Bel Air's Open Door Cafe is the quintessential Main Street business. Only, they're not on Main Street. Opened in 2006, the Open Door Cafe strives to be a good standing community member, and also serve you the best food possible made from scratch. Voted Best Breakfast 2013 by the Harford County Dining Guide, and Zagat rated, the ODC strives to provide affordable fine dining while helping to build the community. Given the fact that they are always busy, we just had to try their crab cakes. Read on to see how they were!
The Open Door Cafe has crab cakes on both the lunch and dinner menus. For lunch, they offer a sandwich topped with lettuce and tomato, and served on a brioche roll with hand cut frittes; on the dinner menu, the sandwich is available, but they also offer the option of a single or double entree, served with seasonal vegetables and cole slaw. Our review is for the sandwich, although the crab cake will be the same. Not sure about the dinner menu, but for the sandwich, fried is the only option, and no sauces are served with.
We were pretty amazed at what was placed before us. This big, hulking ball of intertwined crab meat and binder, sat atop a roll. Once we broke into the crab cake, we were able to see the large lumps of crab held together by a slightly saucy binder of mayonnaise and bread crumbs. Some spice was added to the mix, but they keep it on the light side.
The crab meat is more meaty tasting than sweet, but the crab still carries a nice flavor to it. There were some pockets of breading filling in the gaps amongst the crab lumps, but nothing too over the top. The spice levels accentuate the crag flavor nicely, although the spice was a bit light. Frying the crab cake gives it a nice crunch, which adds a nice texture element. The bun actually reminded us of eating at Arby's, but they have a pretty solid tasting bun, so what sweetness the crab lacked, the bun made up for.
For the price point, these crab cakes are quite impressive! Because the crab wasn't super sweet like most Marylanders like their crab, there could have been a touch more spice to amp up the flavor profile. Other than that, there really isn't anything else we could really pick out about this crab cake. It works well by itself as an entree, and is super delicious as a sandwich. If you're ever in the neighborhood, and want to try a legit crab cake, then give the Open Door Cafe a try!
Have you tried the Open Door Cafe's Crab Cake? Share your experience with us in the comments!
- Restaurant Name: Open Door Cafe
- Address: 528 Baltimore Pike Bel Air, MD 21014
- Neighborhood: Bel Air
- Restaurant Type: Local
- Website: http://www.theopendoorcafe.com/
- Review Date: 02/12/2014 1:21pm
- Atmosphere: Moderate to Busy
- Item(s) Ordered: Crab Cake Sandwich
- Cooking Style: Fried
- Other Styles Available: Yes
- Available by mail order?: No
- Price: 9.50
- Order Type: Sandwich
- Crab Content: Jumbo Lump
- Filler: Average
- Spice: Minimal
- Overall Impression: Very Good
Rating (out of 5 crabs):