plate in the picture. This is Bawlmer, hon. That's how we roll.
Have you had a chance to try Koco's jumbo lump crab cake? Tell us about it in the comments!
- Restaurant Name: Koco's Pub
- Address: 4301 Harford Rd Baltimore, MD 21214
- Neighborhood: Lauraville
- Restaurant Type: Local
- Website: http://www.kocospub.com/
- Review Date: 05/12/2011 6:56pm
- Atmosphere: Busy
- Cooking Style: Broiled
- Other Styles Available: No
- Available by mail order?: Yes
- Price: 19.99
- Order Type: Single Platter
- Crab Content: Jumbo Lump
- Filler: Minimal
- Spice: Minimal
- Overall Impression: Outstanding
Rating (out of 5 crabs):