You know the saying: "Crabcakes and Football... that's what Maryland does!" Turns out that I can vouch for at least the first half (and will not say anything complimentary about the Ravens even though Patrick and his family are huge Baltimore fans.) When I went home to Maryland with Patrick for Easter, I made sure to get my fill of delicious Maryland crab. His mom (hi Mrs. Patty!) makes incredible crab cakes unlike anything you could get in NYC and we make a point to get lunch at his hometown crab spot, Reter's Crabhouse.
We met some of Patrick's friends there for lunch over Easter weekend and they all got Softshell Crab sandwiches.Although these looked delicious, I knew I had to order the full crabs that you pull apart and hit with a mallet! It's so much more fun that way. They had Jumbo crabs available that day, so I ordered two and prepared myself for the huge mess I knew I'd make.
Patrick taught me how to get all the meat out of the crab during last year's visit to Reter's, but he still had to help me this time. Here is my lunch, covered in Old Bay seasoning (of course):The first step in eating these suckers is to pull off the claws, crack them open by any means necessary and carefully pull out the meat. Then you pull off the legs, one by one, and remove the tiny pieces of meat from each one. Now comes the hard part. There is a flexible piece of the shell that resembles a tail that you pick up and use as leverage for opening the entire body, which you then crack in half. This is where it gets gross. There is some gunk inside this part that needs to be removed, and because my boyfriend is wonderful, he does this part for me. Not that I couldn't do it, he's just very sweet and knows that it grosses me out a little. It's important to note that whenever I eat lobster, my dad does all the dirty work for me (even though I'm 26). But when it comes to Maryland crabs, Patrick's my man.
Once you get the body cleaned out, the real fun begins. Mom, I know I've already lost you at this point and you're probably gagging at your computer.
You then use the mallet to break apart the shell and you are rewarded with giant chunks of succulent crab meat. Once the entire crab is clean of meat, you are left with a lovely pile of broken shells to show for all your hard work.The crabs at Reter's are awesome, and I look forward to going there every time I go home to Maryland with Patrick. I also crave his mom's crabcakes and secretly hope she'll read this, come visit us in New York and bring her amazing crabcakes!
I leave you with a picture of Patrick's family's dog, Finn, because I love him and he's amazing.Hi Finn!!
-The Fabulous Foodie