One of the side benefits of having out of town visitors is going to places I am usually too self absorbed to visit otherwise. And so we have Annapolis, the capital of Maryland and the home of the Naval Academy. The downtown, historic area is very pretty – lined with brick and very walkable (and of course touristy). There is a memorial to Alex Haley, albeit small – and you can smell the water. My Dad wanted to get towards the ocean and maybe get a real seafood experience. So now that we are in a legit place like Annapolis, lunch at Hell Point Seafood was a natural. Hell Point is the cousin of Kinkead’s in DC, one of the very best seafood restaurants around.
The decor is very “coastal seafood place-y” as we sat on the terrace – pretty typical but nice. The appetizers we got were a crabcake with corn salad. The crabcake, unlike 90% of crabcakes was not a Stove Top Stuffing piece with some crab in it, but a very meaty, full of lump crabmeat crabcake with sauce and enough binder to hold its integrity. With the corn – it was a lovely start. I also got a chilled tomato gazpacho, which was definitely good. I ordered for my entree the soft shell crab BLT. The BLT though is a bit of a twist – instead of bacon, homemade tasso ham – which actually was not an improvement – the salty crunch of bacon/pancetta was missing. The lettuce was substituted with baby aragula – there was also artichoke and a scallion aioli. All of those components were fine holding up a deep fried soft shell crab. What is difficult about this treatment is that while a soft shell crab has a soft shell – that does not mean that peeling it is not a good idea. That is, the shell is still a pain in the butt to eat and makes the crab eating “tough” even if the meat itself is not overcooked. This infected the process and sort of gave the sandwich a sort of chewiness that is characteristic of the complaints levied against inferior calimari. The brioche roll was good, but the sandwich was messy – and not necessarily in a Hellburger good way. The fries on the side were soggy.
In that respect, the restaurant was a bit of a disappointment, especially when you realize they priced the menu as if tourists would show up. Of course we did. I might have ordered incorrectly, but I can’t say I was floored.