It's not often that you come across a crab ranch. But when you do, it's nothing like you expect. Sadly, there aren't men in cowboy hats, riding narwhals corraling crabs into traps. But what it is is a local establishment in Towson that opened in 2011, featuring steamed crabs and southern barbeque. Usually, you'd expect to smell either smoked meats or Old Bay, but usually not both. But sometimes you have to ask yourself, "Why not both?" Fighting the urge to snatch one of the many trays of steamed crabs walking by our table, we decided to corral us up a crab cake and see how things are out on the Ranch. Read on to see how it went!
S&J's Jumbo Lump Crab Cake is a 5oz Maryland style crab cake, available a la carte, as a sandwich, or as one of a few entree options. All crab cakes are offered broiled or fried, and entrees come with a choice of two sides. We went the a la carte route, but the crab cake should be the same no matter which path you take.
Being a Maryland style crab cake, you are going to get a healthy dose of breadcrumbs in the mix, along with the crab meat. The crab was in fairly large chunks, somewhat broken up. While our order was for a broiled crab cake, we ended up getting ours served fried. With the extra breading, the frying method did form a nice crust on the outside of the cake. Some spices were thrown into the mix as well, as what's a crab cake without some Old Bay?
The crab cake ended up just being ok. There seemed to be far more breading in the mix than crab meat, which predominated the overall flavor of the cake. The crab meat used wasn't overly flavorful or sweet, and ended up seeming a bit dry towards the outside (which probably has something to do with the frying). The spicing got lost due to the amount of breading, and squeezing some lemon over top of the cake didn't really draw out or accentuate any other flavors. Reduce the breading with more crab meat, and it should make for a better crab cake experience (or at least ensure consistency in the mix, as we do realize that proportions will vary when making large batches).
We must say that we also tried some of their barbeque, which was excellent. The steamed crabs smelled really good as well, and were more popular than the barbeque, so we'll have to go back to throw down on a dozen jumbos one day.
Have you tried S&J Crab Ranch's Jumbo Lump Crab Cake? Tell us about it in the comments!
- Restaurant Name: S&J Crab Ranch
- Address: 2 W. Pennsylvania Ave Towson, MD 21204
- Neighborhood: Towson
- Restaurant Type: Local
- Website: http://www.sjcrabranch.com/
- Review Date: 03/16/2013 7:01pm
- Atmosphere: Busy
- Item(s) Ordered: Single Jumbo Lump Crab Cake
- Cooking Style: Fried
- Other Styles Available: No
- Available by mail order?: No
- Price: 10.00
- Order Type: Appetizer
- Crab Content: Jumbo Lump
- Filler: More Than Average
- Spice: Average
- Overall Impression: Average
Rating (out of 5 crabs):