East County Times Dining Guide



1220 East Homberg St
Essex, MD 21221


Article & Photos by Devin Crum

On a recent afternoon, a coworker and I decided to try out Grab A Crab Restaurant and Lounge for lunch at their new location at 1220 East Homberg Ave. in Essex. They have always had a great reputation for their excellent crabs, but having never eaten there, we had no idea of the treats we were about to experience. The first things I noticed when we walked in were the two large flat-screen TVs mounted on the walls of the dining room, viewable from any seat in the room and perfect for any game day. Also, with the cold weather approaching, it was comforting to see the wood stove they light up to give the room a warm, inviting feel. As the name says, you can grab a crab there to eat (or two, or three). But they also have other amazing crab dishes featuring delicious crab meat in various forms, notably the crab dip, crab cake and cream of crab soup. The crab dip came out steaming hot, but so creamy and delightfully seasoned with cheese melted on top, crisp at the edges. It was served with toasted bits of bread for dipping to add a bit of crunch. It was so tempting we started digging in and almost forgot to get a photo of its delicious presentation! The crab cake, seared on the outside for the slightest crisp but by no means overcooked inside, was the perfect balance of meat and breading (more meat than breading, of course). It was so moist and delicious, and extremely satisfying. The cream of crab is the restaurants top selling soup, according to co-owner Roger Mowery, and with good reason. Those giant lumps of crab in the creamy, excellently seasoned soup were sprinkled with a little Old Bay for a perfect presentation and great flavor. Some menu items are curiously marked with My Moms next to them. Mowery explained that is because his mother did the cooking for the restaurant for 12 years. Sadly, she passed away 10 years ago. But they have retained many of her homemade recipes, such as the macaroni and potato salads and the meatloaf, which Mowery said is another big seller. Now, you may be thinking whats so special about meatloaf? But trust me, this one was nothing short of amazing. Its so moist, it just melts in your mouth, my coworker commented. It was served with thick, delicious gravy as well to top it, as if it needed any more flavor. It was so meaty and scrumptious! The homemade salads, the potato slightly salty and the macaroni mildly sweet, were everything you would expect from a good salad. Both were so creamy and delicious and lightly sprinkled with Old Bay for a bit of that hometown flavor. Unfortunately, we didnt have time for any crabs, but our server Danielle explained their great crab specials with females for $10/dozen or three dozen for $25, and $1 males. Grab A Crab has been in business since 1987 and still has its original owners, Roger Mowery and Sandra Foos. The new location features a larger dining room than their former location in Martin Plaza and a roomy bar area if you just want to have a drink and relax. They can cater for small affairs and the menu features a huge variety of lunch and dinner specials and party platters, as well as daily specials for whatever your party may be craving. If you cant make it to dine in or carry out, Mowery stressed they still deliver to the local neighborhoods of Essex and Middle River. Just call the restaurant at 410-682-2722(CRAB) or visit them online at www.grabacrab.org. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.

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