My tastes are simple. I am not too adventurous from a culinary standpoint, and have long held to my mantra that if it lives in, on, near, or under the water..there’s a good chance I will not eat it. Yes, I know, I am living in the wrong state!
A week ago, Jerry Hardesty from Middleton Tavern called me and wanted me to come try out a new recipe. Free food! I was in. And then I remembered that Middleton Tavern, in addition to the wonderful steaks and rolls (yes the bread is awesome) also had a lot of the yucky fish stuff. I called him back and to my dismay–it was a crab cake. No go! He insisted, and I agreed but I had to bring along another mouth because there was no way I was eating crab. Cara from Annapolis Fork agreed–and she is a much better foodie than me anyway—you do read Annapolis Fork right?
Anyhow, we met there and Jerry set us up with three dishes (I assumed someone was having seconds) of this new an improved crab cake. Cara took a bit and immediately said (through a mouthful of crab) “oh this is really good!” Jerry slid a plate closer to me and said to try just a little bite. After that, it was all a blur as I succumbed to the peer pressure and with much hesitancy took a bite.
And it was not bad. Now, I have nothing to compare it to beyond my preconceived notions, but here’s what I thought. It was moist, had lots of large lumps of crab, a very nice and mild imperial (I learned) sauce, and it wasn’t disgusting. When asked what I thought…I said that at this point, being a newbie and all, I am not sure I’d go right out and order it yet; but that if served it at a dinner or a wedding, I’d definitely gobble it down. Hey, that’s the best review you are going to get out of a guy who has had a lifelong distaste for seafood (except tuna in a can).
But to hear what a certified foodie has to say…..
Annapolis restaurants should watch their backfins, Middleton Tavern has a new crab cake recipe that could possibly stand up to the area’s best. My advice to them is keep it fresh and keep it consistent. Big lumps, little filler, and creamy imperial puts this Crab Cake in the running for our personal local favorite.
–Cara, Annapolis Fork
The three of us talked a bit about the recipe and Jerry explained that he spent three weeks int he kitchen perfecting it. He was not willing to tell too many secrets, but the crabs used are Maryland Blue Crabs when available (in season) and pulled from Crisfield on the Eastern Shore. The imperial sauce and the exact preparation are a secret. But…the crab cakes are avail;able now for lunch and dinner and this recipe will be used in all of their crab cake dishes–benedicts, sandwiches, entrees, steak imperial, etc.
And speaking of crabs…I have it from a very good source, that Middleton Tavern will soon be offering steamed crabs. With the departure of Phillips, there are no “crab houses” in the downtown area. Jerry asked me if I’d be back to try a steamed crab…baby steps Jerry…baby steps…