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L.P. Steamers, South Baltimore


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Crab houses, like religion, inspire passion and anger. Haven't heard of any wars yet started by arguments over crab houses. And since LP Steamers is not old enough to have been the casus belli of the civil war (despite its suspicious location quite close to Fort McHenry) it probably is a safe to argue it as my favorite place for crabs. In any case, the only victims tonight were a dozen jumbo's

Kay and I needed a night off. Since our restaurant is closed, we decided to mosey up to LP Steamers. I have dined there once before and have had the pleasure of their crabs several times brought to me by my friend Todd (yes to those of you in the wine business... that Todd!), who turned me on to the place.

Decor, forget it! Ambiance? None. Just picnic style tables with heavy kraft paper and seafood. The beverage program does go as far as Bass ale, but that's it. You enter and approach the cash register. They hand you an inventory of what crabs they have that day with prices. Today, they had 176 Jumbo's at $70 a dozen. We showed amazing restraint and only ordered a dozen. By the time we had devoured most of them they were sold out of crabs! We also ordered 6 oysters, an order of fries and 2 ears of corn.

First the rest of the meal. The corn was a little well traveled and possibily on social security, but it did meet the governemnt definition of vegetable. So did the fries, even if they had that weird coating that Burger King swears is so popular. Given the fact that Wayne Newton has had a carrer longer than my lifetime, who am I to comment on popular culture? The oysters, with a little horseraddish and cocktail sauce, were pleasant enough and cheap.

The crabs are cooked to order and arrive piping hot on a cafeteria tray coated with old bay- the crabs that is and not the tray. They are dumped on your table and you dig in. Melted butter is on the table, although I have never seen the need for it (a that belief preceeds my altogether too close relationship with my cardiologist, heart attacks and open heart surgery). I know they usually get their crabs from the gulf and was wondering if they would have supply problems in the light of current events. But the crabs tonight were superb. First off, jumbos are just large enough to allow for easy picking. After exposing the heart, you can just twost a Jombo like an oreo and expose the sweet meat. Also Jumbos have plump claw meat and the leg meat is worth the effort. But, more importantly, I think that LP Steamers also gets the degree of doneness just right. They cook the crabs to order. The crab basically falls out of the shell. After 4 of the Jumbos, I was feeling a little like Noah after loading the animals on the ark in alphabetical order and getting to the monkeys... "gosh do I really have that many to go?" But a second wind arrived and I must say that not only did I finish my share but dug into Kay's share as well.

After, we enjoyed a little walk thru the light industrial and residential delight that is locust point. We chatted with several families sitting on chair on the sidewalk enjoying the sun of Labor day. We thought it funny to pass the world headquarters of Phillips, home of the Southeast Asian crab. But as we waddled back to our car, we saw a harbinger of doom for the character of Locust Point, "Nasu Bianca" a Japanese Spaniosh Restaurant opening soon.

We also commented on the fact that LP Steamers is our preference even to Harris Crab House because of the cooking quality. Harris has local crabs and LP doesn't, but Harris also has overcooked crabs on many an occasion. Now look, ,an overcooked Harris Crab is better than almost any other crab there is, but it ain't an LP Steamers.

After we got home, we enjoyed a movie, a few glasses of Murray McDavid Longmorn Single Malt (thanks again Todd who sells me the stuff) and a movie from Netflix. I know I was a helluva lot happier than those crabs! Or what was left of them.

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Is this a good place to lose one's crab virginity? :lol: My wife and I are thinking of hitting one of the crab houses this weekend, but need to go to a restaurant that won't make fun of us and will actually teach us how to properly dismantle a crab. We are willing to travel, but we wouldn't mind staying local either.

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Is this a good place to lose one's crab virginity?  :lol: My wife and I are thinking of hitting one of the crab houses this weekend, but need to go to a restaurant that won't make fun of us and will actually teach us how to properly dismantle a crab. We are willing to travel, but we wouldn't mind staying local either.

Absolutely. And no one you know will be there to see you!

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took a day trip up to baltimore for the labor day weekend. the boyfriend wanted a crab-feasting experience and not wanting to choose between the ample reviews and opinions on the best crabs in maryland we just dove in and picked a name at near-random. i don't think we could have been better rewarded for our choice!

we plopped ourselves down at a table on the first floor, ordered a dozen medium crabs (clearly we DO shy away from a challenge), $40, and a side of onion rings and macaroni salad. the crabs came out in short order, deftly slid onto the thick brown paper-covered table and then, face-to-face with a dozen old bay encrusted crabs i realized: i have no idea how to eat a crab. fortunately they were kind enough to demonstrate and we were soon elbow deep in crab shells, old bay and juices literally flying everywhere.

the crab was succulent, meaty, scented with the sea, and really didn't need the butter brought to the table for us. in fact the butter was a huge detractor - tasting very suspiciously of the popcorn i chow down on at the movie theatre. a disappointment, but only momentary.

next time we'll be back with a large group of friends in tow, l.p. steamers did seem to be suited best to large groups if the forty or so people who piled by us while we waited is any indication. it also seems that the best seats are on the second floor or back patio - everyone else who walked in requested to be seated upstairs. and next time, we'll definitely have to try the rest of the seafood offerings, i was almost tempted to steal an oyster off a neighboring patron's plate...

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