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by Peter Moskos

February 8, 2011

I Miss Baltimore Crab Cakes

I was at a good fish store on 9th Avenue in Manhattan yesterday and bought a pound of good fresh Maryland crab meat (non-lump, $16). So for breakfast today I made crab cakes. They were good. Delicious. Fried in butter. But still not even close to as good as you can get at Faidley's or almost any other place in Baltimore. What is the secret?

I think it's time soon to head south and get my fix.


Gotti Rules said...


If you can't make it down anytime soon. I will bring some up with me in April. See you soon !!

Mrs Gotti Rules said...

We would love to have you come and stay for a night or two to get some crab cakes. Our favorite spot is G&M Restaurant. You can check out their website (they even ship crab cakes).
Also, I recommend using lump Maryland crab meat. Sometimes that is just a personal preference.

PCM said...

I don't think I've ever tried G&M. I've heard the name and I'm sure they're good (and I'd love to debate if they're better than Faidley's some time when we can compare the two).

And I too recommend using fresh Maryland lump meat... maybe next time you're in New York you can find me some!!!

Sometimes you make crabcakes with the crab meat you have, not the crabmeat you want.

Seriously, you Marylanders don't understand what's it like out here in the wilderness of few crabs and bad crab cakes.

In terms of price vs. quality, I'm kind of partial to backfin. Also delicious and not crazy expensive.

And this was good crab meat, even if it was bits and pieces. But I guess right there I lost some of the good texture lump meat gives.

G&M vs. Faidley's. You know what's funny? I never get tired of reading such things.

PCM said...

Oh, wait, we *have* been to G&M. Zora wrote about it! After your wedding, of all things! We went to Faidley's before your wedding and G&M afterwards. They were both good, but I like Faidley's more.

[But then Faidley's was my first crab cake. And you never forget your first.]

Zora wrote more, and it's worth reading, but here's the summary:G&M’s crab cakes were a different breed. Where Faidley’s stood up straight and tall, G&M’s slumped messily over the white roll they were served on. Faidley’s has a shameless butteriness, and maybe even a touch of sugar; and you can taste the mustard they put in the mix. G&M’s tasted like crab and nothing else. They were bound together with an almost souffle-like egg mixture, dotted with little flecks of Old Bay seasoning. I don’t know if they were better than Faidley’s, but they were fucking tasty.

Mrs Gotti Rules said...

Boy that is a difficult choice, Faidley's vs. G&M. Baltimore Magazine has some interesting articles about crab cakes including this one that discusses the various kinds, http://www.baltimoremagazine.net/food-and-dining/2009/07/crab-ilicious . My husband (sitting here next to me while I type this) suggested coming to Baltimore and doing a "Crab Cake Crawl" and sampling a crab cake at each place. Yum! I guess we are a little spoiled here in B-More.

PCM said...

Nice article... Yes, lets try them all (or some)!

Too bad Ikarus on Eastern Ave (where I lived) didn't make the list in the "nice surprise" category. They make a really good crab cake. And that certainly is a surprise at a Greek restaurant.

Zora said...

But didn't G&M look like it was Greek-owned? They were selling spanakopita, anyway.

Need. Real. Crab cake. Now. The ones from yesterday were just an appetizer...

(And I apologize for the gratuitous profanity in my review of G&M. But I was so moved!)

Mrs Gotti Rules said...

I think you are right. It is Greek-owned. So, Pete, you should love them. Did you see the desserts in the carry-out restaurant? OMG!
P.S. I had a crab cake sandwich tonight at one of the local restaurants. Not a G&M, but delicious! It even came with homemade potato chips.

PCM said...

That's the thing, in Baltimore, even the just OK and not famous crab cakes can be delicious (I also liked the ones from the stand at the north end of Broadway market)!

Here in New York, you simply cannot get a good crab cake. Period. No matter what. No matter where you go and how much you're willing to spend.

Even worse, some bastards put "Maryland crab cake" on their menu. But they're not. Why call it "Maryland" if it's a not?! I don't get it. Just call it "crab cake" because then I won't be so disappointed.

Cleanville Tziabatz said...

Speaking of Baltimore, there was a minor ruling in the Taevon Cann case this week, althought I didn't see any news reports. Baltimore's own Jonathan Ayers and definite must-know case for all Baltimore policemen. Excerpt:

February 9, 2011
WILLIAM NICKERSON, District Judge This action arises out of the February 29, 2008, fatal shooting of Taevon Cann by several Baltimore County police officers. According to the Complaint, shortly after Mr. Cann drove into a gas station to purchase gasoline, he was approached by two men in civilian clothing pointing handguns. When he tried to drive backwards to get away, his car was rammed by a Baltimore County Police car. Several Baltimore County Police officers then surrounded his car and commenced firing, discharging more than 70 rounds. Taevon Cann's mother, Gwendolyn Cann, brought this action individually and as personal representative of his estate, naming as defendants each of the officers involved in the incident (the Individual Defendants), as well as Baltimore County. The Complaint asserts a claim for violation of Taevon Cann's civil rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Count I); a
survival action (Count II); a wrongful death action (Count III); a battery claim (Count IV); and a negligence claim against Baltimore County (Count VI). In addition, the Complaint contains a claim for conversion (Count V) which is premised on an allegation that officers on the scene seized $1,784.00 from Mr. Cann's body which was never returned to his mother or to the estate or was otherwise accounted for. . . .

[fn1] Apparently, the shooting was caught on videotape, presumably by a camera in one of the police vehicles.