East County Times Dining Guide

Calvin is back at Kahlers, and hes brought the old family recipes with him!



by Allison McAlister

If you haven't been to Kahler's Seafood Restaurant in a while, now would be a great time to go back. Calvin Kahler is back at the helm overseeing operations at the family business. “The original family recipes are back,” Kahler declares. The Kahler family has been in the crab and seafood business since the 1940's. One of the well-known restaurants was the White House Inn, where Kahler began working when he was just 13 years old. He branched out on his own some years later and opened the current Kahler's Restaurant about 24 years ago. Following a five-year absence, Kahler has returned to the restaurant, bringing with him his vast knowledge and expertise of seafood preparation. He shares an example of how best to make a lump crab cake. “You've got to keep the lumps,” he says. “You can't crush the lumps. You've got to be gentle with the preparation.” Using old family recipes, their own unique blend of spices and a lot of care, Kahler's serves up some mighty tasty seafood dishes. My co-worker and I visited the restaurant on a recent afternoon for lunch. The casual dining room is cleverly decorated with crab memorabilia of all types. There are cute stuffed crabs, crab signs, crab flags, everything crabs. It definitely makes for a fun, family atmosphere. Did I mention Kahler's is known for its crabs? From steamed crabs to fried crabs to crab fluff, crabs are king at Kahler's. So, of course, we had to taste a couple of their crab items. If you're not that into crabs, however, don't despair. Kahler's menu features all kinds of seafood - such as shrimp, scallops, oysters and fish - as well as chicken, steaks, sandwiches, salads and more. The appetizer menu is quite extensive, so you may have a difficulty choosing just one. There is also a kid's menu available. For desserts, customers should inquire as to what's available that day. My co-worker and I began our meal with piping hot, homemade soup - cream of crab for me and Maryland crab for my co-worker. I'm a huge cream of crab fan and this one was pretty spectacular. With crabmeat in every bite, this soup was wonderfully rich and creamy and so delicious with just the right amount of seasoning. I'm told the Maryland crab soup is good, too, full of veggies and mildly seasoned. Next, it was time to move on to the main meal. We sampled the fried shrimp, crab cake and crab fluff. The shrimp is hand-breaded in Kahler's own special recipe breading, a special blend of seasonings. Fried shrimp is one of my favorites and you just don't find shrimp in a seasoned breading like this at many restaurants. It really made for some very flavorful shrimp. The crab fluff, a jumbo lump crab cake battered and deep-fried to a golden brown, is one of Kahler's signature dishes. While this one, too, was quite good, I have to say my favorite was the broiled jumbo lump crab cake. Loaded with big hunks of crabmeat throughout the cake, not just on the outside, this tasty morsel is superb. And not only is it delicious, I didn't encounter even one shell in the entire cake, which happens to be an important personal preference of mine. Featuring all kinds of seafood, prepared steamed, broiled or fried, Kahler's knows that seafood is more of a luxury today than it was in years past. Especially with the current economy the way it is, people have less disposable income. Kahler's is committed to providing quality seafood at more affordable prices for its customers. The restaurant expects nice, heavy crabs this year, and they'll steam them to your liking. Once the weather warms up, customers will be able to enjoy those perfectly steamed crabs outside on the large dining deck opening soon at Kahler's. Since Good Friday falls this week, that may just be the perfect excuse to go give Kahler's a try. Because, I don't know about you, but a night off from cooking is the perfect ending to a hectic workweek. Kahler's Seafood Restaurant & Carry Out is located at 8036 Philadelphia Road in Rosedale. Customers can eat in or carry out and are encouraged to bring their own beer. Coolers with ice are provided free of charge to keep your beverages chilled while you dine. For more information, call 410-866-8381.

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