Jim and I were in Baltimore this past weekend, celebrating the wedding of our two dear friends, Andrew and Andrea. (Congrats again, you crazy kids!) While waiting for the festivities to begin, we scheduled a quick crab cake excursion for Saturday afternoon. Everyone needs a crab cake adventure now and then, don’t you think? Well, there’s no better place for one than Baltimore.
All recommendations pointed to Faidley’s, an eat-your-cakes-quickly, stand-up restaurant in the World Famous Lexington Market. It’s been around since 1886, so these guys must be doing something right. We grabbed our friends Keith and Sarah, and promptly drove into a big circle, thanks to good ole’ Mapquest. After a few turns, we finally found the restaurant and emerged from air-conditioned serenity into 98-degree heat and humidity.
Located in a somewhat downtrodden part of town, Lexington Market was hopping at 12 pm. A big jazz band played to an admiring crowd, while throngs of even more people walked the halls. And Faidley’s was packed with seafood lovers.
We got in line and grabbed some plastic trays. I ordered the All Lump Crab Cake Platter, with Cole Slaw and Fries ($17.95). (At first I thought I’d be healthy and order vegetables instead of fries, but who was I kidding?) After paying for our food, we found a table, gathered around it, and started to chow down.
Now, the picture might not look too appetizing, but these crab cakes were incredible. There was no false advertising here, as the rotund spheres were actually formed from “lumps” of fresh crab meat. The crab cakes I’ve tried in the past have always been rather flat and uniform in their texture, perhaps composed from ground crab meat. But these monsters from Faidley’s were meaty and fresh, yet somehow still light on the tongue.
The side dishes were fine, but I just concentrated on the amazin’ crabby cakes. Keith was especially happy that lunch was such a low-key, quick affair. There’s something to be said for stand-up, self-serve restaurants on a hot summer day. You can get to the hotel pool that much faster.
203 North Paca, Baltimore, Maryland 21201 T: 410 727-4898