Unlike most people, Monday is my favorite day of the week, because it’s usually the one day my husband and myself get off together.
This week we found ourselves in Baltimore, Maryland, and instantly Maryland crabs sprung to mind; it would be an absolute crime to pass up the chance of delicious crab when we had multiple options right on our doorstep.
‘Lets go to L. P. Steamers!’ My husband said, looking at me from across the big king bed with my owl pillow.
I smiled wide and sat bolt upright ‘yes!’
It was a date.
The L. P. stands for Locust Point, which is the name of the neighborhood in which this restaurant, in an old three-story townhouse, is nestled on the end of a block.
I saw it from across the street, holding my husbands hand, and instantly fell in love.
I was hangry, I was excited, and it finally felt like fall as the cool breeze drifted on by along with the local tram cars.
From the outside the restaurant looked closed on this beautiful blue morning; there were no neon signs and no A-frame boards out on the sidewalk, but inside business was booming.
My husband and I took a table together just past the entrance, which looked right onto the seafood preparation bar.
It was quaint, it was old, and you could feel the history within the walls as well as smell the salty sea with every inhale.
I felt at home, almost like a local, as we ordered the ‘boat load of food’ with a pitcher of good old ‘Natty Boh’ beer.
All around us there was something to see, from marked dollar bills, to newspaper articles, to the people of Baltimore coming and going.
I’d never had Natty Boh prior to my visit, but I know enough to know that this bohemian beer is brewed right here in Baltimore Maryland and is definitely a staple.
My first thoughts where good thoughts; it was an easy drinker with an almost amber finish that reminded me of Lyles golden syrup – this pitcher wouldn’t be a hard one to conquer.
Before long our ‘boat load of food’ arrived, and they definitely weren’t kidding.
It was huge.
We started off with half of our oysters raw and half steamed; the mussels where piled high, the scallops so buttery and fresh that they glowed porcelain white; clams peaked their pretty heads from the depths of the pile, where a glorious lobster tail was the beauty of the boat right at the side, and the shrimp added that final delicious finishing touch.
It was heaven on a plate.
I stared at it, gawking to be quite honest, as I’d never seen a seafood tray so sexy.
Before I could even get my head around all of the deliciousness ahead, our waiter delivered a tray of Maryland crabs.
They where gorgeously tanned orange; this was it, we had come all this way to feast our eyes on the most beautiful crabby critters around, and we were not disappointed. They descended, almost godlike, onto the table that was moments ago so empty, and now exploding with what I can only describe as a secret seafood Narnia on the streets of this busy city.
I felt as though each crab was specifically looking at me, in the eyes, begging me to have a try; the force was strong with these little fellas.
The table was ram packed full; I was unsure of what I’d been expecting, but I can tell you right now that this was not it… no, this was beyond any seafood delight I could have ever imagined.
I stared at my husband with my mouth literally open, and puzzled, he asked what was wrong.
‘This is SO awesome.’ I said like a giddy little five year old that had been given free reins in a candy store.
I saw the humor on my husbands face as he realized his British wife wasn’t accustomed to the same experiences he’d had here on the east coast of the USA, and that this was in fact typical for him on his previous trips to Baltimore.
‘So’ he said with a smile, and a swig of beer, handing me a little metal fork.
‘Where will you start?’
My eyes darted from left to right, I twisted the plate around and around, trying to figure out my best plan of attack.
The crabs I’d leave for the end, but first of all I’d start with the oysters.
We stared across the table, my husband holding the raw oysters, and myself holding the steamed.
We dug in.
They were delicious, and just like the ones we’d fallen in love with multiple times before at other seafood restaurants; oysters would forever be an instant win for us.
Next we tried the scallops, taking extra care to make sure we were splitting each thing equally, because by now I’m sure you’ll know that this marriage is a huge foodie affair, and it would be a wildly savage show if we didn’t count out pieces and just grabbed each thing until the plate was empty; in fact, I’m pretty sure every meal that involved sharing would turn into a competition of who could eat the fastest to get the most of the good stuff (we definitely learnt that the hard way with cheesy nachos).
So with our two scallops each we dug in, and LET ME TELL YOU, they where so soft and buttery that they literally melted onto my tastebuds. We made the ‘mmmms’ we made the ‘ahhhs’ we wished we had more than two each, and they were gone before we had time to even blink. 10/10.
Both the mussels and clams reminded me of my time spent in Scotland, both fresh and flavorful with that sandy essence, and as usual we quickly pulled out the meat and tossed the shells into a graveyard of empties before moving on to the next victim.
I watched with wide excited eyes as my husband separated the lobster into two pieces, right up the middle of the tail, so we could share.
I’m not renowned for my lobster expertise, but I’ve definitely had it before a few times in my short 26 years, and this was hands down the best yet.
Usually I compare it to a glamorous shrimp; more flavor, more juice, and all the glitz and glamor of a royal.
It was everything and more; the sheer buttery taste and perfectly soft texture had me closing my eyes to savor each and every tastebud hit, if I could eat just a plate of lobster tails after that delicious sample tease, I’d be more than happy for the rest of my life.
As the plate finally began to empty I found myself almost regretful that I had eaten the glorious lobster before moving onto the shrimp, but as I popped the first shrimp into my mouth I was back in my happy place.
It didn’t take long before the whole plate was destroyed and we were gulping back beer and enjoying conversation.
Our waiter came back and cleared the table, leaving only our small mob of Maryland crab.
You could cut the atmosphere with a knife as I watched my husband pick up a little hammer and a crab; I had yet to ever use a hammer on a WHOLE crab, and I had never in my life opened up a whole crab before to pick the meat.
I felt almost like a small child learning something new; it was so exciting I couldn’t wait for him to get started.
I watched in amazement as he twisted and pulled all of the legs away from the body, then pulled a natural little tab to open the shell, before pulling the top and bottom sides apart with both hands in a barbaric fashion – it was fascinating.
After a few tugs of war I got my first glimpse at that delicious crab meat inside the body; it was opaque white, and I could see from just the way it pulled out into my husbands hands that it was of the best quality.
I eagerly picked up my own crab and copied – needing some help along the way – pulling all of the meat out with ease and stuffing it into my mouth.
It was so good I couldn’t stop; my one crab turned into two, and then I was onto my last crab – hammering away at the legs – and stripping each one clean to the shell.
By the end of the three crabs I had it on my clothes, all over my hands, and the table looked like the perfect aftermath of a crab feast.
Carnage ensued… we had destroyed the boat load of food, and I couldn’t have been more happy.
Those crabs truly where Marylands best crabs; they lived up to every expectation I’d ever had, and surpassed all of the hype that had trickled down the grape vine throughout the years.
L. P. Steamers was a goldmine of culinary delights.
Nestled away in a three story home on the end of a block, you’d never imagine from the outside just how fantastic this place really could be if you just paid attention to your surroundings and stepped on inside.
The only place you’ll ever need in Maryland, to get the best seafood, and to have a fantastic time.
The food was unbelievably good, the wait staff where phenomenal, the meal was interactive in the most fun way, and we were sad when the time came to leave.
Thank you so so much L. P. Steamers for a memory I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
If you’re thinking about your next food spot and choose L. P. Steamers, then here’s a little menu tease to get you really drooling on the spot.
Until next time,
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