My job took us on a trip to Tangier Island, VA to pick up recaptured blue crabs from the local waterman. It is in the Chesapeake Bay, 11 miles off the shore of Crisfield, MD. We boarded the Steven Thomas in Crisfield, MD arms full with crab gear and tourist supplies. It is a lovely ride to and from accross Tangier Sound. We even got to see a pod of dolphins for just $27 per person.
Upon arrival, we met with my dude and I swapped him some cash for a crab. He and a guy in a boat (the mayor) said we couldn’t go wrong with any of the options, but recommended Fisherman’s Corner (partially because the mayor’s wife runs it).
I knew going into this trip what I was getting, a crab cake of course. How could I not? I ordered the crab cake sandwich with a side of crabby fries (extra), which came to about $15. The fries were thick and seemed homemade, not just pulled out of the freezer. They were naturally tossed in Old Bay and fried to my liking (soft, but crispy outside). I opted for the sandwich as it was the cheaper way to go for basically the same meal. I skipped the bun part and just ate the patty. It was lightly browned on either side and stuffed full of crab. It was served with cocktail sauce (not my favorite), so I ate it just plain. Some cakes are all filler and no meat, but this was the opposite. It was all crab, even some larger chunks. Not to mention it was most certainly Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab meat. It was a good size crab cake both in diameter and thickness, definitely one of the better ones I have had.
He doesn’t like seafood (I know he has no idea what he is missing with his limited pallet), but he was able to find something tasty on the menu. He ordered the pulled pork sandwich. It was served oozing out of the bun. Before he could pick it up, he had to eat some off the top. But it did taste better in the bun. For it being a seafood restaurant and nothing close to a BBQ joint. We can honestly say it was decent. It was definitely more on the saucy side than most BBQ establishments. But as a whole, if you are not a fan of seafood and need an alternative on the menu, this is a good bet! I don’t remember how much his sandwich was, but most likely around the $12 mark plus or minus.
The service was good and the people were super friendly. Many were curious about my crab exchange over lunch and wanted to know more about the project. The restaurant was full of both locals and those straight off the boat. The mayor even stopped in to check on things and was shaking people’s hands. The inside decor was bay themed. Clean crab pots in the corners with buoys and fake crabs/fish hanging on the walls.
Tangier is a place where everyone knows everyone and they seem to support the visitors (which help keep money coming in, I am sure). In general, everyone was very friendly and there to lend a helping hand. With a population of roughly 730 people and 1.2 square miles of land (reference), it would be hard not to. We rented a golf cart for roughly an hour and saw pretty much everything there is to see, but still wished we had some more time. Though it is not a big place, there is a lot going on: the dialect, homes built on the marsh with cemeteries in their front yard, boats. It is a self sustaining community that probably works harder than most of us and appreciates everything they have.