Crab Town’s Epicenter
Of the more than 2 million pounds of spindly-legged blue crabs annually harvested in Maryland’s nearby Chesapeake Bay, a great number of them are merrily consumed in Crab Town, otherwise known as Baltimore.
At the center of this crab frenzy is Obrycki’s, a friendly family-run institution where the freshest and the best-prepared crabs have been served since 1944. Don’t come for atmosphere (think 250 bibbed mallet-wielding crab pickers at untidy brown-paper-covered tables anchored with pitchers of home-brewed beer), but do come for the freshest crabmeat.
You can choose among trays of freshly steamed crabs coated with a piquant secret blend of spices (more peppery than Baltimore’s own Old Bay spice), or crab cakes, savory cream of crab soup, deviled crab balls, crab meat cocktail, crab marinara linguini … you get the idea. It’s hard to imagine, but you just might have room for dessert, and nothing tops off the night better than Obrycki’s justly famous éclair supreme.
Crab picking is hard work, but if you have any energy left over, take a stroll around Baltimore’s 200-year-old, recently spiffed-up Inner Harbor area and its centerpiece National Aquarium.