Exploring: Parks Landing

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So tonight my Heart and I did a summer tradition, we had a crab dinner.  I found an All You Can Eat crab place, which is not easy to find.  There are lots of AYCE places that serve snow crab legs, etc. but we wanted Maryland Blue Crabs.  Now, remember… neither my Heart nor I are originally from Maryland so we normally do a crab dinner once a summer – we enjoy it whole heartedly but it’s pretty much a once a summer tradition.

Parks Landing is in Westminster, not hard to find but I had no idea that there was a little strip mall there.  The price was pretty darned good at $38 each which included AYCE blue crabs, steamed shrimp, boiled shrimp, mussels, wings, corn on the cob, and choice of soup (Maryland Crab – which was delicious or Cream of Crab).  Considering a dozen large crabs could run $50+ at the good crab houses – not bad at all.  Everything was delicious – no problems getting refills on anything… the waitress even asked us if we wanted more crabs (we went through 2 dozen) and it was after 9pm, when they close.  It’s not a fancy place but eating crabs is messy business (especially for us Non-Marylanders… we enjoy them but I’m not entirely sure we do it “right”  *grin* ).
Another reason I wanted to write about this is because many of my FB friends are old friends from high school… who are west coasters!  Maryland blue crabs are NOT Dungeness crabs.  They are dramatically smaller (my son calls them sea cockroaches and won’t even try them) and are a lot more “work” than eating the bigger crabs.  Part of the experience is the seasoning – my son actually think Old Bay is made of crack… I brought some back to the west coast with me when we used to visit my folks and my mother got totally addicted.  It is sort of indescribable but it is good on fries, fish… anyway, I digress.  Blue crabs are a lot of work for very little meat but the meat that you do get, little hunks in the body and claws is very sweet.  We always joke that you don’t actually get “full” on crab, more likely you can’t feel your lips from the spicy seasoning, your fingers hurt from the picking and breaking, and you’re just plain tired.  Either way it’s a great summer tradition and was absolutely Delicious!
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This is not a picture from the restaurant – I totally forgot my camera, but I wanted to show a picture of the crabs covered in Old Bay… also to give perspective on the size.

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the table carnage after – like I said, Messy business!

(My Heart took these with his new iPhone – after we had hosed ourselves off, of course!)
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They gave us a bag to toss our crab carcasses – very efficient, actually… I’ve never been to a restaurant that did that before.  I still miss Dungeness crabs but a blue crab dinner with my Heart is a great part of summer!

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