Monday, January 19, 2009

Timbuktu in Elkridge

Timbuktu is a place for crab, just crab.  

In early December, I sat at the bar at this Elkridge institution after flying into BWI, and I thought about my college roommate who always recommends that you eat the speciality of the house.  That's what I did.  A nice crab soup.  A large crab cake, packed with meat and light on the filler.

People must order something else because Timbuktu fills three large rooms with a full menu, but I didn't see any reason to waver.  The bun tasted bland, so I skipped it.  The sandwich garnish looked average, so I pushed it aside.  I spooned up my soup, then just read my newspaper and sliced up the softball-sized crab cake.

This is Maryland, so I don't think that I need to describe a broiled crab cake to you.  The key here is that Timbuktu's tastes like crab, just crab.  Making a crab cake isn't rocket science, but restaurants find it too easy to cheapen theirs with crackers or hide low-flavor meat with mustard and spices.  Timbuktu's flavor was sweet and strong.  It brought me right back to the final hard shells of 2008 that I had enjoyed a few weeks before.  

If you're looking for seafood, my favorite place for hard shell crabs in Frank's Seafood in Jessup.  For fish, clams, etc., you should check out Today's Catch in Columbia and the H Mart in Catonsville.

Timbuktu Restaurant
1726 Dorsey Road
Hanover, MD  21076

Timbuktu on Urbanspoon

NEAR:  This is just off Rte 100 between I-95 and the BW Parkway.  You take the Coca-Cola Road exit south, and then turn left.  Timbuktu is at the top of the hill at that intersection.


Anonymous said...

I have eaten there a couple of times. The crabcake is the only thing that keeps that place going. All the other food, or at least what I have eaten, is sub-par for the price.

billz said...

I agree the crabcakes are the only reason to go there, but their crabcakes are some of the biggest and best I've found. If you're going to build a Maryland restaurant around one dish, doing a great crabcake is not a bad choice.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely LOVE their crabcakes. I usually take my out of town friends here on the way back from picking them up at the airport. The ambiance isn't the greatest, but the crabcakes make up for it. I've never tried anything else there.

Anonymous said...

Both the crab cakes and cream of crab soup are wonderful. The atmosphere is just fine, I wasn't looking for flash or "fun", just good food and this place has it along with a welcome, come on it feel. BTW, why would anyone go to a seafood place and order a burger?

elow said...

The crabcake is definitely the only thing worth going to Timbuktu for. Like it's been said before, most everything else on the menu is subpar.

I've yet to try the Imperial crab which I've heard from several ppl is very good.

The bread on the crabcake sandwich has only ever been good once . . . ONCE in the 5+ times that I've eaten there. But I always order it and skip the bread since it's cheaper than ordering the crabcake platter, and you'll be full anyway at the end.