Corey's comes up a little short


We're animal lovers, so my companion and I were charmed by Corey's logo, which features the owner's cute dog, Corey, encountering a snapping crab. We also loved the water view of the inlet meeting the bay. And we relished the prospect of outdoor dining with cool breezes after another muggy summer day.

So we had high hopes when we headed for this new restaurant, located where Holt's Landing used to be. The dog, the view and the breeze cooperated. Unfortunately, the food was a letdown.

We started with an order of chicken fingers ($4.25) that was nothing special, but turned out to be one of the highlights of our meal. The six chicken strips were lightly breaded and not at all greasy, but the accompanying mustard sauce tasted only like mustard.

We also ordered Maryland crab soup ($2.25 for a cup; $3.50 for a bowl). It was disappointing. We could detect canned stewed tomatoes, water, frozen green beans and crab meat. Period. I'm sure there was other stuff in there, but we couldn't taste it.

Seafood dominates Corey's limited menu, making up nine of the 11 dinner choices. A filet mignon ($13.95) and New York strip ($12.95) are offered for those who don't eat things that swim.

We opted for the crab cake platter (two crab cakes broiled or fried for $12.95) and the stuffed shrimp ($13.95). Both entrees came with a baked potato and "vegetable du jour," which turned out to be corn on the cob. When our waiter brought the corn, he said that most people didn't want it; did we? Wondering what the other diners knew that we didn't, we declined it, too.

Corey's crab cakes were tennis-ball sized and full of delicious lump crab and, refreshingly, just enough "filler" to hold them together. But they also were boring, with no discernible seasoning.

The stuffed shrimp, on the other had, were outright bad. The two breaded, mealy (possibly even frozen) shrimp were, appropriately, piled with crab imperial. But this particular recipe, served cold and filled with celery, mayo and maybe dill, tasted more like potato salad made with crab meat than real crab imperial.

Corey's offers a tray of Mrs. Pose's desserts that looked good but unfortunately tasted like they were right out of the freezer.

Corey's also offers all-you-can-eat steamed crabs ($12.95 per person for unlimited small crabs; $15.95 for crabs and corn), and many of the people dining around us seemed quite satisfied with that choice. Maybe the key here is to drink a cool drink on the deck and pig out on crabs. If nothing else, you can always stare at that sweet dog on the logo.


2& 700 S. Philadelphia Ave, 289-1844.

Hours: Lunch, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; dinner, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Credit cards: Mastercard, Visa.

Reservations: Accepted.

Features: Steamed crabs, seafood.

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