Boatyard Bar & Grill, Annapolis

I don’t usually do live reviews, but this place is worth it. (Plus, nobody’s complaining about my laptop, which is pleasant.)

The. Best. Crab. Cake. that I’ve ever had in my life. Bar none.

Normally, I’m not a fan of crustaceans. The flavor is fine, but I can’t get over the look of them. I mean, they’re bugs, right? Whole fish, it’s the same reaction; it’s this dead thing on the plate looking at me. But if someone else does the hard work and disposes of the shell for me, suddenly, the distraction is gone and it’s ambrosia time.

The Boatyard is known for its oyster bar, its happy hour specials, and the crab cakes, and one bite was enough to tell me why. Some places are less than stellar about keeping shell fragments out; others might add a bit of this and that as filler — crab is expensive, after all. But not here. This was a large lump of, best I could tell, nothing but crab, perfectly prepared — lightly crispy, beautiful texture, and a flavor that goes a long way toward explaining why people started eating sea bugs in the first place.

The menu is broad and stellar, but I’d be remiss if I failed to mention the oysters (local, huge, and fresh), the slaw (fresh-made, and is that green pepper? Mango aioli?! Brilliant!), and their house-made tartar sauce, which I’d swear has a hint of horseradish. My fish & chips was perfectly panko-breaded, neither dry nor soggy, and the fries were perfectly paired with malt vinegar and Old Bay.

And for dessert? Honest to goodness Smith Island strawberry cake brought in by ferry from honest to goodness Smith Island. Oh, my.

(Beware: The bread pudding is justly famous, but the recipe varies, and some days it may contain raisins. It’s a terrible thing to be ambushed by raisins unaware, so be warned.)

If ever you find yourself in or around D.C., Annapolis is worth the detour anyway. But even if you don’t stop to flip a penny onto the Tecumseh statue or hang out at the Banneker Douglass Museum (which you should!), the Boatyard alone is worth it.

Located at the corner of Severn and Fourth, over in the Eastport neighborhood.

You can send cash to PayPal in order to help support us, set up a subscription donation at Patreon, or buy us a coffee… or a crab cake. Even a couple of bucks will make us smile — and besides, you know if you don’t donate to us, we’re talking a couple of bucks here: You’d just end up piddling it away on pointless things like rent and groceries.

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PS: Special kudos to our server, Jenna, who was extremely knowledgeable about the menu and provided flawless service. Four drink refills and perfect timing! –And, which is not as common as one might think, the entire staff worked in cooperation to make sure everything came out right on time.

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