Friday, June 29, 2012

Give a Friend Crabs

Thought for the day: I have an answering machine in my car. It says, I'm home now. But leave a message and I'll call when I'm out.  [Steven Wright]

REAL crab cakes contain very little filler.
Okay, WE don't have an answering machine in OUR car, but now that we're back home, let me share a little bit about our time away.

First, it's entirely untrue that my husband and I ate our weight in crab meat while we were in Maryland. Not that we didn't TRY, mind you, and since we're such fair equal opportunity eaters, I'll have you know we gave ample time and belly space to crab cakes, soft crabs, steamed hard crabs, and several varieties of crab soup.

Not saying the reason we went to Maryland was to stuff ourselves with seafood, but, well, we're no fools. We're there? By golly, we're gonna support the local economy and EAT it.

 Recognize this... Guy?

Several Baltimore eateries were featured on TV's Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives shortly before we headed up that-a-way, so we made a point of visiting one of them while we were there... Broadway Diner. Wow. I repeat, WOW. This place is only a distant cousin, several times removed, from the slightly disreputable greasy spoon trucker hang-outs that used to line Route 40 when we were kids. It may have the iconic streamlined chrome look from the outside, but this place is much larger, much flashier, much hipper than any ol' diner-next-to-a-cheesy-motel ever hoped to be. Lots of tables and comfy booths. Little booth-side jukeboxes. (Remember them? 'Course, instead of nickels and quarters, these babies require greenbacks.) Great service, great ambience, a happy hum from a hungry crowd, but not an exorbitant wait. But the greatest thing about this place is its food. I kid you not, they served me the world's BEST sandwich ever. Called the ultimate grilled cheese, it was made on thick slabs of scrumptious brioche with four (Count 'em, FOUR!) different kinds of cheeses. The kicker? A generous layer of well-seasoned lump backfin crab meat. No kidding. The BEST. My hubby had the Chesapeake burger, made of Angus beef ... in itself top-notch... but it ALSO had a layer of that perfect-tasting crab meat. Quite a culinary experience. A bit pricier than our usual luncheon fare, but worth every penny. PLUS we got to see a bunch of cool pics from Guy Fieri's visit to the place. Wanta peek at some?

It isn't as though we don't eat seafood when we're at home, ya know. Even in a landlocked place like Atlanta, it's possible to find quite a decent variety of it. Even live blue crabs. Matter of fact, a while back,  I went to the doctor for one of those regular kinda check-up visits, and afterwards, stopped at the market across the street from the medical center to see what kind of seafood goodies were available. On the way home from there, I gave my hubby a call via amateur radio and told him something along the lines of, "I'm out of the doctor's, and I got crabs!"

Yeah. As you can imagine, I took quite a ribbing from our radio buddies over THAT one. (Now, if I want to give hubby a message about getting crabs, I say, "I got the Motts!")

In addition to tons of seafood, it's entirely possible that I ate a lot more sweets than usual while we were in Maryland, too. Lemon meringue pie. Smear cake. Powdered sugar-covered Polish cookies, and some amaaaaazing Polish candy--- liqueur-filled chocolates! Incredibly good. Oh, and let's not forget my mother-in-law's wonderful homemade kielbasa. She made twenty-some pounds of it for the wedding reception. Oh, didn't I mention that? Yep, that's the primary reason we went to Maryland. For our beautiful niece's wedding. Grrrreat wedding, too. I'll tell you more about it next time. (Ever been to a Polish wedding?)

In the meantime, how about you? How do you indulge your tastebuds when you're away from home? Oh, and in case you're worried about all that food I ate totally ruining my (ahem) girlish figure, don't. Everybody know vacation calories ... don't count.

                                      Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

Oh yeah, definitely. Give a friend crabs!


  1. Absolutely, calories do not count on vacation. Besides, I bet you walked them all off going from restaurant to restaurant.

    Love those Maryland crabs.

    I married a Polish man. We did not have a Polish wedding, but they give me a shower/Bingo party that will last in my memory forever.

