Blue crab in Baltimore, also comfort food

I’m flying out from Las Vegas to Baltimore in the morning, and it just dawned on me that in less than 15 hours, I’ll be eating Maryland Blue Crab crabcakes. I’m ready. I’m pretty sure I’ll be going to Alewife, as they’re one of the “True Blue” certified places, and close by my hotel. No Asian swimmer crab for me.

Since I’ll be there for almost a week, there will be other opportunities for good dinners. I know I’ll be hitting Pierpoint. Any other suggestions for places (reasonably) near the convention center? Apart from crab and other seafood, I’d really like to find some good comfort food – meatloaf, pot roast, etc. Doesn’t have to be walking distance, but a short bus or water taxi ride would be preferred.


1 Like

In view of the activity (or lack thereof) on this board, I thought I would follow up on my OP. I did go to Alewife back in October, and the crabcakes were pretty good, but not nearly as good as those at Pierpoint – which also uses locally sourced crabmeat, and whose 'cakes now rate as the best I’ve ever had. I had a great eggplant layer cake there as a side as well. Chef Nancy Longo does an excellent job and is a very nice person, and quite knowledgeable.

A bit more on crab and crabcakes:

On an earlier (early summer) trip to National Harbor, I took a drive out to the Eastern Shore (is this the right board for that?) and hit up an old favorite for lunch – The Narrows in Grasonville, MD. Pretty good, but not as good as I remembered from earlier trips. When I pressed them about their crab source, they told me “Venezuelan, because it’s cheaper”. Duh. I didn’t notice the menu price being any lower though. (Their cream of crab soup was great as always.)

It’s not like Venezuelan crabmeat is terrible (it’s a damn sight better than asian swimmer crab, IMO), but I do feel it’s somewhat inferior to the local stuff. I believe I can compare the two fairly accurately, since for dinner that same day I went to Snappers in Cambridge, which served local crabmeat. Smaller 'cakes, but noticeably better flavor in the crabmeat. However, prep counts for something as well, and the following night at The Wharf in Alexandria, I had some very tasty 'cakes, despite their being made from Venezuelan crabmeat. They also served an excellent she-crab soup.

Not much else of note to report on either trip, other than some pretty-good meatballs at Sullivan’s next to the Baltimore CC.


I may be headed out this way later this year.

Any other Baltimore recs to be had?

I imagine going into DC from here should be easy, too. But I’ll check other threads about that.

Faidley’s at the old Lexington Market in Baltimore. Terrific! The Boatyard, Annapolis. Bustling and very good!

1 Like

Little Donna’s


Faidley’s is in a rough neighborhood, its perfectly safe if you’ve been bred a city rat but keep your head on a swivel when you enter and exit. Crab cakes are consistent and its full of history. True Chesapeake Oyster Co. in the north end of town is your best bet for a fancy raw bar nice industrial decor type experience.

LP Steamers would long be considered a legit choice for a crab house (and a convenient walk to Fort McHenry through a relatively safe area) but my data is a little out of date - all I hear is nobody can afford crabs and most are from Venezuela now so call and ask ahead of time. They’ll usually be honest.

While DC is theoretically close no one would subject themselves to the commute to do a dinner there.


as a general DMV comment, steamed blue crab is maybe the single notable food item distinct to the DMV, but eating steamed blue crabs in a restaurant is manyfold more expensive than buying steamed crabs directly from dockside markets and in many ways antithetical to the proper experience. unfortunately i only know where to get crabs in DC, not baltimore: Photos for Jessie Taylor Seafood - Yelp this is just one stand in the market. ideally you would buy a bushel and steam them yourself, but short of that, you can buy a couple dozen steamed (female, and only in months with ‘r’), and for better or worse, the rapid gentrification of the area has produced many nice benches you can sit on nearby and work through picking crabmeat for a few hours. maybe also obtain some bread or mcdonalds french fries, maybe a beer or two in a brown paper bag, and also buy a couple newspapers for discarding shells.

i also think crab cake is a waste of blue crab…


Eating a bunch of blue crabs on a bench? As a traveler I’ll happily pay restaurant prices for a table, bib, tools, somewhere to wash up, and someone else to clean up the mess.