Monday, September 16, 2013

Steamed Blue Crabs in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland

My family has been making an (almost) annual road trip to Maryland for almost a decade now. It is a rather peculiar place to make such frequent trips to, but we do it for one reason: blue crabs. Yes, we drive several hundred miles to get our crab fix on the regular. Is it worth it? For the crabs and all the Waffle Houses in between, you better believe it's worth it. 

For the past few trips, we have stayed at the Chesapeake Bay Hyatt Regency. It's a golf resort that comes with a beautiful infinity pool, great seafood restaurants, and plenty of family friendly activities. As a family we always play golf and mini golf at the resort, and this year we even got to try out crabbing. When the resort only gives you a line with a chicken neck and a net, it can't possibly be that difficult, right? Except that crabs are very fast and are very sensitive despite their hard exteriors, literally. Out of maybe 30 people on the boardwalk trying to catch a crab, only one lady succeeded. My brother even managed to lose the chicken neck on his line. 

When in Maryland and when in season, you have to eat more than a few steamed blue crabs. It's just blue crabs with Old Bay spice, but because the crabs are spanking fresh, the texture is like no other traveled crab you have had before. Based on the lunar calendar, crab season is the fifth and ninth month of the year, making crabs biggest around June and October. If possible, get the jumbo sized because otherwise you'll be doing all this hammering and cracking for nothing! 

I would say go for anything seafood related. Steamers, steamed shrimp, crab cakes, crab dip, fried shrimp, are all worth eating at the local seafood restaurants. Most of it is tossed in Old Bay, which contains paprika, mustard, hot pepper flakes, and lots of other things that makes it plenty salty and a tad spicy. Basically, only the good things. Summer time also calls for sweet corn, and corn on a cob pairs great with all the other finger licking good foods. 

After the images, I have a list of restaurants that I have frequented during my trips to Maryland. Most are in the Chesapeake Bay/ Eastern Shore area. Jimmie and Sook's and Blue Point Provision are both great seafood choices, though they do not offer steamed crabs. They have pretty much every other variation of crab and seafood, though. Jimmie's is a local spacious bar and restaurant, while Blue Point is located on the Hyatt resort and is a bit more high end with lots of great fish choices. Ocean Odyssey is also in the Cambridge area and serves the delicious crabs. Make sure to call ahead to reserve your order! But if you're looking for a wood-beamed, seaside, all American crab house, then perhaps you should check out Harris'. It's a lot pricier than Ocean Odyssey, but they have a great crab hammering ambiance. 

All there is left to say is: I can't wait until next trip! 

Poolside crab cake sandwich
Crabbing is a lot harder than you would imagine
Crab themed everything! (These are dog biscuits)

Steamed shrimp with Old Bay
Jumbo steamed blue crabs
Hot crab dip and crab imperial 
Don't forget to buy some crab chips on your drive home! 

Ocean Odyssey
316 Sunburst Highway
Cambridge, MD

Jimmie and Sook's
527 Poplar Street
Cambridge, MD 

Blue Point Provision
101 Heron Boulevard
Cambridge, MD

Harris Crab House
433 Kent Narrow Way
North Grasonville, MD

Suicide Bridge Restaurant
6304 Suicide Bridge Road
Hurlock, MD

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