I recently vacationed with my family over Spring Break. We decided to visit and stay with my wife’s cousins in Maryland. Given a number of people were involved, I was not in total control of our eating destinations. Fortunately, I was able to satisfy my inner foodie needs with two fine establishments. One was an unplanned delight on the eastern shore of Maryland. The other was a time-tested Baltimore tradition.
I got my opportunity at Faidley’s Award Winning Crab Cakes and Seafood in Baltimore. Faidley’s is inside Baltimore’s Lexington Marketplace. As we entered the marketplace, I quickly realized that we weren’t going to be seated and served. Instead, it was set up cafeteria-style and diners stand up eating at waist-high tables.
Most of the action was at the raw bar and in fact, the person shucking oysters and clams was continually working to fill the orders. Littleneck clams and oysters were the main fare of the day. Once received, their customers tailored them to their liking using Faidley’s hot sauce or a dozen oysters with a cold beer. Ahh.. maybe next time I’ll try that.
I ordered the soft shell crab platter. If you’ve never had soft shell crab before, you eat the entire crab – legs, body and all. This one was very nicely seasoned and was an absolute delight. If you order the platter, you get a choice of two sides; I enjoyed the pickled beets and greens.
Since Faidley’s is best known for crab cakes, my wife ordered their huge baseball-sized sphere of goodness. Unlike many crab cakes that are filled with things other than crab, Faidley’s prides itself on using Maryland lump crab meet with minimal filler. For crab lovers, this is an amazing culinary experience because you get to taste actual Maryland blue crab meat versus filler such as chopped celery or bell pepper.
My wife ordered a dozen crab cakes to-go and owner, Bill Devine, took her behind the counter so that she could see how they were packed. Each crab cake is individually packed in a plastic casing with a tight seal. Because of the design, they stack well and can be packed with a large ice pack in a box with a convenient handle. It ended up being way more economical than having them shipped back to our house.
Faidley’s Award Winning Crab Cakes and Seafood
200 N Paca St. Baltimore, MD 21201