The best thing about food trucks is that, besides the potential for inventive, high quality food, but the fact that they come to you! Well, maybe not to your front door, but at least close enough that you could more than likely walk to them. Enter the Gypsy Queen Cafe, voted Baltimore's best food truck for the past 6 years. While the name implies they are a brick and mortar restaurant, they are, in fact, a food truck. There used to be a restaurant, actually, if you remember Helen's Garden. But that was then and this is now. And when funky street food involves crab cakes, you know we're there! Read on to see what we thought!
The menu at the Gypsy Queen changes regularly, so be sure to check them out online if you are looking for something specific. We happened to check them out at Hampdenfest, where we encountered the Gypsy Crab Cone. This hand-held device is a waffle cone filled with Old Bay fries, and topped with a (4 oz?) crab cake and aioli.
The crab cake appeared to be lump crab bound together with a predominantly egg and bread based binder, along with the requisite spices. Crab was fairly broken up, but there were some medium-sized lumps in there. Crab meat had a nice, sweet flavor to it, with no dried out pieces. Binder keeps things incredibly moist, and the spice livens up the party. The aioli also added a spicy, creamy element to the mix, and tasted like an Old Bay aioli to us.
A crab cake in our hands. What's not to love? A hand held crab cake that you still need a fork to eat! The crab flavor is definitely there, but the spicing also wanted to share the attention. Overall, the flavors of the crab, the binder, and the aioli work together. The layers of flavor that each component brings certainly keeps the cone from getting boring.
That said, we thought that a waffle cone wasn't really the best vehicle for delivering a crab cake in. Yes, it's sturdy, but the cone flavor doesn't quite pair well with crab, Old Bay, and aioli. Maybe the intention is for no one to ever eat the cone, which to us is just a waste of food, however it's not like we can think of an equivalent substitute.
The other thing that jumped out at us is that Old Bay was everywhere. In the crab cake. On the fries. In the aioli. Errywhere. Which, as you crab fans know, can get to be a bit overpowering and tends to stick around for a while. Maybe lighten up on the amount of spice on the fries and it won't be so bad. As for the aioli, there was certainly enough provided, but it just kind of got dumped on top of the crab cake. Take the same amount and maybe put half on top of the fries, and the other half on top of the crab cake so that it gets better distribution.
Outside of those thoughts, we really loved the Crab Cone and thought that it was a perfect representation of what Baltimore street food should be. Can't wait to run into the Gypsy Queen again and see what else they have on the menu that day!
Have you tried the Gypsy Queen Cafe's Gypsy Crab Cone? Tell us about it in the comments!
- Restaurant Name: Gypsy Queen Cafe
- Address: Locations vary
- Restaurant Type: Food Truck
- Website: http://www.gypsyqueencafe.com/
- Review Date: 09/19/2015 2:22pm
- Atmosphere: Busy with a wait
- Item(s) Ordered: Gypsy Crab Cone
- Cooking Style: Sauteed
- Other Styles Available: Unknown
- Available by mail order?: No
- Price: 15.00
- Order Type: Other
- Crab Content: Lump
- Filler: Average
- Spice: Above Average
- Overall Impression: Very Good
Rating (out of 5 crabs):