Archive for August 2, 2010
We have been unfaithful to our Cleveland restaurants. Jeff was working in Maryland and Virginia, so Michele flew to Baltimore where she met Jeff and together we cheated…and oh, what tasty deceit!
Our intent was to spend a decedent weekend eating nothing more than crab cakes. Jeff did a little research and found that there are dozens of “top ten” crab cake lists, even more “best of” lists and healthy arguments in the various blog sites dedicated to Baltimore. Taking a systematic approach, we reviewed each site and list, tossed away the places in the suburbs and looked for reoccurring names. The names that appeared most often became our targets. With hopes of lunch and dinner, we figured we could squeeze in five places for five different versions. Our targets were Duda’s, Pierpoint, Phillip’s and Obrycki’s. We figured we leave one spot open for a wild card. The best made plans often melt away and so did ours. We made it to Duda’s and Phillip’s and used our wild card after talking to the hotel concierge/entertainment director. She suggested, Mo’s, as long as we understood the place was a bit of a dive. In the airport, we picked-up some frozen Obrycki’s, so it almost counts!
Michele’s favorite was Phillip’s. Served as a sandwich on a light potato bun, it did look the most polished. The restaurant was the “nicest” and the tarter sauce added to the flavor, rather than overpowering it. Number two was Duda’s. She appreciated the smaller portioned side dishes and left the tavern without a bloated feel, despite the full 5 ounces of crab meat. Last was Mo’s. It was so large; she could not finish her meal. Perhaps the bowl of rich seafood bisque didn’t help.
Jeff ranked them differently. The jumbo cake served by Mo was flavorful with nary the slightest taste of filler. Yes, it was big, but it was also the most flavorful and the best bargain of the three we tried. After Michele surrendered, Jeff finished the remainder. Like Michele, Duda’s was second. Good flavor, perfect size and preparation, it was a great preamble for the weekend. Last was Phillip’s. Despite its light appearance, the sandwich bread added filler that overwhelmed the crab. Regardless, Jeff’s accompanying Chardonnay was a perfect match for crab cakes. If only all of the places had this crisp, floral version.
We could argue endlessly about semantics, but the facts are, each and every one of these crab cakes was near perfect. If you ate any one of them you would likely start to write poetry about the love of crustacean. Hence our reason to write a blog.
Yes, we did eat some other meals, we had crab crepes one night and crab risotto with late night drinks the next and we have yet to prepare the Obrycki’s version, but we’re certain the only flaw will be the fact that they were not made fresh in an eclectic Baltimore kitchen. Well be back to try again!
Duda’s Tavern 1600 Thames Street Baltimore, MD 21231 410-276-9719
www.mosseafood.com Mo’s Fisherman’s Warf 219 President’s Street Baltimore, MD 21202 410-837-8600
http://www.phillipsseafood.com/index.cfm?page=menus&id=8 Phillip’s Harborplace 310 Light Street Baltimore, MD 21202 410-685-6600