Crabcake Smackdown - G&M vs Faidleys - Jan 2008

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The Travelin Man
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2008/01/03 11:46:45 (permalink)

Crabcake Smackdown - G&M vs Faidleys - Jan 2008

I don't have the pictures downloaded off of my camera yet, so this is just a teaser for what is coming down the pike.

Yesterday, I met i95 and signman for lunch at G&M Restaurant in Lithicum Heights. I had a great time catching up with signman and meeting i95 for the first time. He's really not half the jerk he comes across as here!

After our group outing, signman agreed to show me around Lexington Market, but i95 had to pass. I did hit Faidley's - and only in the interest of science did I agree to have another crabcake. I actually had to wait until we were ready to leave the market, as I was still pretty stuffed from G&M.

Anyway, the official crabcake Smackdown is over - and a winner has been declared - but, you'll need to tune in later (or bribe signman to tell you) to find out the winner when I get the photos off of my camera!
#1

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    divefl
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    RE: Crabcake Smackdown - G&M vs Faidleys - Jan 2008 2008/01/03 12:22:43 (permalink)
    tease
    #2
    mayor al
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    RE: Crabcake Smackdown - G&M vs Faidleys - Jan 2008 2008/01/03 15:03:35 (permalink)
    Steve,
    A word of advice... "It's not a good Idea to bait the man who controls the main North-South Highway on the left coast." I-95 has a history of following up on flame-posts with gift-packs of Broasted grasshoppers and other such items for future Roadfood Doorprizes. Beware when you come to Mobile that he may have arranged for a "payback"!!

    I like the crabcakes at both places...my preference for G & M is based on the comfort of sitting while eating a "regular" meal, as opposed to standing at a "snack-table" to chow down on the cake while getting ready for the next move in the Lexington Market.
    #3
    The Travelin Man
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    RE: Crabcake Smackdown - G&M vs Faidleys - Jan 2008 2008/01/07 00:05:54 (permalink)
    Towards the bottom of[url='http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=23871&whichpage=2']this page[/url], i95 gives the write up for the days activities at G&M Restaurant.

    The first order of business were the fabulous G&M onion rings!



    This plate of rings (appetizer size) runs all of $3.50. It would not be an exaggeration to claim that these are a bargain at twice the price.

    But, we all know that those onion rings are just filler here. The star of this show is the crab cakes.

    signman ordered this fine looking plate of food:



    i95 ordered this:



    And, I had this:





    Here's the scoop on these cakes. I have had these in the restaurant and I have had them shipped to me for home heating. Both are delicious, but the ones in the restaurant are exceptional. There are HUGE lumps of crab bound together by the most minimal filler I have ever seen. I have seen those that claim that there is too much filler in these crab cakes - well, the three of us all agreed that there is no more filler there than is needed to bind the crab cake together.

    G&M does a good bit of business, but their service has always been professional and efficient. The seating can be a little cramped, but they are doing some renovations that will hopefully alleviate some of that. But, the best thing about this particular meal - these crab cake sandwiches (which is the only way that they sell their single crab cake at lunch) is an absolute steal at just $12 - and that includes fries.

    signman was gracious enough to cart me over to Lexington Market to hit Faidley's Seafood for the other contender for best crab cake in Baltimore.



    These pictures came out a little dark. I am still learning my new machine and the Market is naturally dark.

    Here's the crab cake:



    Howard's recollection is that the cakes available on this day were bigger than he had remembered them. Recalling previous reviews, I, too, remember people saying that the crab cakes here are smaller than one might find at some of the less well-known establishments. I think it was definitely smaller than G&M, but overwhelmingly so. The crab cake tasted just as good as the one at G&M - there were about the same quantity/quality of lump meat - and also a minimal amount of filler.



    OK...so, what separates the two? First, it has to be the service.