  2. Oh...I've missed you and your journeys. How smart to get a clue on where to eat by checking out the Food Channel. That'll be my new travelogue guide. I admire your crab quest. I don't like to go crabbing, because it's so much work to get the food out of it after catching them, but you're giving me a hankering for some fresh crab. I'm glad you make it back safely.

  3. That spikey haired, dyed blond, person, is a NUT CASE. I saw his programme once.... I was very nearly ill!

  4. LOL! Now, you and your husband really know how to travel right. Yum!

  5. You are back! I'm so glad! I love crab meat. That brings to my mind the she-crab soup. One time when I was at a conference in Nashville, we stayed at this fabulous hotel. I discovered their she-crab soup, and it was to die for! I haven't been able to find it since then. I even bought some canned one time at the grocery store, and it was awful! The smooth flavorful texture of what I had at that hotel...I can still taste it. I guess I will just have to go with the memory of it. :)
    Regards to you, Ruby

  6. 'On the way home from there, I gave my hubby a call via amateur radio and told him something along the lines of, "I'm out of the doctor's, and I got crabs!" '

    Sus, that was awesome! I didn't expect to chuckle so early in the morning. You're waking me up, girl!

    I am really going to love getting to know you more through your posts. Now that the A-Z is totally behind us and everything's settling in, so happy to have your posts to enjoy.

    Have a beautiful weekend.

  7. I imagine your fellow "radio heads" were chuckling about that transmission for months.

  8. What a fun post! You've made me want to go to Maryland! And funny, we were in ME last weekend and planned to go to a place WE saw on DDD. In the end, our plans changed, but we did drive by The Maine Diner which had a big sign out front: "Featured on Diners, Drive In's and Dives." We now have a plan to try again when we drop our daughter back at school in August.

  9. We were out fishing in the Delaware Bay yesterday. We pulled up a few crabs, but they let go before we could get them into the boat. My daughter caught a really large blue crab that she almost got over the side of the boat before he let go of the line. Darn!

  10. loved the title... your best yet

  11. You ate the local economy? Wow! :D

    What are "greenbacks"?

    Superb post. That's some big crabs you got, mate! So, crab meat with everything, basically. My mind is racing with the possibilities...

    Have never seen a Polish wedding or heard anything about them at all. Bring it, Susan. ;)

  12. Welcome back!!! It was so fun to see your comment the other day...I missed you. Oh my gosh, it sounds like you had an awesome time and the crab sounds SO good. I will take crabs any day. :-) Oh and lemon meringue...mmmmmm. Have an awesome weekend!

  13. Arleen- Absolutely, vacation calories don't count. (Good thing, too!) Kinda reminds me of the time we went to the Renaissance Festival, and I was eyeballing these huge stuffed potato skins with "the works" and said something about all the cholesterol in them. One of the workers heard me, and said, "Oh no, milady. Cholesterol hasn't been invented yet!" LOVE the idea of a shower/Bingo party. Classic!

    Barb- Thanks. It's good to be back. We haven't actually gone crabbing in years. Nowhere to do it where we live, and when we go to MD, there's too many other things going on to take the time. Used to love it, though. Guess I'll have to settle for "catching" some live ones at the market tomorrow. As for it being a lot of work to get the meat out of the shells, eating steamed crabs isn't a meal. It's a several hour adventure.

    Cro- Yeah, Guy's a little strange, but he sure does know good food!

    Linda- You betcha! (Did I sound like Sarah Palin?)

    Ruby- Hi-ya! Good to hear from you again. She-crab soup isn't all that hard to make... assuming you can get hold of some good she crabs. The canned stuff is lousy. However, a friend of ours who used to own a restaurant actually used canned soups in the preparation of her cream of crab soup for the restaurant, and it was pretty darned good.

    Suze- Glad to help you wake up this morning. I'm looking forward to getting to know you better, too. And we should have a pretty darned beautiful weekend, if ya don't mind temperatures of 106. (Pssst... Gonna get a case of crabs again tomorrow!) You have a super weekend, too.

