What hasn't been said about the Phillips empire? We here at the CCR have reviewed many of their products, both at one of their restaurants, as well as their retail offerings. Love them or hate them, they are a big part of the Maryland seafood scene, and are here to stay. Locals tend to write them off as being too "toursity". Those very same toursits have heard nothing but good things about Phillips, and come to our town intenst on sampling their offerings. Either way, you will have had them once in your life, and could use them as a baseline for all things seafood related.
BUT -- you read the label on the box a little more closely. Coastal cakes. What does that mean? Crab cakes are advertised as such, and often time are described further as 'jumbo lump' or 'lump'. Just to be clear, the coastal cakes are the "lesser" offering. Made from flake and claw meat, as opposed to the prized backfin and jumbo lump. Clearly, based on crab classifications alone, they can't be better. Can they? This, dear readers, is what we set to figure out. Follow along and join us on an eye opening quest.
Earlier this summer, the CCR stopped by Phillips Harborplace in Baltimore to review their famous crab cakes. Needless to say, we weren't that impressed. But while grocery shopping one day, it occured to us that because Phillips is such a large franchise in the area, that maybe, just maybe, overall consistency between retail and restauraunt products is what they're after.
Phillips has a few retail offerings relating to crab cakes: the Maryland Style Crab Cakes (being reviewed), the Maryland Style Crab Cake Minis, and the Coastal Crab Cake. The picture on the box looks fairly similar to the crab cakes at their restauraunts. So how do they compare? Read on to find out!
SeaPack is a familiar frozen seafood company that you've most likely come across in the grocery store, and probably grew up on. They are most notably known for their shrimp products, ranging from popcorn shrimp to jumbo butterfly shrimp. So many shrimp products that they'll keep 'ole Bubba Gump happy for at least a month. We've always known that they have a Maryland crab cake, but haven't been able to find them in the stores yet. So imagine our surprise when we find the mini crab cakes in one of our local Giant stores! We took one for the team to get this week's review, so read on and see how our experience was!
One thing we always wonder here at the CCR is just how good a retail crab cake can be as we are roaming the grocery store aisles. One past reviewee was Bloom, a niche chain of supermarkets operated by Food Lion (AKA Food Kitty). The ones in a past review were the ones you could get fresh at the seafood counter. Shop a little further, perhaps into the frozen food aisle, and on your way to Ben and Jerry's latest flavor, you might just notice the Taste of Inspriations crab cakes. Calling. Beckoning. Wanting to jump into your shopping cart. And then you think, "What would the CCR do?" Well, the CCR has been in that predicament. (Cherry Garcia and Half Baked, if you must know) And those Taste of Inspriations cakes did fall into our cart. How were they? Read on and see how it went down!
Continuing on with the store-bought crab cakes, today we turn our sights to the frozen seafood section of our local Safeway. Waterfront Bistro is Safeway's new private label line of frozen seafood and sauces. I was actually trying to find the Phillip's frozen crab cakes when I came across this package (Phillip's was no where to be found at this Safeway). Being the inquisitive type, the Crab Cake Review decided to take one for the team and give them a shot. Read on to see how well this experiment went.