    These are cooked crab cakes waiting to be ordered at Faidley's. I don't know the procedure at G&M, but watching them pull a cooked crab cake off of this tray and nuking it in the microwave for a couple of minutes does not evoke the image of a GREAT dining experience. Howard also told me that he has had previous experience where the cake was not cooked all the way through after the microwaving process. My cake was cooked through, but was not evenly heated by any means. Even beyond the cooking/re-heating process, there was something left to be desired for the service. The employees seemed disinterested, at best (one was on the cell phone almost the whole time we were waiting to be served, one was munching on some shrimp). There was a delay in the preparation of my meal on top of that. It was just disorganized. We came at an off time of day, so maybe they are better when they are busier and HAVE to be more on their toes. And, as Al mentioned, one needs to eat on their feet at Faidley's, as there is no seating. I am probably a member of the crowd who believes that eating a hot dog on your feet for a couple of bucks is OK, but if I am plunking down about $20/meal, I don't think a seat is too much to ask for.

    Lastly, the a la carte crab cake was more expensive than the full meal at G&M. I am sure that with Faidley's reputation for smaller crab cakes, the difference in price should be even more pronounced on days when there may be less similarities in size.



    So...the result?



    In my mind, there is no comparison. The proximity to the airport (where I am likely to be more than downtown Baltimore), the service, the sit-down nature of the restaurant, broader menu for land-lovers, and the price all point to G&M Restaurant as the clear winner!

    Feel free to add your comments below. If there is a better crab cake, I'd like to know where to find it.
    #4
    MiamiDon
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    RE: Crabcake Smackdown - G&M vs Faidleys - Jan 2008 2008/01/07 08:16:14 (permalink)
    Nobody went for the racoon or muskrat?
    #5
    TJ Jackson
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    RE: Crabcake Smackdown - G&M vs Faidleys - Jan 2008 2008/01/07 09:12:45 (permalink)
    Muskrat and raccoon is more a Michigan thing....in Maryland, it's crabcakes
    #6
    signman
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    RE: Crabcake Smackdown - G&M vs Faidleys - Jan 2008 2008/01/07 09:45:38 (permalink)
    No, Faidley's has a very prominently displayed sign offering Racoon and Muskrat, but sadly there didn't seem to be any available on the day of our visit.
    #7
    TJ Jackson
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    RE: Crabcake Smackdown - G&M vs Faidleys - Jan 2008 2008/01/07 10:57:08 (permalink)
    Ah, I see it now

    #8
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Crabcake Smackdown - G&M vs Faidleys - Jan 2008 2008/01/07 12:22:56 (permalink)
    A definate pass on the muskrat and raccoon but I would like to try the smelt.

    G & M's crab cakes looked much better than the other place.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #9
    TerpsSkinsFan
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    RE: Crabcake Smackdown - G&M vs Faidleys - Jan 2008 2008/01/11 14:38:42 (permalink)
    How about Timbuktu in Hanover, Romano's in Glen Burnie or Hella's in Millersville? All three serve crabcakes that emerged from the same longtime Stavlas'family recipe used at G & M's; however, each establishment has tweeked the recipe just a bit over the years, resulting in subtle differences in the crabcakes served at the 4 different establishments. Bottomline, all four are better than any microwaved crabcake from Faidley's! That's nothing short of pathetic.
    #10
    mollydingle
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    RE: Crabcake Smackdown - G&M vs Faidleys - Jan 2008 2008/01/12 16:58:27 (permalink)
    I have to confess, on our last trip to Balmer last September, we preferred G&M because it is a real sit down place. We also liked Gunning's as well.
    Sorry about the typing-I have a broken wrist.
    #11
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Crabcake Smackdown - G&M vs Faidleys - Jan 2008 2008/01/12 17:17:20 (permalink)
    There's nothing wrong with your typing, but I hope your wrist heals quickly. It's been years since my last broken wrist, but I still remember what a bother it was.
    #12
    eatingteam
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    RE: Crabcake Smackdown - G&M vs Faidleys - Jan 2008 2008/01/15 21:23:49 (permalink)
    Agree whole heartedley

    G&M without a doubt...


