Thursday, August 12, 2010

a summertime tradition

Growing up in the landlocked Midwest, I had never heard of crab season until I moved to DC. Eating crab legs at (insert your restaurant of choice) are NOTHING compared to pounding, cracking open, and digging meat out of whole Maryland crabs at a shack right on the water. Brad's first boss here in DC introduced him to this practice, Brad showed me the ropes, and now it's one of our most beloved summertime traditions.

There are plenty of crab shacks in this area, but our favorite is Fisherman's Crab Deck, located right on the water on Kent Narrows, across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. You can sit inside or outside, but we always wait for an outdoor picnic table. The hostess usually overestimates the wait time, so it never takes as long as she predicts. Plus, the Crab Deck has two bars and a beautiful dock to hang out on while you wait. All of that being said, I do recommend arriving early. In this circumstance, I prefer dining while it's light outside to enjoy the  view and sunset. Eating crabs can be hard work, and to avoid injury, you need to see what you're doing.

The outdoor seating area opens up to a small marina. Boats pull up and dock right at the restaurant.

The Crab Deck offers an extensive menu, but we go there for the crabs and have never tried anything else. The staff covers the picnic table in brown paper, brings the crabs on a tray, and provides no plates or utensils (except for a small mallet and knife necessary to pry open each crab).

Dining this way gets messy and be forewarned that the crab smell permeates your pores, hair, and clothes (so don't make plans to meet friends afterward unless you want to overwhelm them with your stench).

You throw the remains of the crabs right on the table.

A highlight of the trip is picking up dessert at Dairy Queen on Kent Narrows on the drive home. I knew nothing about eating crabs when I moved here, but this small-town girl knows Dairy Queen and can never drive past one without stopping.

Are you a crab lover? Which crab shack is your favorite?


Organized Living by Amy said...

mmm that looks so good. I'll make it to Kent Narrows one day.

SusanL said...

What fun! Makes me wish I lived closer to the coast :)

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

Oh my word that looks amazing! Up here we have clam bakes that are similar to crab or boils in the south. Simple but amazing seafood that is excusably messy! Mmmmm!