If you can believe it, I have now lived in Montgomery Country, MD for over three and a half years, and I had not been to the state capital yet. Annapolis is only a 45 minute to an hour drive from where I have lived and currently live in Maryland, but I have never ventured over there. That is probably because I spend much more time exploring DC.
Yesterday, my friends, Chris and Andrew, (aka the other 2/3 of the Hungry Trio) and I took an afternoon trip out to Annapolis. We planned this last weekend when we were waiting for the mussels to cook, as we had been talking for a while about wanting to go get steamed crabs.
Downtown Annapolis is smaller than expected. It is quaint though, with a strong “old town” feel. It feels like you can step out of this modern, fast-paced lifestyle for a moment and just enjoy a serene environment of another time. After a stroll along Main Street (where you can find a variety of shops) we ventured up the hill to the Maryland State Capitol Building. The Mary State House is the oldest continuous Capitol building in the United States.
The building is smaller on the inside than it looks. You can view the current Senate and House chambers, as well as the historic chambers. The informational plaques and exhibits actually taught me quite a bit about my state.
After exploring the Capitol, we walked back down Main Street to go look at the dock. There is just something about looking out into the water and watching the boats out in the distance that I find very soothing and peaceful. It was such a relaxing way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Now onto the real reason for this trip: crabs! Living in Maryland, we have a lot of exposure to crab items on restaurant menus: like crab dip, crab pretzels, crab nachos, and of course crab cakes. Maryland is very proud of their crab cakes, but it is not that common to find a lot of restaurants in Montgomery County (or even DC) selling steamed crabs.
I had actually not had steamed crabs until two years ago when we were on a day trip to Rehoboth Beach. Yesterday was only my crab feast. We dined at Cantler’s Riverside Inn, known for their crabs.
Eating crabs is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of effort to get the little meat on these crustaceans. Also, the inside of the body cavities are a bit unpleasant to look at. It is also impossible to eat crabs without making a complete mess. This is especially true when they dump a pile of bright crabs covered in a hefty amount of Old Bay seasoning.
We started off with a couple beers and baskets of fried onion rings and hush puppies. We also got a communal cup of cream of crab soup which we passed around between the three of us. Then, they brought out the dozen of medium steam crabs we ordered. The crab meat was good when you get a well-steamed crab and not an over-steamed one. My favorite part is the juicy claw meat. I was getting pretty good at getting the claw meat out in one chunk (which was a big improvement over my first crab fest where I struggled greatly).
I was more impressed with some aspects of this restaurant more than others. They did have very fast service. The cream of crab soup was indeed very creamy and had nice large chunks of crab in it. The onion rings were crispy and thick. The hush puppies were pretty good, though I found the oblong shape to be odd. I like hush puppies better as spheres because you get more of the corn cake texture and less of the fried exterior, but I did still like them. The crabs were cooked inconsistently, however. My first one had rather mushy meat, so it was clear it had been steamed for too long. The other ones had nicely steamed tender meat. Overall, it was a good crab dining experience. I would go back there if we are in the mood for crabs
*This post reflects my honest views. I did not receive any compensation or other incentives to post this review.
Cantler’s Riverside Inn
458 Forest Beach Rd, Annapolis, MD 21409