Last weekend I took a jaunt down to Baltimore for our friends' wedding at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. There were four couples (including us) who would be making the trip down from NYC and in a stroke of genius (or cheapness), one of our party suggested we rent a cargo van (aka one of those 14 passenger vans that looks kind of like a kidnapper van with more windows) for the trip down. Early Sunday morning we arrived at the rental place ready for our adventure.
But let me back up. One of the members of our group was Chef Josh of the Boyfriend Birthday dinner fame, who the day before had called me to say "Hey I just bought a bunch of concord grapes and I'm about to make some jelly if you want to come over." I, unfortunately had to tutor but caught the end of the jelly making show and now have a beautiful jar of my very own sitting on our counter. In the midst of the jelly making that night, Josh called me into the other room in a very serious tone and showed me a map he had found on roadfood.com of our driving route and all the places we might eat at along the way. Bless his heart. We settled on a place for a lunch of Maryland crabs since how can one go to Baltimore and not eat crabs?? Roadfood suggested OBrycki's which I remembered reading about on one of my fave blogs, The Amateur Gourmet a week earlier. Done and done. The next morning we met up bright and early, and Josh and Kate had brought sullivan street bread for our portable breakfast of baguette smeared with butter and concord-habanero jam. mmm. Also a loaf for the Bride's father. Cute. And off we went!!
Boo: at this point I am bleary with road trip jealousy. I want crabs!! Yeah I said it.
After getting just the tiniest bit lost, we navigated our way to Obrycki's where we shrugged off our slightly less than friendly waitress' suggestion to order a boatload of food for a @#$%ton of money in order to taste everything and instead went for a dozen of the large crabs to share plus some supplemental items to carry us over for the 3 or so hours before we'd be eating. again.
After we donned our bibs, Josh gave us a crash course in how to extract the meat from the beauties which had been plopped down on our paper-covered table. Basically, you have to be ruthless. I found I am not in the least bit squeamish about ripping their backs off and tearing their lungs out. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. They were delicious. Sweet and rich meat eaten with my fingers which were quickly covered in the thick paste of spicy seasoning that clung to the shells. One crab doesn't offer a ton of meat, but it's so rich that I filled up quickly. Of course that may also have something to do with the bag of pretzels I ate in the car, the bowl of creamy clam chowder I shared with the Boyfriend, the pint of Obrycki's lager, and the handful of french fries I had. Oh, and these peel and eat shrimp we ordered....
I realize they don't look like much here but man were they good. Well ordered all around.
And here is some of the destruction I managed to catch with my dirty fingers smearing old bay on my poor camera.
Squeezing into my dress was not exactly what I felt like doing after this meal, but so I did. The wedding was gorgeous. A perfectly beautiful day on the harbor in Baltimore watching the sun set over the happy couple. Joy and love enough to make the very Grinch well up. The party favors were little personalized jars of honey on our tables which certain members of our group opened and poured on the buttered rolls during dinner and then accidentally dropped and smashed one in the museum parking lot and then accidentally dropped and smashed one on the hotel lobby floor around 2 in the morning. Note from Boo: What were they made out of? Crab chips? I danced so much the strap on my dress broke, and had a snack of utz crab chips from our welcome bag before bed. Boo: Crab chips .Ew. Suffice it to say, we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly.
There was much fast food consumed on the ride back to NYC on Monday. It is a sign of my body's desperation for vegetables that I opted for a baked potato at your favorite, Roy Rogers. Boo: You mean the Fixin's Bar didn't help. I didn't think it was possible to make a bad baked potato. Well folks, anything's possible.
Congratulations to Abby and Jeremy!!!!!!!!!!!
P.S. You'll appreciate the fact that our van had been christened with a sticker by the rock band "Jesus Knievel" (self-dubbed "The Nation's Leader in Pelvic Rock") who I think haunted our trip in the form of Nathan's cheese fries and Roy Rogers fried chicken. Though really, what's more rock and roll then crabs? Sorry, I had to. Please do yourself a favor and check out JK's myspace page. In fact, go back right now and play track 1 while you read this post. It'll add a whole new depth to the story.