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Thursday's Steak & Crab House, Galesville, MD


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Feeling badly about the descent of the Baltimore board to the bowels of dr.com (but understanding why it was relegated), I feel compelled to share an experience I had today I might not otherwise share. Had an interesting lunch today and, halfway through it, I felt pretty sure of two things. First, that no way would this place already have a home on dr.com. And, second, that very few (if any) dr.com members have ever been (or should go) here.

Taking advantage of the nice weather this fine Sunday, got out on the water (Chesapeake) with a few friends. As we came around a bend headed back from Annapolis, we pointed the boat at the west river in Galesville, a town in MD I'd never before had any inkling existed. Sure enough, as we got closer to shore, there were a few buildings. And, in search of a late lunch, we saw it:

Thursday's Steak & Crab House

VENUE

Gosh, where to begin? Kind of feels like a biker bar judging from the folks there who'd clearly ridden in on Harleys wearing a good amount of leather. But, then it also felt like a sports bar since they have half a dozen or so flat screens showing a bunch of today's football games. Crab/seafood shack? Yep, that too. Some pricey late season crabs, steamed shrimp, oysters and that kind of stuff dominates the menu. Parking for maybe 10-15 boats and have no idea how many cars. We managed to get a slip and headed up the dock. Maybe it was the nice weather (couldn't have been the food) but the place was packed. Having been on the water all day, we didn't mind too much when the tatoo'ed hostess told us it'd be a 30 minute wait for outdoor seating. We took the "last table available inside though the term "inside" is a bit ambiguous since open roof, walls and generally lots of sun and merged sea/land scenery are everywhere. Tom Sietsema's decibel meter might read "noisy" here if he ever visited (he shouldn't) but it was easy to carry on a conversation.

When we got home tonight, I was thinking about Michael Landrum and our recent discussion on the Ray's3 board about his new websites. Checked and, sure enough, Thursday's is fully online ! So now I know anyone can do that ;)

SERVICE

Pretty friendly if not so efficient. Our waitress smiled a ton, had lots of tats, walked very briskly and brought us some extra napkins once when we asked.

FOOD

What you'd expect given the setup described. We got:

- 6 oysters on the half shell ($6.95) Chesapeake, maybe still a bit early for the new season, no brine to speak of but at just over a buck an oyster, can't complain too much

- chicken wings ($8.95) deep-fried chicken drumlettes with a watery mystery hot sauce and the kind of blue cheese dressing you just know is scooped from 5-gallon plastic jugs in the back (the kind that can serve as dock bumpers for tied-up boats in a pinch). Nanny O'Brien's in Cleveland Park would kick these wings' butts in any kind of throwdown but I guess that's not a fair comparison :D

- green salad ($3.95) pedestrian with some points for variety since these had carrots, small tomatoes (the kind featured in the new and fascinating book "Tomatoland"). No real complaints except maybe the overuse of shredded americany, cheddary type cheese surely from our friends at Kraft in Illinois.

- crab dip ($8.95) ooh, this was bad. As in not good. Tons of cheap, heavy cheese with maybe a sprinkling of crab mixed in but that's debateable. That said, one among us loved it, had more beers than anyone else and finished this near single-handedly so all good there.

- steamed shrimp ($18) Hands down The Star of the meal. Just a few were oversteamed. Nicely spiced. Perfect with the beers (see below).

- Clipper City Heavy Seas Gold Ale ($5.50/pt on draught). Forgettable but refreshing on a warm day on the water whilst the Patriots were kicking the butts of the Jets. Think is one of the mainstays at Camden Yards or was?

BOTTOM LINE

Someone on Yelp (damn if freakin' yelp doesn't have every food-serving spot known to man--and woman) called Thursday's a "5 star location with 3 star food." That's extremely ambitious, bordering on comical, IMHO but, there's a shred of an important point in that yelp poster's drivel:

If you're on a boat bobbing around the Chesapeake, starving, forgot to eat lunch when you had good opportunity and not patient enough to press on to Annapolis, Cantlers, or across to the Eastern Shore and St Michaels, give Thursday's a shot. Otherwise don't.

* My effort here will be worthwhile if even one (1) dr.com member either avoids Thursday's or embraces it fully informed and thus able to navigate the various booby traps.

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