After asking about “best crabcakes, etc’ in this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/620940
, here’s the report back:
I ate crabcakes at three places: Duda’s, Obrycki’s, and Faidley’s.
Duda’s was number one by a considerable margin -- possibly the best crabcake I've ever had. Plentiful large chunks of sweet and tasty crab meat; minimal filler; good seasoning. Pan-fried rather than deep-fried at my request. Very nice location in the good part of Fell’s Point. I noticed that you don’t have to walk more than a few blocks north before the neighborhood gets ratty. Which brings us to #2:
Obrycki’s: Again, great quality crab meat; just not as tasty a cake as what I had at Duda’s. It was fun watching the people at neighboring tables cracking piles of crabs, but that’s too much work for me. Incredibly crummy neighborhood – half a block from the projects. Guard standing outside is probably a necessary fixture. Speaking of crummy neighborhoods………
Faidley’s: This was on my last day, before a late afternoon flight (which turned into evening, but that’s another story). Definitely the poorest of the three -- I’ve had better crabcakes on the west coast. Too much crumb filler; WAY too much mayo; just-OK flavor. The crab itself was good quality. Also had the cream of crab soup, which was mediocre. Having seen some reports of inconsistency, I’m wondering if I just hit them on a bad day. I had been pretty excited about going to Lexington Market, but it turned out to be a disappointment overall. Lots of fried things I didn’t want to eat, plus mediocre produce. Didn’t care for Berger’s cookies, either. Atmosphere was by far the worst of any public market I’ve been to. Pike Place or St. Lawrence Market this is not.
I ended up wishing I had gone back to Duda’s that day instead of trying out Faidley’s (especially considering my delayed flight!) On the other hand, while standing at the Faidley’s “eating table”, I did meet a fellow ‘hound who had attended the same convention I was in town for. We took a walk around the west market (more of the same fried-food stands) and had a very interesting chat about the difficulties of dining out with non-hounds.
BTW, Duda's were panfried on request; Obrycki's were broiled on request, and Faidley's were done in their usual fried method. Apologies for having started eating the Duda's cakes before taking the photo.