Wilkerson's seafood restaurant facing the Potomac in Colonial Beach.
Red Byrd, a restaurant at a cheap hotel in Keedysville, MD.
Stratford Hall's Plantation Dining Room on the Northern Neck of VA.
Which had the best crabcakes????
And the answer is:
Red Byrd Restaurant, north of Antietam!
Surprisingly, this $7.50 fried sandwich was chock-full of lump meat, not filler. It was formed very lightly by hand so it was not a perfectly round patty. It came with either fries or a cup of soup (which I got but it was only chicken-noodle), so I thought it was bargain price for the quality you got. Yes it's a down-home, local place, but it is definitely worth the trip if you're in the general area (S of Hagerstown outlets!).
I also thoroughly recommend the pies, or the Red Byrd red velvet cake I had - all for under $2.
By the way, this place made Donovan Kelly's "Crummy but Good" Wash. Post feature & current book.
The worst cake was at Wilkerson's ($8.95 as a weekday lunch special) - broiled, tasted like mush, lots of filler, little seasoning. Luckily my appetizer of oyster stew was plenty full of the bivalves, even if the broth was thinner that I anticipated. And the hushpuppies were tasty. The view of the river was nice too.
The $8.95 crabcake sandwich at the very pretty, popular dining room at Stratford Hall (home of the Lee family) was in the middle - not as mushy, but not as lumpy. But the sides were more interesting (stewed tomatoes & parsley potatoes - other options were sweet potato souffle, or string beans which unfort. were from a can) as I was getting thoroughly sick of french fries (and not many done very well) - many places only give you fries with a sandwich. I sampled my daughter's Southern fried chicken & it was very good. I was tempted to order the Apple Brown Betty but I was stuffed. Stratford also has excellent cornbread & home-made biscuits - ours were straight from the oven & warm. Prices are reasonable, it's open every day from 11-3. Tell the front gate you're only there for the dining room & you won't have to pay the $8 entrance fee to the large estate, although I must tell you it's worth a tour. Besides the grand mansion, there's a mill, small beach, out-buildings & museum for this First Family of Virginia.
My daughter & I also indulged in ice cream cones & milkshakes at the vintage stands Twin Kiss south of LaPlata, & Stan's Dairy Freeze in Montross, VA - right next door to a roller-skating rink (where we burned off the ice cream calories).
And we had a satisfactory, casual Italian dinner at Angelo's pizza in Montross.
People's Drug Store in Montross has an old-fashioned lunch counter that still serves meals, but it was closed Sunday when we went by.
And harking back to the previous posts about regional sodas, I picked up some "Northern Neck Ginger Ale" (also known as Carver's).
And finally there was the minced pork sandwich from Johnny Boy's on Rte 301 - mmmmmmm (now I did have french fries there by choice - they were the hand-cut Boardwalk kind). There's a roadside stand as well as an adjacent full-service restaurant which seems to only be open at night.
Twin Kiss mixes their own rootbeer, which makes it refreshing & not as sweet as the bottled/canned kind.
We were attending an outdoors camp in Westmoreland SP which is also worth a visit - cabins, tent camping, kayak & canoe rentals, pool, & shark's teeth fossils along the sandy beach on the Potomac. Lots of herons & bald eagles too...