Investigating The Maryland Crab Pretzel

Dec 5, 2012 11:31 am

Baltimore's crab pretzels make me weak at the knees

crab pretzel
Photo: Alexandra Schrecengost
Talking about Baltimore's crab pretzels made me want to get on a train. Or bus. Or however you get to Maryland.
 

This photo of a crab pretzel made me realize I don't get out enough. I often convince myself that I don't need to leave New York City because literally everything is here. But oh wait, it's not. We don't have crab pretzels. And now that I've heard of these magical things, I kinda don't feel so proud of those dried out knots of dough hanging from like, a nail on the side of a dirty water dog cart. 

I was having dinner last night with a friend whose husband is from the Baltimore area. She asked if I'd ever heard of crab pretzels. No, I said, but I must. Picture one of those usually terrible street pretzels, but freshly baked, warm and soft instead of half-petrified and studded with what I like to call "punishment salt." Now picture it slathered in crab dip made with that famous right-out-of-the-ocean Maryland crab. A lot of it. Now cover that layer of crab dip in shredded jack, cheddar and a good healthy sprinkle of Old Bay seasoning, and broil until crisp on top. 

"I have to have one for breakfast every time we go down there," she said. "Like, before 11 a.m. The large is the size of a dinner plate."

Hit Bill Bateman's Bistro in Towson, MD, as per her recommendation or, according to my research, basically anywhere in the state with the words "crab" and "house" in its name for a prime specimen. And while you're down there, order up a hubcap margarita, another thing I've never heard of. Not only is a margarita a lunch-appropriate drink (I really only rule out shots, and then only for formality's sake), it's actually served inside a hubcap. What else haven't we thought of???

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