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Destination: Maryland’s Classic Crab Houses

Big crowds can mean long waits at Ocean Odyssey. Thank goodness for the newly opened outdoor beer garden, where you can sample craft brews while you wait. (Locals bring in glass growler jars to fill with seasonal microbrews on tap.) Once inside, grab a seat at a table or the long communal counter. An order of steamed crabs is a must: Fresh from the nearby Choptank River, they’re sweeter and richer than bay crabs, and they come doused in a secret house blend of spices. Other specialties include the cornmeal crab balls and, for more extreme eaters, the Bay on a Bun: a monstrosity that is piled high with fresh fried fish, soft-shell crab and oysters slathered in both tomatillo and Marie Rose sauces.

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Ocean Odyssey wins “Best in Show” prize

CAMBRIDGE — Cambridge Main Street announced the winners of the “People’s Choice” balloting at Saturday’s Taste of Cambridge, which drew the largest crowd in its nine-year history with a total sell-out of tickets.

The event showcases Dorchester County restaurants in a competition to see who makes the
best crab dishes in six different categories: Cream of Crab Soup, Maryland Vegetable Crab Soup, Crab Dip, Crab Cake, Specialty Soup with Crab, and Crab Specialty dish.

The general ticket-buying public casts ballots to decide the “People’s Choice” after tasting all 14 entries.

This year, the coveted “Best In Show” prize, awarded to the single best dish across all the categories, goes to Ocean Odyssey for their crab specialty, Blue Crab Claw Fritter.

This year’s “People’s Choice” winners are:

Cream of Crab Soup

  • First Place: Jimmie & Sook’s Raw Bar & Grill
  • Second Place:Cambridge Yacht Club

Maryland Vegatable Crab Soup:

  • First Place: Leaky Pete’s Oyster & Wine Bar
  • Second Place: Suicide Bridge Restaurant

Crab Dip:

  • First Place: Leaky Pete’s
  • Second Place: High Spot

Crab Cake:

  • First Place: Jimmie & Sook’s
  • Second Place: Portside

Specialty Soup with Crab:

  • First Place: Stoked(Crab Gazpacho)
  • Second Place: Blue Point Provision Company at the Hyatt (She Crab Soup)

Crab Specialty:

  • First Place: Ocean Odyssey (Blue Crab Claw Fritter)
  • Second Place: Bistro Poplar (Crab Spring Roll)

See the article at MyEasternShoreMD.com

Eastern Shore Eateries Go Beyond Detour to Destination

Now is the time. Early fall is when the pleasures peak in Talbot and Dorchester counties. That’s when these Eastern Shore towns stop being detours along the way to the shore and turn into full-fledged destinations.

There are practical advantages to visiting St. Michaels, Easton and Cambridge after Labor Day. Hotel rates plunge, beach traffic is a non-issue and the kids are, as they say, back in school. There are even a few reasons to put off an Eastern Shore trip as late into fall as you can. Migrating wildfowl begin to arrive here in late October. and by mid-November, they’re usually making a spectacle out of themselves.

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Is your Maryland crab cake ‘True Blue’?

Only a small number of restaurants in Maryland reliably make their crab cakes from local crabmeat and the state does not require restaurants to identify the specific source of the meat. It’s time to stand behind our crab cakes and crab meat and proudly support this local luxury. True Blue, a new labeling and promotion initiative from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), is going to be your way to find out which restaurants are serving this local delicacy.

The ‘True Blue’ certification program allows restaurants serving Department-verified Maryland blue crab product to use a special logo in marketing or advertising the product. Once a restaurant is signed up they will receive a ‘True Blue’ logo to signify to their patrons that they are True Blue Certified! The DNR isn’t stopping there; they plan on helping to promote the restaurant’s participation through a new ‘True Blue’ website, a mobile phone app, their social media and the marylandseafood.org website that gets nearly 100,000 visits a month!

6/29/2012 | Posted by svilnit

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Crab Imperialist by Todd Kliman

by Todd Kliman
If you order a crab cake at a local restaurant, you might assume you’re getting a product from the Eastern Shore. Chances are, it’s from the Far Eastern Shore.

All journeys to enlightenment begin somewhere. Mine began in a grocery store.

I was standing in my supermarket one afternoon about a year ago, considering a black-labeled tin of Phillips lump crabmeat, when my eye fell on this eye-straining, agate-sized disclosure: “Serving the finest seafood in the mid-Atlantic region from the tropical waters of S.E. Asia.”

So much to unravel in a single phrase!

I gave the can a turn, and there was Shirley Phillips’ own “Maryland-style” crab recipe, an authenticating stamp intended to convey to consumers like myself a sense of continuity and tradition.

Phillips was a name I knew well; everyone who grew up in the area knows Phillips. The local chain restaurants were and are friendly, family-style places specializing in seafood, where you can buy T-shirts and crab seasoning on your way out. Legions of college students have supported their way through summers in Ocean City at Phillips. But “S.E. Asia”?

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