Monday, May 24, 2010

Maryland Crab at Frank's Seafood

I go to Frank's Seafood in Jessup for delicious seafood and straight answers.

The hardshells at Frank's are still coming from warmer Carolina, but I bought a pound of Maryland backfin last week and made wonderful crabcakes and weird sushi.  I also got a half pound of scallops -- the kind where no one has injected salt water to inflate the price and ruin the flavor.

Frank's isn't cheap.  I paid $20 for the crab and $9 for the scallops.  But I got real answers when I asked where they were getting everything and what they thought of the difference.  The Frank's clerk described each crab option -- Venezuelan crab had good texture but little flavor, Carolina was good, and the Maryland was the sweetest of all.  Such a contrast to earlier last week when I stood at a supermarket counter and watched a really nice teenaged clerk unable to say anything except what was written on the label.  The guy in front of me couldn't get an answer to anything.  I walked away with no fish.

With answers and past success, I blew all my cash at Frank's and will do it again.  The Maryland backfin tasted like summer.  I added egg, mayo, and breadcrumbs just to hold the cakes together, and I'll add even less next time.  I used the leftovers to make sushi rolls with thin-sliced tomatillo and crab.  Thumbs up, although I was just screwing around.  The sweetness of crab and scallop should be a luxury, and I'd rather eat Frank's on special occasions than load up on the tasteless shrimp pushed on me by almost everyone else.

(Update:  Since this post, I have gone back to Frank's for shrimp, oysters and whole fish.  The oysters are a terrific treat, especially once I learned that I could grill them for a few minutes so that they would pop open.  The shrimp were firm and sweet, and they're wild, which has become my requirement after learning too much about how they farm shrimp in southeast Asia.)

Frank's is right down the road from Mom's Organic Market, which makes it a great pairing to get vegetables and bread and then stop for fish.  If you head south from Rt 175, then consider rolling down Snowden River too.  For the crab cake dinner, I grabbed a takeout loaf of ciabatta at Bon Fresco Sandwich Bakery.

By driving to Jessup, you enter the wonderland around Rte 175 and U.S. 1. The finds near that intersection include great empanadas at El Patio, a Chinese buffet at Fortune Star, and several taco options including the R&R Deli and Pupuseria Lorenita's. Check out the entire post about the wonders along U.S. 1.

Frank's Seafood
7901 Oceano Ave # B
Jessup, MD 20794
(410) 799-5960

NEAR: This is in the wholesale seafood market in Jessup. You take Rte 175 east from I-95. You turn right on Oceano Avenue after passing the prison. You turn left into the market. You need to show a driver's license, but Frank's is open to the public.  The market charges truck drivers to deliver or pick up, but it's free to the public after 10 am.


Brandon Miller - Milhouse44 said...

Frank's is great. Years ago you had to pay a dollar to get through the gate. (I was still well worth it). Another neat thing is near the door and around certain fish and seafood they have printed recipe cards of things to do with your freshly purchased Seafood. My wife and I have used them on numerous occasions.

BeerGuy said...

You gotta go down to the gulf to get good shrimp.

Unfortunately, there's that whole oil spill thing going on and I'm not sure how its affected the critters.

I used to live in Pensacola and there was this market called Joe Patty's right on the water, you could see their boats bringing in stuff and the backroom where the Vietnamese guys and ladies were making quick work of whole fish to get the meat on display at the front of the market.

Anyway, daily they had these big trays of about 6-7 varieties of shrimp, it was fun buying a half pound here, a half pound there and cooking them at home and figuring out which tasted best. They were all delicious, way better than anything I've ever had in restaurants before or since.

bmorecupcake said...

Right now I buy the frozen bag of Wild Gulf Shrimp sold at Giant. Last month when I was buying them, Giant had replaced the rest of their frozen seafood (catfish fillets, whiting fillets, etc.) with their own GV-branded items. Hopefully they haven't replaced the frozen wild gulf shrimp yet.