City Paper is not for tourists
The Dish: crab cake club sandwich
The Location: Oceanaire Seafood Room, 1201 F St. NW, (202) 347-2277.
The Price: $17.95
The Skinny: The waiter grew quickly impatient with my inquiries into Oceanaire’s crab cake “club” sandwich. Because the menu didn’t identify the source of the jumbo lump meat, I asked if the crabs were pulled from the Chesapeake. He said all jumbo lump meat served at Oceanaire comes from Chesapeake blue crabs. He said this with such speed and conviction that I felt the need to explain that some restaurants, even good ones, mix in Asian crab meat, given that fresh Maryland jumbo lump can retail for more than $30 a pound. But before I could even finish my sentence, he interrupted. “Trust me on this. It’s Chesapeake blue crab.” If the service is rude, the sandwich itself is sweet—just not sweet in the way you typically think about jumbo lump. Constructed with barely any binder—little more than fine-chopped breadcrumbs and egg—the cake is a thick, meaty mouthful, with barely a trace of jumbo lump’s usual oceany sweetness. That’s not a bad thing in this case, when the meat is trying to stand up to a big hearty bun, several glistening strips of fried bacon, a ripe slice of tomato, and a creamy, horseradish-laced condiment. You want meaty. Trust me on this.