After operating his carryout seafood shop on Hospital Drive in Glen Burnie for almost 20 years, owner Jerry Wood decided six years ago to open a seafood restaurant, also in Glen Burnie. From this first success evolved his second success, the Seaside Restaurant & Crab House.
If the sight of brown paper-covered tables pleases you or the sound of cracking crabs is music to your ears, then Seaside is for you. Although I had to wait 20 minutes, it was worth it. In the summer, this restaurant is so popular, the line can be as long as 10 to 20 people.
The atmosphere reminded me of places at the shore. Outside, tables are set up on the wooden deck; inside, the dining room's walls are decorated with nets, a crab pot with its catch hanging from the ceiling, and an 8-foot-long mural of a marlin teasing a fisherman in a distant boat. The back portion of the room is decorated with an overhang labeled "Crab Shack."
On a recent visit, I enjoyed the spicy lobster, crab and shrimp soup. It was laden with chunks of meat and lots of flavor, not like those that are mainly broth with slivers of something unrecognizable called crab.
My entree was a broiled combination platter done to perfection. Orange roughy, shrimp, clams casino, scallops and a lump crab cake the size of a baseball graced my plate. A side dish of corn on the cob was very tender and the homemade applesauce chunky.
My husband enjoyed hush puppies, fried golden brown and sprinkled with powered sugar, for his appetizer, and his entree of barbecued ribs fell off the bone. His french fries were seasoned and the coleslaw homemade.
For dessert, we shared a luscious freshly baked eclair.
I noticed most of the people around us were enjoying steamed crabs, but a few ordered from the menu. One of those dishes was crab fluff. I was amazed at the size of the two crab fluffs on the plate, each larger than a baseball.
But don't let my fascination with seafood dissuade you from trying other entrees at Seaside. They also serve steaks, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot beef and hot turkey sandwiches, and specialty salads like a shrimp Caesar.
Although the restaurant is busy, with people waiting in the bar, the service is fast and courteous. We arrived after 8 on a Saturday night, and no table was left empty more than 5 minutes after the departure of one party and the seating of a new one.
Would I recommend it? Definitely, but only to those who enjoy a seaside experience.
Where: 224 N. Crain Highway, Glen Burnie; 410-760-2200
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
Prices: Appetizers, $4.25-$9.95; entrees, $14.95-$22.95 (Crabs vary)
Credit cards: All
Rating: * * *
Ratings: * culinary wasteland **** culinary heaven