The moment I step foot on the wooden deck, I’m surrounded by the sounds of happy chatter, rock and roll music blaring from the loudspeakers and the rhythmic beat of wooden mallets hitting shell. Thwack, thwack, thwack….thwack, thwack. I hear that sound and I’m already salivating. I can’t wait to get seated at one of the picnic tables and place my order.
I’m at Cantler’s, a crab house located on one of the inlets of the Chesapeake Bay. On summer days, Cantler’s deck is packed with locals and tourists coming to enjoy mounds of steamed blue crabs, arguably the crab with the sweetest meat though even die hard lovers like me will readily admit, it’s not easy to eat them.…..there’s a lot of picking to do for the amount of meat you get. There is nothing better than breaking into a claw, dipping the bit of flesh into drawn butter and then gently dabbing it with a bit Cantler’s version of the classic Old Bay seasoning. This is Maryland bayside eating at its best!
Order the largest crabs you can afford. They offer other seafood dishes but save those for another restaurant. This place is all about the crab.
It takes a while for the crabs to be steamed so while you wait, start with a basket of Cantler’s delicious fries, a cold drink and soak in the views of the water. You’ll soon be saying to yourself that life is good!
They bring the crabs to you on a plastic tray and then dump them onto the brown paper that lines the table. Pick up your mallet and thwack away!