Baldwin's Seafood has been serving Harford County since 1976. In that time, they have been recognized as having the Best Seafood and Comfort Food in the Greater Baltimore area by Microsoft Networks' Local City Guide with City Search in 2001 and 2006, and named one of the Top 23 Crab Houses by Baltimore Magazine in 2010. Open year round, Baldwin's is sure to have something for everyone, although they're best known for their crabs. And where there are crabs, there will be crab cakes. Were they worth the trip? Let's find out!
Baldwin's has crab cakes all over the menu! For an appetizer, you can get the Crab Balls which are 7 mini crab cakes (broiled or fried). For the rest of the menu, you usually get two choices for crab cakes -- Maryland Crab Cake (noted as being the house favorite) or the Famous Deluxe Crab Cake (broiled only, with a rich, imperial texture). Available as a sandwich served with chips and a pickle, along with a choice of assorted rolls and bread, lettuce, tomato, cheese, etc.; as a single entree served with chips and crackers on a bed of lettuce; or as a double entree served with two vegetables and muffins. There are also Surf & Turf options available, such as the crab cake paired with a New York Strip steak. For our review, we went with the single Maryland Crab Cake.
The Maryland Crab Cake is crab meat bound together with a mayonnaise base, bread crumbs, and spices. The crab meat itself is a mixture of large, meaty lumps, and broken pieces, around a 60-40 mixture respectively. Tartar sauce comes with the cake, and an orange garnish sits upon the plate, along with a few packs of crackers. If you want cocktail or lemon, you will need to ask your server.
This crab cake has the makings of being really good. The crab meat flavor is balanced between sweet and meaty. The spice and bread crumb flavor are on equal levels, but still manage to not only complliment each other, but let the crab flavor come through first. You don't notice the spice at first, but towards the middle of the cake, things start to get a little peppery.
So what exactly is holding this crab cake back from getting a better review rating? First of all, our crab cake was SUPER salty. And this time it wasn't from the seafood seasoning. Someone had actually salted the top of the crab cake after cooking. I would only hope that they meant to sprinkle some seafood seasoning on top and grabbed the wrong shaker. But the restaurant was dead and no other customers were after us. And it wasn't a casual salting, but like they were trying to cure the crab to make jerky out of it. Which is sad, as the bites of crab cake we had that the salt didn't infiltrate were quite tasty.
The other big gripe we had, while no where near that of the salt, was the shredded lettuce that the crab cake sits on top of. We get that it's there for presentation, but being shredded, it's hard to get away from. If we wanted lettuce and crab cake in the same bite, we'd get a sandwich. Either serve it on the side, or not at all. Take care of these two things, and you'd have a really good crab cake.
Have you tried Baldwin's Crab Cakes? Let us know about your experience in the comments!
- Restaurant Name: Baldwin's Seafood Restaurant
- Address: 525 Pulaski Highway Joppa, MD 21085
- Neighborhood: Joppa
- Restaurant Type: Local
- Website: http://www.baldwinsseafood.com/
- Review Date: 03/19/2014 7:28pm
- Atmosphere: Not Busy
- Item(s) Ordered: Maryland Crab Cake
- Cooking Style: Broiled
- Other Styles Available: Yes
- Available by mail order?: No
- Price: 14.95
- Order Type: Single Platter
- Crab Content: Jumbo Lump
- Filler: Average
- Spice: Average
- Overall Impression: Average
Rating (out of 5 crabs):