    Tony

    Signman when can we get you up in Philly / New York to return the favor
    #13
    i95
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    RE: Crabcake Smackdown - G&M vs Faidleys - Jan 2008 2008/02/13 09:21:20 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by The Travelin Man

    I had a great time catching up with signman and meeting i95 for the first time. He's really not half the jerk he comes across as here!


    Um, thanks. I think.
    #14
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Crabcake Smackdown - G&M vs Faidleys - Jan 2008 2008/03/03 14:56:33 (permalink)
    I ate at both G & M (Friday night) and Faidley's (Saturday morning) over the weekend and thought that they were both outstanding crabcakes. For similar reasons as Travelin Man mentioned, I am going to give the advantage to G & M. My cousin, on the other hand, thinks that Faidley's is better.

    In his trip report, Akavar mentioned that some in his party received crabcakes from Faidley's with a "wet" center, but we didn't experience this.

    If I can, I will post some photos later tonight.
    #15
    The Travelin Man
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    RE: Crabcake Smackdown - G&M vs Faidleys - Jan 2008 2008/03/04 09:38:24 (permalink)
    Please post photos from Faidley's. If you took them in a broom closet with no flash, they'd have to be better than mine!
    #16
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Crabcake Smackdown - G&M vs Faidleys - Jan 2008 2008/03/04 10:05:08 (permalink)
    TTM-
    Thanks for the reminder. Here are a few from Faidley's.


    I had the exact opposite problem as you. My G & M photos didn't turn out too well.

    One other photo from Faidley's. They still had a 2007 Baltimore Orioles schedule up and it had this scribbled over top.

    As a Pirate fan, I can relate!!!

    #17
    The Travelin Man
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    RE: Crabcake Smackdown - G&M vs Faidleys - Jan 2008 2008/03/04 10:15:56 (permalink)
    Between us, it looks like we can make one decent trip report!
    #18
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Crabcake Smackdown - G&M vs Faidleys - Jan 2008 2008/03/04 10:18:19 (permalink)
    Travelin Man-
    I think you are right. Of course, it didn't help that when I came back from the bathroom at G & M, my cousin had eaten all of the onion rings, but two. A photo of two onion rings sitting on a platter, isn't too impressive.
    #19
    signman
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    RE: Crabcake Smackdown - G&M vs Faidleys - Jan 2008 2008/06/24 10:03:00 (permalink)
    Had dinner at G&M on Saturday evening. The makeover is just about finished and you would never recognize the place. New entrance with waiting area, new bar with TV's everywhere, second dining level, whole place really gussied up, but still using the same tacky paper placemats with advertising. Prices are the same for now. Chatted with one of the managers (on the job only about 6 weeks, moved down from Philly, a pro) said prices will probably go up about a buck across the board when everything is completed, and seating capacity is about 300. Answer to how many crabcakes they serve, about 12,000 a week; they go thru 6,000 pounds of crab meat a week. One of my dinner companions ordered veal parmigiana, think of one of those chicken fried steaks that hangs over the side of the plate. Huge portions here, great value. Hope to meet oneiron there beginning of July.
    #20
    MetroplexJim
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    RE: Crabcake Smackdown - G&M vs Faidleys - Jan 2008 2008/06/24 10:27:19 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by signman

    Had dinner at G&M on Saturday evening. The makeover is just about finished and you would never recognize the place. New entrance with waiting area, new bar with TV's everywhere, second dining level, whole place really gussied up, but still using the same tacky paper placemats with advertising. Prices are the same for now. Chatted with one of the managers (on the job only about 6 weeks, moved down from Philly, a pro) said prices will probably go up about a buck across the board when everything is completed, and seating capacity is about 300. Answer to how many crabcakes they serve, about 12,000 a week; they go thru 6,000 pounds of crab meat a week. One of my dinner companions ordered veal parmigiana, think of one of those chicken fried steaks that hangs over the side of the plate. Huge portions here, great value. Hope to meet oneiron there beginning of July.


