This Weeks Crab War: Dungeness vs. Blue

Iron Chef Michael Symon just started a new show called Food Feuds where he goes to restaurants in a region that claim to have the best of something.  This blog is my attempt to do something similar.  Who does crab better?  East Coast or West Coast? 

One of the most well known and popular places to eat crab in the Bay Area is Crustacean in San Francisco and it wasn’t until last week that I first tried it.  We ordered the roasted crab which is a whole Dungeness crab with garlic sauce and spices. 

I spent the weekend in Baltimore and was on a mission to eat their famous crab cake.  With the help of various websites, I found Faidley’s Seafood inside the Lexington Market and had a lump crab cake.  Unlike other crab cakes that I have tried, lump crab cakes don’t use a lot of breading and it has big chunks of crab meat.

Which crab reigns supreme?  My opinion is East Coast crab.  Although the flavors of the crab at crustacean were very good, I thought the crab was overcooked.  At Crusteacean, you wear a bib and work for your food.  In my opinion, this should add to the experience and make it fun.  But having done all this work to get to overcooked crab, it takes the fun out of it.  You can tell when you crack into a crab that it is overcooked when the meat doesn’t come out in large chunks, but rather smooshed.  I was disappointed.  On the other hand, the Faidley’s crab cake was perfectly cooked, had plenty of meat, and had absolutely no work at all.  At first sight, I thought this was going to be so rich and I wouldn’t be able to eat it all.  Faidley’s lump crab cake has no filler, just very good flavor and seasonings.  Apparently, Faidley’s is going to be featured on an upcoming episode of Food Feud.  My money is on them to win.

Another discovery in Baltimore was Nick’s Seafood Restaurant inside Cross Street Market.  This place was awesome.  Football fans were there to watch the Ravens against the Patriots.  Although their team lost, the fans knew how to enjoy themselves.  Shrimp, clams, oysters, and more adorn the market.  I ordered the Maryland crab soup and ½ lb of steamed jumbo shrimp.  The crab soup had crab, lots of vegetables and Old Bay seasoning.  I also watched them pour the Old Bay seasoning over the shrimp and onions before putting it in the steamer.  Actually, they love the Old Bay seasoning in Baltimore.    I overheard someone ask for more “Old Bay” to pour on their cheese fries. 

There is something special about seafood in the East Coast. 

More to come on Baltimore on next week’s blog…