    Delores- Oh, yeah. They sure were.

    Liza- Oh, cool. I hope you're as impressed with the diner in ME as we were with the one in MD.

    Dianne- Ahhhh, the Delaware Bay. I spent many many wonderful days fishing, crabbing, and clamming in those waters. As for losing those crabs, I sure hope you were using a net to land them. Ya gotta oh-so-slowly sneak the net underneath of them while they're still in the water. It's pretty near impossible to haul a crab over the side of the boat without one. But then again, just being out there on the water is plenty good enough. (Don't forget your sunscreen!)

    John- Glad ya liked it, you old reprobate.

    Carrie- Uh-huh. Their economy has been struggling to rebuild since we left. Greenbacks is a slang term for paper money. In this case, it took two dollar bills. (Ridiculous! I can sing my own darned self!) Yup. Everything goes better with crab. Hope you have a super weekend.

  14. Tracy Jo- Hey, kiddo! Hope all is well with you. Yes, I LOVE lemon meringue pie. Might just have to bake one to go with the crabs I'm getting to steam tomorrow... Happy weekend!

  15. Sometimes the best part of a vacation is the food! mmmm, crabs... Some crabcakes and lemon meringue pie would be nice right about now. You really can't beat a good diner, either. I had a piece of cheesecake at the Galaxy diner in Manhattan that I still think about ;) Congrats to your niece and new nephew, I wish them luck and humor.

  16. Two-dollar bills. Well I never.

  17. Austan- Ah, a fellow foodie! Yes, indeed. Love eating it, cooking it, and even shopping in the store for the ingredients. But the vacation food can be best of all. Yum. Cheesecake. Sounds good. I was thinking about making a lemon meringue pie this afternoon... now I'm thinking about cheesecake, instead. Have a great weekend.

    CarrieBoo- HA! We do HAVE two-dollar bills, but that jukebox took two one-dollar bills. Kinda the same, but different.

  18. those crabs look really good!

    Happy Weekend!

  19. Nutschell- Look good, and TASTE even better! And a happy weekend to you, too.

  20. Oh man -- now I'm hungry!!!

    I LOVE crab. Lobster? Meh... Shrimp? Shrug... Oysters and Clams? Not even on a dare!

    But crab? Oooohh, yeah -- golden morsels of wonderfulness swathed in melted butter! And crab cakes are awesome! And the ones in your pictures look OMG awesome -- not just crab-flavored bread crumbs mooshed together.

    My stomach is now officially growling...

  21. Chris- HA! Sorry to make your tummy growl, dude. Know what to do about it, dontcha? Get yourself some crabs! (And share 'em with a friend...)

  22. Hooray for Maryland crabs (and seafood in general). I've been to the Broadway Diner twice, I love that place. The serving sizes are huge and I felt bad not taking any leftovers to go.

    Baltimore is a nice road trip destination from where I am.

  23. Hey Susan,
    You can relax. Yes, I'm here to leave you one of my um 'eagerly anticipated' comments.
    Seems quite the gastronomic adventure and did you know that in Britain there is a brand of chocolate chip cookies named "Maryland"? Yes, I'm full of fascinating facts :)
    And seafood?
    I keep hearing about folks searching for 'prawn on the internet'. I really have no idea what all the fuss is about. Something about soft prawn and hard prawn. Well, I don't know about that, but I've had a deep-fried prawn. Anyway, I didn't need to 'surf', or, for that matter, 'trawl' the internet, to find prawn. No, all I did was go into my local supermarket and found prawn hiding inside a bag of potato chips. Yeah, I know, the bag states it is 'prawn cocktail', and at this point, you might be thinking up some double meaning connotation.
    A prawn is a crustacean. A crustacean is chiefly an aquatic creature. Typically, having their body covered with a hard shell or crust. One type of prawn is known as a 'king' prawn. Contrary to what I had believed was true; a king prawn is not in line for the throne of the British monarchy. Crabs are crustaceans. One type of crab is known as a 'fiddler' crab. The fiddler crab, does not, as I was led to believe, play a small stringed instrument, or indeed, entertain the various sea creatures, with tunes from 'Fiddler on the Reef'. 'If I were a rich clam...' Lobsters are crustaceans. One type of lobster is named, 'slipper' lobster. To this day, not one slipper lobster has been seen wearing slippers, smoking a pipe and sporting some tacky cardigan.
    I wonder if a prawn has 'coral sex'? Do they do it 'atoll'? I send you this comment just for the 'krill' of it. I think I need 'kelp'. I know this comment was 'all at sea'. Yet, somehow, it 'warmed the cockles of my heart'. Right, that's enough, I'll 'clam' up now.
    Have a good weekend, my friend :)

