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
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.
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.