Crab Cakes at Timbuktu

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rumaki
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2014/02/28 13:07:04 (permalink)

Crab Cakes at Timbuktu

It appears to have been a while since someone posted a trip report on Timbuktu restaurant in Hanover, MD. http://www.timbukturestaurant.com/
 
I spent Thursday  at meetings at a government agency which shall remain nameless, and that evening, had dinner with two of the other attendees (neither of whom I had known prior to this expedition).
 
Before I went to Maryland, I consulted with a good friend who suggested that I go to Timbuktu for crab cakes.  I checked it out online, and it looked great, but the reviews were a little mixed.  I spoke with two of the security guards at the nameless agency, and they both agreed that Timbuktu has wonderful crab cakes, though they also liked the nearby G&M (which my friend had also recommended). 
  
Well, I was still a little anxious -- it's always a bit of a gamble to go to a new place, and I felt responsible to my two colleagues to come up with a good place. But given that they were prepared to just eat in the hotel, I figured whatever Timbuktu was,  it at least wouldn't be institutional.
 
Our hotel concierge made a reservation, and the hotel shuttle van (none of us had a car) transported us to the restaurant. 
 
I was really quite taken with it. 
 
It is not a crab shack, but a white tablecloth restaurant (though not fancy) -- sort of a supper club ambience.  Our young waiter was polite and upbeat.  One of my companions ordered a martini and I ordered a Glenfiddich on the rocks. She pronounced her drink as "one of the best martinis [she's] had" -- and this is someone with extremely robust travel experience.  We each ordered a single crab cake, after the waiter told us that, while he wouldn't presume to suggest how much each of us could eat, he himself finds it almost impossible to eat more than one and a half crab cakes "unless I'm really hungry."  He brought us a basket of good dinner rolls, and we each chose a salad as one of our sides.  Not an extraordinary mixed salad, by any means, but it was fresh and crisp, and their homemade "Greek" dressing was quite tasty.
 
The crab cakes were, as others have reported here, fantastic. Tons of fresh crabmeat and very little filler. Two of us had baked potatoes (fine) and I honestly don't remember what the third person had for her second side. 
 
But the crab cakes were the main point of the meal, anyway.
 
The waiter also persuaded us to try dessert.  One of us had the bread pudding; the second had key lime pie; I had a homemade apple "crostata" with ice cream.  Everyone enjoyed his/her desssert; I thought my crostata was outstanding -- excellent crust and not-too-sweet apples, with caramel sauce on the ice cream.
 
I thought the food was very reasonably priced.  The service was great and, although I gather there have been some complaints about cleanliness in the past, I saw no problems at all with that on this visit.  
 
Our hotel sent the van back to fetch us, so getting back and forth was both painless and free.
 
I would certainly go back to Timbuktu.  One of my dining companions said she would stick with me for restaurant recommendations in the future.
 
 
 
post edited by rumaki - 2014/02/28 13:42:11
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    EdSails
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    Re:Crab Cakes at Timbuktu 2014/02/28 13:21:22 (permalink)
    Sounds like a perfect crab cake to me!
    #2
    chewingthefat
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    Re:Crab Cakes at Timbuktu 2014/02/28 13:24:28 (permalink)
    I cannot believe I've never heard of it, sounds like I need to make a relatively short trip!
    #3
    harriet1954
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    Re:Crab Cakes at Timbuktu 2014/02/28 13:26:54 (permalink)
    When they're in season, that seems like the perfect place to enjoy soft shell crabs! To me, there's nothing better than blue crabs from Maryland (and nearby states with crabbing waters!). Your review was good reading.
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    Greymo
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    Re:Crab Cakes at Timbuktu 2014/02/28 13:28:59 (permalink)
    This is good news!  I was there about 8 years ago and the place was really dirty!  There certainly were no white tablecloths and the carpeting was filthy. My companion ate but I just could not, so pretended to eat a cup of soup.
     
    I am so happy that it has changed.  It is  closer to us then G and M; so will have to go there the next time, we want crab cakes.
    post edited by Greymo - 2014/02/28 13:30:23
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    eruby
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    Re:Crab Cakes at Timbuktu 2014/02/28 14:57:33 (permalink)
    chewingthefat

    I cannot believe I've never heard of it, sounds like I need to make a relatively short trip!
    PM me when you go, I will make every effort to meet you there.

    Greymo

    This is good news!  I was there about 8 years ago and the place was really dirty!  There certainly were no white tablecloths and the carpeting was filthy. My companion ate but I just could not, so pretended to eat a cup of soup.

    I am so happy that it has changed.  It is  closer to us then G and M; so will have to go there the next time, we want crab cakes.
    Some years ago, they were raided by Immigration.  I don't recall if they closed for any length of time.
    I always liked their crab cakes, andthey also had an excellent Maryland crab soup. The only thing I ever had there I didn't like was key lime pie.  It had that electric green, jello/pudding filler and was a complete failure. 
    #6
    rumaki
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    Re:Crab Cakes at Timbuktu 2014/03/03 11:51:42 (permalink)
    I didn't have the key lime pie this trip, but one of my dining companions did.  It looked like "real" key lime pie to me -- pale yellow, not green at all.  I didn't taste it, but he enjoyed it!
     
      
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    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Crab Cakes at Timbuktu 2014/03/03 16:53:13 (permalink)
    This summer Southwest will be allowed to fly direct to BWI from Love Field.  I'm thinking a G&M, Timbucktu, and Orioles-Rangers weekend may be in order.
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    eruby
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    Re:Crab Cakes at Timbuktu 2014/03/04 07:56:49 (permalink)
    rumaki
     
    I didn't have the key lime pie this trip, but one of my dining companions did.  It looked like "real" key lime pie to me -- pale yellow, not green at all.  I didn't taste it, but he enjoyed it!

     
    rumaki, I am glad to read they have switched to 'real' Key Lime pie.
     
    MetroplexJim

    This summer Southwest will be allowed to fly direct to BWI from Love Field.  I'm thinking a G&M, Timbucktu, and Orioles-Rangers weekend may be in order.

    MetroplexJim, as with chewingthefat above, if you'd like some RoadFood company, PM me if your trip comes to be and I will make every effort to join in this great plan!

    #9
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Crab Cakes at Timbuktu 2014/03/04 08:07:51 (permalink)
    rumaki 
    One of my dining companions said she would stick with me for restaurant recommendations in the future.

    Don't you love hearing that! 
     
    Thanks so much for this report.  With Timbuktu being very close to where my family is from (Cousin Johnny lives less than ten minutes from there), I had also heard great things about the place.  But, it is so hard to pull myself away from such a sure thing like G & M.  Now you have given me a reason to do both!
    #10
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