On Saturday, after a breakfast of homemade baked oatmeal a la Wendi, it was on to downtown Baltimore and Lexington Market. It’s an indoor market with stalls selling everything from fresh produce to VHS tapes (yes, really!) We wound our way through both ends of the market until we arrived at Faidley’s, which in and of itself is a market selling everything from raw oysters to fresh muskrat (yes, really!)
But our main goal of course was lunch, and Faidley’s is serving up traditional-style crab cake realness, as in they’ve been around since the 1880’s and may have invented traditional style.
And holy moly, Faidley’s did not disappoint. Look at the size of that thing!
This was easily my favorite crab cake so far – perfectly seasoned, super fresh tasting crab, and it was huge! My advice if you find yourself at Faidley’s is to just skip the sides all together and maybe get two gigantic crab cakes, or maybe hit the raw bar before or after a singular crab cake because the sides just weren’t all that. The cucumber salad was tasty at first but just tasted like too many pickles after awhile and the macaroni and cheese was gummy and seemed to have a distinct lack of cheese. Wendi’s husband (The Mistah) tried the creamy crab soup and was disappointed. It had a gluey texture and a distinct lack of crab. But this is all unimportant! We are talking crab cakes here and if you want an amazing, gigantic, real-deal Baltimore style crab cake, Faidley’s is the place to be.
Torrential rain thwarted our plans to take our Faidley’s to go and have a picnic at Fort McHenry so I didn’t get to do much Baltimore sightseeing, but more crab cakes awaited us that evening. I had been tweeting, facebooking and instagramming all this crab cake goodness all weekend and at this point got a comment on one of my posts – aren’t you sick of crab cakes yet? Hell no!
The final stop of the crawl was at Gertrude’s at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Gertrude’s is the restaurant of famed Baltimore chef John Shields and it is a beautiful, soothing space.
I think I’d like to live here. Specifically, here, in the museum, in the restaurant and on that terrace. Ahhhhhhhh!
I started with the Maryland crab soup.
What? Yes, more crab! If you are what you eat, I am a crab by now. Hey, kid, get offa my lawn!!! Get it? I’m a crab so I am crabby! Haaaaaaaa! Okay, I’ll stop now.
It was lovely – a sort of minestrone style vegetable base, but not overly seasoned so you can really taste the crab.
And here is my entrée – I went with the traditional style crab cake, served along with mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach. And it was another winner – the flavor reminded me of Faidley’s but with a little more of a kick. Beth also ordered the traditional and didn’t care for hers as much, so I am wondering if hers was an unfortunate fluke. Wendi, The Mistah and Beth’s husband Noel all had the special crab cake of the day which was the most unusual we encountered as it appeared to be breaded and deep fried or pan fried.
Finally, there was dessert. I bravely tried a funky sorbet – honeydew, cucumber and cayenne. It was delicious at first with lots of refreshing cucumber flavor, but the more I ate the more the cayenne overpowered and I couldn’t finish the whole thing. I might have to try making some plain honeydew cucumber sorbet at home. The crispy edible bowl it was served in was tasty too.
And so, #crabcakecrawl came to end. I had a blast. Check out Beth’s #crabcakecrawl post here to see us all looking kind of crabby. And, a quick shout-out to Colleen who was supposed to join us but a family emergency kept her home. We missed you, Colleen! In the end my favorite crab cake was Faidley’s, but this may require more taste testing. I like Beth’s idea to continue the crawl and bracket the results. It would be a tough job eating all those crab cakes but we are just the women to do it! Thank you again to Beth, Noel, Eileen, Adryon and especially Wendi and The Mistah for making #crabcakecrawl happen!