Ale Mary's is a family-run neighborhood tavern located on the outer reaches of Fells Point, known for huge portions of food (especially their tots!), an excellent selection of beers, and maybe even a bit of controversy. While they've been around since 2004, it was in early 2012 that Catholic groups were up in arms at what they perceived to be blasphomey. From the name (which actually stems from the owner's wife's name), and the religious relics inside the bar (often brought in by patrons themselves), and maybe the draft list on a hymn board, one could possibly take offense. But luckily we're not the easily offended type, but the prospect of a heavenly crab cake is what we live for. So say a prayer and join us as we check out Ale Mary's!
"It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me."
-- Edgar Allan Poe, excerpt from Annabel Lee
In a town famous for the life and death of Edgar Allan Poe, it is here in Baltimore where he got married, lived out the rest of his days and was laid to rest. It is only fitting that in this town you would also find a restaurant dedicated to the celebration of Poe, Baltimore and Maryland, named after his last complete poem, Annabel Lee. But is their crab cake enough to make you fall in love, just as Poe did many years ago (although hopefully not as tragically)? Read on to find out!
Last week, we reviewed Annapolis Seafood Markets' Backfin crab cakes. Based on a tip from friend of the CCR Kerry G, we set forth to see just how good this place was. And when we got there, we discovered that there were two different kinds of crab cakes on offer. If you missed the review, Annapolis Seafood Markets is a chain of seafood markets with 3 locations around the Baltimore/Annapolis area. Their stores offer a variety of fresh seafood and prepared items available for carry out. Annapolis Seafood tends to be a local's secret, with their seafood being bought and prepared fresh daily. Seeing as how the backfin cakes were really good, we just HAD to try the jumbo lump cakes. Do they meet or exceed the standards set forth by the backfin cakes? Read along and find out!
Every now and again, in the course of our reviews, we get to come across a place that we may never have known about, or at the very least, would have passed by without another thought, if it wasn't for the lure of crab cakes that lingered inside (and the help of a restaurant.com copuon as well!). Barbeque, Blues & Seafood is such a place. Located on 648 over by Marley Station, you might think this is strictly some sort of biker or dive bar. But guess again! Step inside, and immediately become engulfed in the delicious aroma of steamed crabs. Then you notice the down home decour, and realize that everyone in there is as friendly as can be. So are the crab cakes worth the trip? Let's check it out!
When you first hear where Blue Hill Tavern is located, you don't quite know what to expect. On the edge of Canton, more commonly known as Brewers Hill, lies the old Natty Boh brewery (which has since been turned into business and office space). So to know the area means that you may not have a favorable picture in your mind. Then you turn up at the Blue Hill Tavern and are just blown away. Stark in contrast, this 2-level establishment shows that upscale knows no neighborhood. It's someplace that you'll just have to experience for yourself. As for ourselves, we know that where there's Boh, there are crab cakes. And the Blue Hill Tavern delivers. Read on to see if they were worth the trip!
The Boatyard Grill is located over in the Eastport section of Annapolis, a sleepy little neighborhood frequented by sailors and populated by marinas. Since 2001, the Boatyard Grill has focused on providing quality food that will keep you coming back again and again. Their reputation is so good that Michelle Obama made a visit back in 2010, saying that their crab cakes were the best she's ever had. So do they live up to the claim? Read on and find out!
Way back in December 2011, friend of the Review Jeff L had suggested Box Hill (see, we do listen!). Our first thought was "A pizzeria? Really?" But then we looked into it, and eventually made the visit. While it may not look like much from the outside, take a step inside, and you'll immediately notice all of the celebrity photos, as well as the wall of awards. Continually being showered with awards and praise (such as Best Crab Cake by Baltimiore Magazine in 2009), the Box Hill Pizzeria has been delivering crab cakes from a secret family recipe since 1984, both to the table as well as through the mail. So with all of the talk, the CCR was set to see if the rumors were true. Follow along as we take a road trip up to the Bel Air area to feast our eyes (and our mouths) on these award winning crab cakes!
Irish pubs aren't what you usually think of when it comes to searching for delicious crab cakes. Cold, tasty Guiness? Yes. Corned beef and cabbage? You betcha. But crab cakes? Color me skeptical. However, there is a simple explanation for it. You see, there used to be this restaurant in Annapolis called Little Campus. Little Campus was one of those colorful local Annapolis haunts that served good food at an affordable price in an environment that is distinctively Annapolis. But that all changed when Little Campus closed and an Irish bar by the name of Galway Bay took its place.
You see, legend has it that Little Campus employed a lady who was known as Miss Peggy. And Miss Peggy was known for her crab cakes. People would flock from far and wide for Miss Peggy's crab cakes. So when Little Campus closed, the owners of Galway Bay carried on the tradition. And the crab cakes are so good that the restaurant group that owns Galway Bay also carries her secret recipe at their other locations, the Killarney House and Brian Boru.
We all know what happens when someone buys the rights to something. Typically it's just a cash grab at making a quick profit on a known, trusted name. People still go out of their way to try the "brand", but because of the need to maximize profits, the quality suffers and isn't the same as it used to be, what made that name so famous in the first place. So how has Miss Peggy's secret recipe fared since being taken over by an Irish restaurant group? Follow along and find out!
Bruce Bitner's has been a family-owned restaurant for over 30 years, and prides itself on being the "Cheers of Bel Air". Not sure if that's anything in comparison to being the Prince, but having a resturant that produces a warm, cozy environment, a scratch kitchen in the back, and prompt, cheerful service does lend itself to the Cheers experience. All without the trip to Boston! With fresh, local ingredients coming out onto our plates, we couldn't wait to try their crab cakes! Follow along on our journey to see how they turned out!
South Baltimore has long been known for being a working class neighborhood. Located in between the stadiums and I-95, this area tends to lean towards your local scene, with bars and restaurants here and there, but no central area like Fells Point, Federal Hill or Canton. Surviving in South Baltimore for over 50 years, Captain Larry's has been that small, local neighborhood bar on the corner that everyone knows about, but likes to keep as their own little secret. Known for their excellent food and cheap prices, Captain Larry's crab cakes have a bit of a following themselves. So what did we think of them? Let's find out!