  24. My stomach is growling now and there's not a crab, lemon meringue pie (YUM), or Smear cake in sight. By the way, what is a "Smear cake"?? I'm dying to know!

    My husband and I are foodies. Meaning that we both love food. All sorts of food. And damn straight "vacation calories do not count" that's why going on vacation is so essential for us. When we went to the UK (where my hubby is from) on our honeymoon, I enjoyed all sorts of new-to-me foods, including Yorkshire Pudding (yum) and gravy (double-yum), real British Fish & Chips (delish), and my favorite Sticky Toffee Pudding (holy moly that stuff is good). Since it cannot be found anywhere close by, I've learned how to make Sticky Toffee Pudding and having some of this at home (on occasion) is like a mini-vacation in a bowl.

    Superb title and most excellent and enjoyable post, Susan. And no, I've never been to a Polish wedding, so I cannot wait to hear all about it!

  25. Ummmm Nothing like a good crab cake or she-crab soup. Can't say much for the spiky-haired guy on TV though.

  26. Claire- Oh, how cool! I hope you tried that awesome grilled cheese sandwich in the Broadway Diner. If not, give it a try next time.(IF ya like cheese!) Wish Baltimore were only a short road trip away for us, too. Twelve hours or so away is an all-day butt-numbing ordeal.

    Gary- HA! Good to hear from you again. You were in rare form today, huh? Thanks for the laughs. And the info, too. Chocolate chip cookies named Maryland? Do they have a crabby undertone? Take care. I hope you have a super weekend.

    I.K- A smear cake is very similar to a cheese cake, only creamier. GOOOOOOD! As I type this, four dozen crabs are steaming in a pot in the other room. Never did get around to making that lemon meringue pie yesterday, but we've got enough crabs to keep us busy for a while.

    Mr. C- That Guy guy is ... is an "acquired taste", shall we say? (But he knows his food!)

  27. I gave crabs to a friend. He's not my friend anymore.


  28. Seafood? Crab? Yum!
    Glad to hear you had such a good time!

  29. Best title EVER. And I don't even like crab. (Well, that's an untruth. I've never even tried it. I'm very allergic to scallops, and have developed an aversion to the smell of any kind of shellfish.) But I can still appreciate the photos! And you're right...there's no such thing as a calorie when you're on vacation.

  30. Al- Yep, we ham-fisted people know what we like!

    Stephanie- Glad you like the title, but OUCH to not being able to eat shellfish. (But you can fashion as many as you want out of clay!)

  31. I love crab cakes and have been craving them lately. Don't see them much here in Los Angeles. They were on a menu at a restaurant where I ate the other day. I almost got them but decided on a salad instead. They probably would have been okay, but nothing like the ones where you ate.

    A Faraway View

  32. Lee- Bad crab cakes are worse than no crab cakes at all, so you were probably better off sticking to the salad. There are some places in MD that will ship steamed crabs, soft crabs, and crab cakes to anywhere in the country if you really have a hankering for them. My brother had some soft crabs sent to me from a place called Litton Seafood, and they were absolutely wonderful. I've never had their cakes, but if they're anywhere near as good as the soft crabs, they're worth a shot.

  33. nice posting.. thanks for sharing.