Feeling Crabby? Here’s Two Great Ideas
Having lived outside of Baltimore before moving to Delaware I can tell you I was often crabby, being unable to find properly spiced steamed blue crabs here.
But, over the past few summers, two places have stood out for that great Old Bay flavor and plentiful big old blue crabs.
If take-out is your pleasure, then Jimmy Lynn’s Seafood Carry-Out at 18226 Coastal Highway on the left on your way to Lewes is your answer. This unassuming crab shack is the place to call ahead—302-644-9329—and order a few, a dozen, or a half or whole bushel, as many as you want, ‘cause they are able to get them from Chesapeake Bay.
Delivered to you in a brown paper bag or overflowing box, the crabs are hot, spicy and chocked full of Chesapeake blue crab. We get them home, spread newspaper and whack away, having that special combination of social hour and dinner.
If you like go-withs, you can get corn, slaw, and sometimes, some amazing little crab claw appetizers. For hold-outs who refuse to get messy or think it’s not worth the effort to crack ‘em wide open, there are crab cakes and other take out entrees as well.
As a matter of fact, occasionally we will drop by for their really spectacular soft crab sandwiches and platters.
Not prepared with the requisite tools of the trade? You can get mallets, knives, Old Bay seasoning, vinegar, and whatever else you need to turn an afternoon into a crab feast, right there off Route One at Jimmy Lynn’s. Parking is available, they take credit cards, and you cannot go wrong.
Not wanting to face any clean-up chores (although in my house that just means rolling up the newspaper and chucking it into the trash) you can head for The Surfing Crab, just a little further up Route One at 16723 Coastal Highway.
It’s located on the right hand side going north, in the one-story building that used to be a hideous bright orange but is now a more tasteful blue in honor of the blue crab.
There’s a main bar area plus two dining rooms, one with long picnic tables and the other with smaller tables. Both are comfortable rooms, not open to the elements as they used to be, and well suited for long leisurely crab-picking experiences.
While current crabbing conditions can mean uncertainty of what size crabs will be available, The Surfing Crab encourages diners to call ahead, find out what’s on the board and order in advance. That way, by calling 302-644-4448, you can reserve your feast and be sure they are available and ready when you get there.
Their hard shelled blues are sold by the half and whole dozen, with medium-large range from five to six inches (had them recently for the feast and they were fat, full, and excellent, much like I was when done).
For the all-you-can-eat feast, you get the steamed crabs, plus fries, coleslaw, and potato salad. There’s a two-hour limit for feasters and you must eat the entire crab, including the claws. No cheating or sharing, please! If you’re not in shape for the feast, the extra large and Jumbo go from 5.5 inches to 7 inches plus and are an amazing treat.
Once again, prep has been made for finicky non-pickers (or picky, non-finickers) or those who want to augment their hard shell allotment. They offer shrimp, fish, oysters, salads, and daily specials, too. During the summer they are open seven days a week, Monday through Friday 4 p.m.-9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, noon-9 p.m.
The jumbo crab cake is excellent, and in season they offer large, fresh soft shell crabs, deep fried and served on a brioche roll. Other selections include blackened chicken breast sandwiches, pulled pork, and more at very reasonable prices.
Naturally, the Surfing Crab offers a wide selection of beers, by glass or pitcher, to complement the crab experience. Of course, iced tea, lemonade, and sodas are available too.
It should be noted that the staff at the Surfing Crab is exceptional. Even when they are busy (and that’s a lot!) the friendly servers swoop away shells and debris frequently, make sure you have what you need and help make the crab experience a winner for all.
So there you have it. Advice for the quintessential summer entertainment/meal. Get crackin’