Continuing on with the store-bought crab cakes, today we turn our sights to the frozen seafood section of our local Safeway. Waterfront Bistro is Safeway's new private label line of frozen seafood and sauces. I was actually trying to find the Phillip's frozen crab cakes when I came across this package (Phillip's was no where to be found at this Safeway). Being the inquisitive type, the Crab Cake Review decided to take one for the team and give them a shot. Read on to see how well this experiment went.
Full price of the Waterfront Bistro Crab Cakes Maryland Style was $8.99, but being the thrifty shopper, the Crab Cake Review was given a Safeway Club price of $6.99. Package contains 2-3oz crab cakes, flash-frozen and ready to cook thawed or frozen.
A variety of cooking methods are given on the back of the box. For this review, one cake was baked from frozen, and the other was pan sauteed after thawing for 8 hours.
For a frozen crab cake, I was quite surprised at the amount of lumps. I was expecting more along the lines of special crab meat consisting of entirely shredded crab. There were various size of lumps throughout both cakes. Filler was pretty minimal given the amount of crab in there, but you can still see the cracker meal inside the cake.
Being a frozen crab cake, it is not much surprise that the crab meat turns out to be flavorless and a bit stringy in the larger lumps. While the cake may be "Maryland style", it is certainly not using any MD blue crabs. Filler flavor wasn't too bad, although the flavor of the cracker meal comes out over the mayo/dijon sauce, despite being the last ingredient listed.
The crab cake tasted the same regardless of the cooking method. If you manage to deep fry yours, then you might get some residual flavor from the oil you are cooking it in, especially if you cooked other items in that oil. But the flavor difference between oven baking and sauteeing (both using extra virgin olive oil) was the same. If you manage to oven bake yours, you might want to flip the cake earlier than the 3 minute mark. I'd recommend halfway through.
I should point out that I was surprised to see high fructose corn syrup listed as an ingredient. I'm sure this is to try to replicate some of the sweetness that crab meat tends to have, although it doesn't come across at all.
If you absolutely have to go with a frozen crab cake, then this isn't a bad offering. As we review more frozen crab cakes, we will have something to compare it to. It was certainly better than some crab cakes I've had in the restaurants, but the stringiness of the crab meat takes it down from average to mediocore.
Have you tried Waterfront Bistro Crab Cakes MD Style? Let us know in the comments!
- Restaurant Name: Waterfront Bistro
- Address: Distribution varies. Found at Safeway.
- Restaurant Type: Retail
- Website: http://www.safeway.com/ifl/grocery/TopCategoriesDisplay?identifier=WBwaterfrontBISTRO
- Review Date: 04/19/2011 1:20pm
- Item(s) Ordered: Waterfront Bistro Crab Cakes Maryland Style
- Cooking Style: Oven Baked
- Other Styles Available: Yes
- Price: 6.99
- Order Type: Store Bought
- Crab Content: Lump
- Filler: Minimal
- Spice: Minimal
- Overall Impression: Mediocre
Rating (out of 5 crabs):