Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Frank's Seafood in Jessup

Nothing is more local than hard shell crabs, and nowhere sells you better crabs than Frank's Seafood in Jessup.

Frank's is an storied part of the wholesale seafood market across from the prison, and it sells to the public Tuesday to Sunday. The crabs come live or steamed. The steamed are coated in spices, and they made a spectacular summer dinner laid out on a bed of newspaper and battered with wooden mallets.

Mrs. HowChow and I got a deal on Sunday night (or as much as you can get at modern crab prices). A mix of large and #1 crabs were $29 for a dozen, and the "cold" ones were buy-one-dozen-get-one-free. The "hot" crabs are the ones fresh from the steamer. They sit in what look like giant trash cans on wheels, which I assume carry them in and out of some giant hot room. The "cold" crabs were steamed the day before and are displayed on ice. They were delicious and filled us up, although I did throw away two of the leftover eight on Monday night because they weren't sweet anymore. The other six were still great two days after steaming.

Frank's crabs were as delicious as any I remember, but then I'm a sucker for a warm night, a few beers and any meal that you eat with a knife and a hammer. My new discovery about crabs is that they're different when you eat with a doctor. Mrs. HowChow (that's Dr. HowChow to you) opened her first body and announced, "I forgot that it looks so recognizable." She then identified the various internal organs that I prefer to dispose with a single sweep. After that, I opened her crabs for her. Everyone benefitted.

Call ahead to reserve your crabs. Frank's takes orders, and it offers up to jumbos, although they were too rich for my blood. And check out the other seafood while you're there. Frank's is a full-scale market with nice-looking crab cakes along with raw fish on ice.  They also have oysters.  They were cleaning up as I came through on Sunday, but they seemd to have a dozen species in a mix of fillets and whole fish. This rivals Today's Catch in Columbia. You can buy the basic spices to steam crabs or to fry fish. You can also buy 75-cent wooden mallets for your crab feast. They're in a little room off the main retail area.

To get into the seafood market, you need to show a driver's license and go through a gate. It's no big deal. Odd, but don't let it keep you away.

For seafood, the other great options are Today's Catch in Columbia and the H Mart in Catonsville.   Click here for a post about seafood markets in Howard County.

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 trucks, including Pupuseria Lorenita's. Check out the Google Maps here or an 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.

Frank's Seafood on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

I'll definitely have to try Frank's sometime. The best place I know to go for crab and shrimp near Columbia is CrossRoad's Pub. They're off Ten Oaks Rd in Dayton. You can buy crabs by the pound or by they have an all-you-can-eat deal. They have outdoor seating (in typical columbia fashion - NO view - but it's outdoors), and I believe they take reservations. It's not fancy, but perfect for Maryland crabs! I like the "ambiance" a little more than the Bottom of the Bay seafood, which is otherwise very similar.

I also wanted to add that I LOVE your blog and am so excited to try all of your great finds! Please keep it up!

Anonymous said...

I have been going to Franks Seafood, located off Rt 1 since they opened there in the late
80's. They used to be in downtown Baltimore at the old Fish Market. They have the freshest seafood and the most knowledgeable staff. Their selection beats Todays Catch. Their fish and shrimp is the 'real thing'; not like the manufactured stuff you get at Costco and the big stores; non-organic farm-raised, full of dye, anti-biotics and chicken manure. The seafood is bought direct, and does not have a middle-man; so it is not 5 days old before it hits the shelf; like in the big stores. There is no comparison between Franks and Cosco, Wegmans or the supermarkets. They have the freshest, best-tasting, and best selection around. It is worth the drive over to the Rt 1 area.

Anonymous said...

visit Frank's website They have a special on Maryland Jumbo Crabs for the next few weeks. Also, fresh shrimp are still available. I've had them before and they are delicious. What a difference in taste when you buy fresh seafood from an old fashioned fish market. You've got to go to Frank's it is well worth the trip. No pun intended, but I'm hooked.