    We moved to Dallas from McLean, VA over three years ago. The best crabcakes we had were from Angelina's in Baltimore http://www.angelinasofbaltimore.com/ and Fred's in Parole (Annapolis). Fred's closed a while back; is Angelina's still as good as ever? We're planning a trip back to D.C. this summer and a premium crab cake is definitely on the agenda.

    BTW: the only decent crabcake in Dallas is at our local Oceanaire.
    #21
    i95
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    RE: Crabcake Smackdown - G&M vs Faidleys - Jan 2008 2008/06/24 13:25:42 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by signman
    One of my dinner companions ordered veal parmigiana...


    Egads! At G&M? " /> Home of the best crabcakes in the world?? I hope you made him or her pick-up the entire tab that evening.
    #22
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Crabcake Smackdown - G&M vs Faidleys - Jan 2008 2008/06/24 13:32:07 (permalink)
    i95-
    I have lots of family, including my grandmother, who live ten minutes away from G & M, who have never been there because they don't like crabcakes! Can you imagine?
    #23
    KOK
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    RE: Crabcake Smackdown - G&M vs Faidleys - Jan 2008 2008/06/24 13:43:07 (permalink)
    The veal parm is excellent at G & M, as are the crabcakes, and all the entrees I've had. I almost always get at least one crabcake, but have never been disappointed with anything ordered, though their Md style (tomato base) crab is not among my favorites. Often too bland.

    Kevin
    #24
    signman
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    RE: Crabcake Smackdown - G&M vs Faidleys - Jan 2008 2008/06/24 18:24:40 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by i95

    quote:
    Originally posted by signman
    One of my dinner companions ordered veal parmigiana...


    Egads! At G&M? " /> Home of the best crabcakes in the world?? I hope you made him or her pick-up the entire tab that evening.


    This guy just flat our doesn't eat any kind of seafood, but he did clean out the Royal Farms of all their Berger Cookies, so don't be so hard on him. And yes, as a matter of fact, he did pick up the check (actually it was his boss' card).
    #25
    signman
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    RE: Crabcake Smackdown - G&M vs Faidleys - Jan 2008 2008/06/24 18:26:31 (permalink)
    Oh, and they are now using beepers to alert you when your table is ready.
    #26
    Oneiron339
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    RE: Crabcake Smackdown - G&M vs Faidleys - Jan 2008 2008/06/25 07:25:23 (permalink)
    OK, Howard, unless you come up with a super salad and sandwich place between BWI and Lancaster, we'll meet you at G&M. Send me a PM w/ your cell # and we'll call when we arrive.
    #27
    mayor al
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    RE: Crabcake Smackdown - G&M vs Faidleys - Jan 2008 2008/06/26 08:44:34 (permalink)

    1-Iron,
    Trust me, Signman won't lead you wrong with this one. The Crabcake is an experience not to be passed by!
    #28
    Oneiron339
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    RE: Crabcake Smackdown - G&M vs Faidleys - Jan 2008 2008/06/26 16:01:17 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen


    1-Iron,
    Trust me, Signman won't lead you wrong with this one. The Crabcake is an experience not to be passed by!

    Al, we've had them and they are wonderful.....just wanted to try someplace else. But if nothing interesting presents itself, we'll gladly hit the G&M.
    #29
    MetroplexJim
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    RE: Crabcake Smackdown - G&M vs Faidleys - Jan 2008 2009/07/13 09:03:50 (permalink)
    Ever since I first read this thread I've had my mouth set for a G&M crabcake.  Yesterday, Mrs. Metro and I visited G&M.
     
    The crabcakes definitely did not disappoint.  We only had to drive 40 miles, but the crabcakes at G&M are worth a 100 mile pilgrimage!
    #30
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