Howard House Tavern

Craig LaBan heads south to Maryland and visits Howard House Tavern where he finds little to be crabby about.

Just far enough off the beaten track to not be a tourist trap the Howard House Tavern offers plenty of crab in its two floor pre-Civil War corner inn.

There is something thrilling about the intensity of the Maryland style – the jolting contrast of pristinely steamed white crab dipped in the crackling powder of dry and salty spice. And after a couple of practice crabs, once I fell into the zenlike Crab Picker Trance, my fingers were nimbly uncovering cotton ball-sized plumes of sweet meat for the plunge. Soon my lips were numb.

Besides the crabs, the rest of the menu also shines. The filet was a bargain at $17.95 and the deep-fried frog legs were a surprising treat as were the fried-cod fish tacos. The crab-stuffed soft pretzel, “a salty soft twist mounded with cheesey crab and then broiled. It is shockingly good.”

Only the crabcake was a bit of a downer.

Two Bells

Howard House Tavern [Craig LaBan]
Howard House Tavern [Official Site]