The other weekend was Honfest, which despite all the controversy surrounding it, is a festival celebrating Baltimore and the hard working ladies of the 50's and 70's with their beehive hairdos and cat's eye glasses, otherwise known as Hons. This yearly festival brings thousands to The Avenue (aka 36th St) in Hampden. If you were there, you were most likely distracted by all of the activities going on and all of the other food vendors selling everything from grilled cheese to, yes, crab cakes. Even without the distractions, it may be easy to miss one of Hampden's newest eateries, Alchemy. Recently opened back in December 2010, Alchemy bills itself as a modern American eatery, that also boasts The Avenue's only champagne brunch. Looking to escape the heat and craziness of Honfest, the CCR stepped inside to sample what they had on offer. Read on to see how it all went down!
Crab cake sandwich available for brunch and lunch; double platter available for dinner. Sandwich comes on a toasted rustic roll with a harvest grain mustard cremé, and is served with a side of fried potato chips.
The crab cake was comprised of nice, huge chunks of crab. Light sweetness to the crab meat, but not overly powerful or as sweet as other crab cakes we've had. Filler/binder is bready but goes unnoticed, letting you focus on the crab itself. Hunks of crab fall off as you break into the cake. The mustard cremé has a nice flavor to it, is nice and thin, and really accentuates the crab meat and gives you some spice and flavor.
While sacrilegious, we tried the crab cake as a sandwich. The rustic roll is a light, airy version of a potato roll which adds a nice flavor element to the crab cake. Lettuce and tomato add some crunch and structure, but don't take over or detract from the crab. Our overall preference for any crab cake is "on crackers", but if we had to choose one to eat as a sandwich, this is the one.
The only real complaint is that the crab meat could have a little more flavor to it. All of the other components do a wonderful job of framing the crab cake, but that signature sweetness that we've become accustomed to was a bit lacking and could have used a bit more pop. Despite that little quibble, it is certainly worth trying and well worth the price.
Speaking from our brunch experience, all of the other food items are ridiculously good. Just beware of eating that cinnamon roll as an appetizer -- it's more like a dessert!
Have you had Alchemy's crab cake? Let us know in the comments!
- Restaurant Name: Alchemy
- Address: 1011 W 36th St Baltimore, MD 21211
- Neighborhood: Hampden
- Restaurant Type: Local
- Website: http://www.alchemyon36.com/
- Review Date: 06/12/2011 2:37pm
- Atmosphere: Not Busy to Moderate
- Item(s) Ordered: Crab Cake Sandwich
- Cooking Style: Broiled
- Other Styles Available: No
- Price: 15.00
- Order Type: Sandwich
- Crab Content: Jumbo Lump
- Filler: Minimal
- Spice: Minimal
- Overall Impression: Very Good
Rating (out of 5 crabs):