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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Old Mill Crab House (Ocean City, MD) - Crab Cake Sandwich

Old Mill Crab House on Urbanspoon

During our first whole night in Ocean City, MD, Morgan and I were unaware that almost every local restaurant was closed for the off-season. Upon realizing this, we spent about 30 minutes driving around the main strip in a desperate attempt to find a seafood buffet. After that search proved fruitless, we decided to take a chance and eat at the first random restaurant we saw open: the result was us stumbling into the Old Mill Crab House.

Apparently, the Old Mill is a small franchise, with only two active locations: the original is located in Delmar, DE, and the newer Ocean City restaurant. As such, the service maintains a hospitable and personal air, and the restaurant itself is well-lit and well-maintained. The menu is a bit limited, and the prices are a bit high (but expected; it IS in a tourist beach town, after all), but what is offered ends up being served fast, served hot, and served fresh. The Old Mill is sure to please those looking for fresh surf and turf, chicken, or even ribs. A kid-friendly menu is available for picky eaters, and a surprisingly extensive selection of alcohol is offered by the Old Mill for adults in the group. For those looking to loosen their belts a few notches, an endless "all-you-care-to-eat" special is available that includes clams, shrimp, crabs, corn on the cob, hush puppies, and more.

Since I'm currently on a budget, and was also craving a local crab cake, I went with the crab cake sandwich (relatively inexpensive), which was one of the Old Mill's famous lump crab cakes (either broiled or fried - I chose fried), topped with fresh lettuce and tomato (which I discarded; I'm not a fan of uncooked tomatoes), wedged into a fresh, fluffy hamburger bun. The sandwich also came with a choice of french fries or coleslaw - I ended up going with the fries, figuring they'd be more filling than the coleslaw. Sides of ketchup and tartar sauce rounded out the meal you'll see below.

The french fries that came with the meal were wonderful, and arrived at the table crispy, hot, and perfectly-salted. As for the crab cake...well...

I've eaten a lot (and I mean A LOT) of crab cakes in my life, and even I can't describe how amazing this crab cake sandwich was. Normally when I order a fried crab cake, I expect them to bread it or deep fry it in a vat of grease, which, while delicious, sometimes alters the flavor of the crab meat; however, the Old Mill surprised me by only lightly-battering the crab cake before frying it, which gave it a great crispy outside, without unnecessarily soaking the inside meat. The crab meat ended up being light, moist, and subtly sweet, just as it should be. The tartar sauce was delicious, providing a tang that matched and melded perfectly with the salty-sweet flavor of the crab meat. Lettuce added a great amount of crunchy texture to this otherwise incredible meal.

There are truly some great places to eat at out here in Ocean City, and I'm glad I can say that the Old Mill Crab House is one of them. This was a wonderful meal, and the best part was that Morgan and I stopped entirely at random. It just goes to show that not every part of a vacation needs to be planned out; sometimes the fun experiences come along completely by chance.

Score (out of 10): 9.5

Location: 12407 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, MD 21842
Phone Number: (410) 250-2722

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