EatMoreBeMore’s list of the best local seafood dishes without blue crab

EatMoreBeMore’s list of the best local seafood dishes without blue crab
EatMoreBeMore’s list of the best local seafood dishes without blue crab

While Baltimore is synonymous with steamed crab and crab cakes, the entire seafood scene is, in my opinion, unrivaled. Local restaurants expertly bring the richness of the Chesapeake Bay to your table, and they do it well with seafood from all over. Here are some of the tastiest culinary ideas from our local Baltimore chefs without using the blue crab meat the area is famous for.

Thames Street Oyster House — lobster rolls

1728 Thames Street, Baltimore

We all know one of my favorite foods in Baltimore is the New England Lobster Roll from Thames Street Oyster House. In fact, I have to go buy one as soon as I finish this list. Made with hot tails, claws, and knuckles, the rolls magically melt in your mouth (a side of beurre monté definitely doesn’t hurt). If there’s one dish on this list that you don’t want to miss, it’s this one.

Lakeside Bar – Shellfish Tower

240 International Drive, Baltimore

Whether it’s a special celebration or a sunny Sunday afternoon, it’s always a good time to enjoy a seafood tower, especially when stone crab, which Baltimore restaurants don’t usually serve, is on the menu. But even when they’re not available, ordering a seafood tower at Loch Bar is always a luxury, especially in summer, with a few glasses of champagne and a few foodie friends on the terrace.

Station Bento – Tackle Box

You probably know Station Bento because of their Taiwanese curry fried chicken buns known as Neighborhood Bird. But don’t sleep on the Tackle Box, where crispy-skinned catfish is seasoned with a Cantonese dry rub and sprinkled with fresh herbs, roasted spices and brunoise onions. It’s served over jasmine rice, flavored with tahini, and according to owner Steve Chu, “the best part…is mixing the rice and letting all the herbs and crunchy bits come together in one bite.”

Locals – Charred Octopus

1918 Belair Road, Folston

When an amazing photo of The Local’s charred octopus popped up on my Instagram, I immediately thought it must be from a restaurant in New York or Washington DC, but when I saw it was from this restaurant in Fallston, I felt like Surprised, had to leave to try it myself. Tender octopus braised in Spanish red wine is served with locally sourced Grand View Farm sausage, shredded Brussels sprouts and jumbo refried beans, and grilled las el Hanu is sprinkled with butternut squash puree and candied Meyer lemon squid ink.

Ammoora — Salmon Kebab Mojarmashé

751 Key Highway, Baltimore

One of Baltimore’s newest restaurants serves up some of the most impressive dishes. Ammoora means “lovely, beautiful and overly charming” in Arabic, and the restaurant lives up to its name, offering a variety of sauces, hot and cold appetizers and entrees. I loved every single dish that was served. One of my favorites is the salmon kebab, salmon tartare with burghul frakké (a mix of bulgur wheat and fresh and dried spices), lab sour and toasted cumin bread sticks.

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Oregon Grille – King Crab Macaroni and Cheese

1201 Sandy Bay Road, Hunter Valley

While there may have been a worldwide shortage of king crab earlier this year, there’s certainly no shortage of king crab at Oregon’s Grille’s macaroni and cheese. You can also indulge in classics such as wild-caught Dover plaice with almond brown butter and lobster pasta with black truffle and lobster butter. But no matter what you choose, I recommend starting with a martini and then ordering caviar service at their caviar bar.

Urban Oysters——Charcoal Grilled Oysters

Whether raw or grilled, The Urban Oyster’s oysters are worth a bite. Owner Jasmine Norton made history when she opened Baltimore’s Company, the state’s first black female-owned oyster restaurant. Right now, you can only find Norton’s beautiful bivalves at a pop-up store near Baltimore. Luckily for us, she’s opening a new brick-and-mortar store in the Hampden very soon!

True Chesapeake Oyster Co. – chef, huller, farmer

3300 Clipper Mill Road, Suite 400, Baltimore

Bringing the flavors of the East Coast straight to your table, True Chesapeake is one of my favorite places to order a full seafood platter. Aptly named Chef, Shucker, Farmer, this dish comes with steam-roasted shellfish, Rockefeller oysters, Old Bay grilled oysters, clams, mussels, and Gulf shrimp. Be sure to ask for a few extra napkins.

Dylan’s Oyster Cellar – Hake Poached in Butter

3601 Chestnut Avenue, Baltimore

Go for the oysters, stay for the fresh fish dishes! Dylan’s Oyster Cellar is a Hampden favourite, with a unique and rotating selection of oysters from around the country. While they claim ‘oysters and wine’ as their speciality, Dylan’s also serves delicious fish dishes, including a whole fried sea bream, fried scallop rolls and butter poached hake with peanut romesco, fingerling potatoes and lentils.

Chris Franzoni is a Baltimore native, resident, food fanatic and @EatMoreBeMoreeight years ago, he started with two goals—to eat all over the city along the way and to make a positive difference to the Baltimore-area restaurant and hospitality industry.

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