Dining Out: Shoreline Seafood in Gambrills offers extensive take-out experience

If you’ve ever driven along Route 3 through Gambrills, you’ve seen a lighthouse sitting in the medium strip of the highway, right in the center of town. It’s not easy to miss, but can be difficult to pull into when you’re speeding past at 50 miles an hour. After years of whipping by what I thought was a restaurant, I finally decided to pit-stop in to see what Shoreline Seafood is all about.

Apparently, I’m late to the party. Next year Shoreline will have been in business for 40 years.

When I hear that a place is 40 years old I expect to walk into a battered beaten down store, but that is far from the truth for Shoreline. Inside the market is a beautiful display of fish and shellfish all along the length of the large space. The building is clean and the display cases are immaculate. Best of all, the place had almost no smell, aside from the wonderful aroma coming from the hot soup bar that takes up the entire corner of their display line. Usually a fish market smells like … well, fish, but not here.

While I could spend all day picking out seafood to cook at home, what I was really interested in was their extensive carry-out selection. There are dinner combos, platters, sandwiches, family buckets, grill items and prepared foods like potato salad and coleslaw. Everything is made in-house.

This is a family-run restaurant, with mom at the counter, dad cooking in the back and their grown kids working the line. It was very impressive, and is rarely seen in today’s restaurant scene.

The first thing that I chose was a variety of soups. When I walked in they asked me if I wanted to sample the she crab soup ($9 pint) right from the hot line. This was creamy and almost sweet, with layers and layers of flavor. The soup had been sitting for a while and was a little broken, but that didn’t matter. This soup was simply delicious.

Based on that one taste, I selected several more soups. The Chesapeake crab soup ($4.50 half pint) was just as good. This was a tomato based soup with fresh vegetables and big pieces of shredded crab. Every bite was enjoyable, and I regretted not buying more of it.

The New England clam chowder ($9 pint), on the other hand, was thick and pink. Not only was this soup over cooked, but it was missing the chunks of potato a chowder should have. Worse than that, the flavor was harsh and somewhat acrid. After two fantastic soups, I was disappointed in this one.

In addition to the soups I ordered several entrees. The shrimp Alfredo ($16.95) was linguini and a rich, cheesy sauce with tasty medium shrimp. The broiled seafood platter ($22.95) had flounder, scallops and shrimp that were all fresh and perfectly cooked. The oysters were fried (no one simply broils oysters), and they were good as well. I could definitely see getting a fried oyster sub here.

The fish on the stuffed rock fish platter ($19.95) was nicely prepared. The stuffing was made with claw and bell peppers pieces, and was only so, so. The hollandaise on top was thick, and after getting home it had coagulated so that it appeared to be an omelet on top.

For the final selection I just had to try their crab cake. Shoreline sells what they call a “baseball” crab cake, in regular ($12.50) or lump ($13.50). I chose the lump, which had a buy two get one free special. I also decided to take these crab cakes home raw and cook them for lunch the next day.

I was told to bake them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. When I did this, they came out perfect. The crab cake itself had a lot of Old Bay seasoning, and was about a 50-50 mix of crab and filler. They weren’t the best Maryland crab cake that I’ve ever had, but I enjoyed them none-the-less.

Walking into Shoreline Seafood felt like stepping into summer in the middle of February. While not everything was to my liking, every piece of seafood I had was fresh and well prepared. I will definitely be back to Shoreline soon for all of my seafood needs, and for more of that amazing she crab soup.

Shoreline Seafood

WHERE: 1034 Route 3 N., Gambrills

PHONE: 410-721-7767

WEBSITE: shorelineseafoodinc.com

HOURS: Sunday and Monday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m.to 9 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.to 9 p.m.

LUNCH: $6 to $15

DINNER: $8 to $26

RESERVATIONS: Carry-out only

CREDIT CARDS: All major cards

ACCESSIBILITY: Yes

Read other restaurant reviews »

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad
90°