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Stupid food question!

mandeville, la
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Stupid food question!

In Louisiana the food is quite different in different parts of the state. The famous Cajun/Creole cuisine and seafood is definitely better in the southern part. Are there certain parts of Maryland that specialize in different types of cuisine? Are the best crabcakes all over? What other local specialties can you recommend I try? My favorite part of traveling is to sample the cuisine in the areas I visit!

Beaufort, South...
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for Annapolis, Maryland
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1. Re: Stupid food question!

Well both Virginia and Maryland border the Chesapeake Bay which has always been associated with blue crab, oysters, flounder, and rock fish (striped bass). Truthfully, the crab numbers have been consistantly shrinking to the point that both Governors of the above states want to take action so there is going to be new restrictions on harvesting female crabs. The local fisherman are livid, because this is their livelihood, but something has to be implemented.

In other words, much of the crab that is consumed in this region does not come from here, because there is simply too much demand and not enough supply. There are some restaurants that have their own crabbers, so you know you are getting local stuff. (Cantler's Inn in Annapolis for instance).

I have lived in the region for five years and I try to abstain from eating them only because I fear there may be nothing left in the coming years. During the non bay season for blue crabs here many whole crabs will come from North Carolina or Louisiana. Lump, backfin, and special picked crabmeat can even come from as far as Asia. Maryland restaurants will often use this picked meat for their crab cakes, crab dip, crab imperial, crab cocktails and so on.

What differentiates a Maryland crab cake from many other regions is the way this crustacean's meat is prepared. The best of the best are not flat like a pancake and cooked heavily in oil w/ many additives. Usually they are shaped like a baseball, with jumbo lump meat(one lump per crab, so it takes many a crab to make a great jumbo lump crabcake), Old Bay Seasoning, maybe a bit of egg/mayo, lemon and breadcrumbs to hold it all together.

They may be baked or broiled and basted in butter.

The end result is that you highlight and celebrate the crab taste without any interference from other ingredients.

There are some very localized specialties, like the 10 or 12 layer cake originated on Smith's Island. They are trying to make it the state cake. Funds better spent elsewhere.

Anyway, local oysters are only available in months that have an R. Chickens are in abundance on the Eastern Shore of Maryland since Tyson and Perdue are located there. Marylanders do have a special way with fried chicken which I have not yet tried.

I know this is long, but I hope it provides some insight. Afterall, coming from New Orleans, which is a gastranomical delight, you may find that the offerings here are quite standard. Bon Appetit.

cyn_denn
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2. Re: Stupid food question!

Hi there, I am not from Maryland but have lived here for twenty years and I love food so here's my 2 cents. The crab cakes are best in the eastern part of the state (nearest the ocean and the bay) but I have had some good crab cakes in Western Maryland too, just not as often. The Baltimore area has some really good ethnic resturants with just about anything you like. Little Italy area (in downtown Baltimore City) has some great places, from not too fancy and pretty resonable (Sabatino's) to real fancy and more expensive (Chiparelli's and others). There's also lots of good Greek places in Greek Town (Highlandtown) and crab houses and seafood places in the Baltimore area and suburbs. If you get a chance, have a crab cake for sure but also try steamed crabs if you don't mind a little work involved to actually eat your dinner, as they come in their shell. Also if you get a chance and have never had one, try a "pit beef sandwich" here at one of the road side stands. They usually are not indoor dinning resturants but rather road side stands with picnic tables and maybe an awning. There's pit beef, pit ham or it turkey at most places and all are good but I like the beef best. It's a big hunk of beef roast is cooked on a grill and then sliced as you order it (real thin and hot). It's really good with horseradish and mayo or barbeque sauce (whichever you perfer). You can find this all around the state. Most of these types of places are only open in the summer months because they are basically just shacks. If you get to Annapolis, go to the Middleton Tavern and have a beer (their own brew) and a steak or anything else on the menu that looks good to you! Ok, happy eating, hope this helps.

mandeville, la
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3. Re: Stupid food question!

Thank you! That was just the kind of info I was looking for...I'm actually drooling right now!!Yum!

Beaufort, South...
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for Annapolis, Maryland
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4. Re: Stupid food question!

If you are hankering for a steak while in Annapolis, do NOT go to the Middleton Tavern for it. That is not their specialty and their food for the price is just so so. The restaurant has wonderful history, character, (and a resident ghost), but most of what they offer is overpriced and not that great. It would be a choice location for lunch, or drinks and an appetizer. Their jumbo lump cocktail and shrimp is nice with two sauces. Lewnes Steakhouse, which is a family owned business, serves excellent beef and seafood. They are the go to place if you are looking for quality and taste in steak.

5. Re: Stupid food question!

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