Friday night at Cantler's crab shack

Crabs covered in Old Bay seasoning

TAP...tap, tap, tap...TAP, TAP...tap.  If you didn't know that Cantler's Riverside Inn is the best crab shack in Annapolis, you would wonder why the customers spend their time tapping on bits of crab shell rather than eating dinner.  But that's all part of the experience.  "Picking" crabs requires a wooden mallet, a knife, and lots of patience, but once you learn how to successfully extract the meat from a crab, there's no going back to the easy pleasures of crab cakes.

Blue crabs are an important symbol of the Chesapeake Bay and have been officially recognized as the state crustacean of Maryland since 1989.  As far as I know, it's the only state where residents can boast of having a cute little crab on their drivers' licenses.

Cantler's Riverside Inn
485 Forest Beach Road
Annapolis, MD 210401

While we always arrive by car, some people prefer to pull up in their boat.
No special treatment and reserved tables for boaters at this crab shack!
The tool used to measure the size of the crabs from point to point.
We ate a dozen of the X-Large.
Grab a mallet and you're good to go.
A crab posing with a mallet, Old Bay, vinegar, and butter before dinner!
This is all that's left of our crabs. Lots of work but absolutely delicious!
Pinch me.  A Cantler's t-shirt.
The covered deck.
The view from the deck.


  1. I think we ate crabs every day on our last trip to Annapolis! But, I have to admit that I've switch to Dungeness Crab when I make them at home. I still use up my Old Bay in giant jars at Costco so I must be keeping up with my crab tapping.

  2. Penny, You're much more of an adventurous cook than me. I've never cooked anything with pinchers, although I do have a great recipe for spicy scallops. My only excuse is that I'm from the Midwest and didn't even know about Old Bay until a couple of years ago.

  3. I don't know Mary Kay about never going back to crab cakes. There's something about Old Bay under my fingernails that makes me cringe!

  4. Anne, I was going to make a comment about how you must live in Virginia since you don't like the feel of Old Bay under your fingernails, but I just read your new blog and see that you live in DC which negates any of the stereotypical VA/MD comparisons. And to be honest, I don't like the gritty feel of Old Bay either. I must have washed my hands at least 4 times at the outside sink at the crab shack before I was able to get rid of most of it.

    But more importantly, I'm so happy to see that you're going to continue blogging! Perhaps you could keep your Blogger clock set to Parisian time so that I can still have the pleasure of waking up to your posts. ;-)


Post a Comment