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Appeal of larger sized Maryland crab, considering cost?

Can someone explain the appeal of ordering large or jumbo-sized Maryland crab in crabhouses? I understand that the crabmeat to work/effort ratio is much higher, but the price differential seems prohibitive to me, so I'm wondering if I'm not understanding some more nuanced aspects of the appeal.

I view eating Maryland crab as an activity that will be time-consuming and messy, but yield enjoyment of highly flavorful crabmeat. My favorite place to get crab is the Maine Ave Fish Market in DC, where a few months ago, I purchased 2 dozen of the smallest/cheapest crab for $25 (so $12.50/dozen). Recently, I took a visiting friend to eat crab at a Baltimore crabhouse where 1 dozen small crab cost $30, which was still pretty great for being able to sit near the waterfront & enjoy freshly steamed crab (so the price differential for restaurant vs. market setting was worth it to me). Even more recently, I took another friend to a different crabhouse (still a casual setting, brown paper on tables, etc) where a dozen mediums cost $59 and anything larger was even more expensive. Due to the price, we decided against steamed crab and order crabcakes etc instead. I get the sense that those price ranges for larger sizes are fairly standard for the area.

I've seen a number of posts / reviews where people have been fans of ordering jumbo-sized crab, so I'm guessing it's not an uncommon experience. Is crabmeat from a jumbo crab of better quality than that from a small crab?

Although I've never tried jumbo crab, I don't think that I would gain much more enjoyment from eating them vs. the smaller crab, at least not to point of spending $70-$80+ for a dozen.

Any thoughts?

Nov 21, 2012
caffeination in Washington DC & Baltimore

Reverse "Worst Foodie Gifts"

At a past Thanksgiving dinner, the son of a family friend brought a couple bottles of wine from Montepulciano. The older generation at the table expressed how great it was that he brought the wine, took initial sips, proclaimed it "not sweet enough," and promptly mixed it in a 1:1 ratio with Sprite. The look on the son's face was priceless.

Nov 06, 2012
caffeination in Not About Food

Help plan wedding menu -- must be cooked in advance (?) (!)

Suggestions for cold grilled veggies: add asparagus, eggplant, portabello mushrooms, & peppers to the list

For a starch dish, how about an assortment of rolls / sliced bread with a variety of different flavored butters? Or, some sort of chickpea salad. Although you mentioned staying away from potato salad & pasta salad, you could possibly consider cold potato or pasta dishes, just not the standard mayo-based chunky / piecemeal salads. Presentation-wise, sliced small potatoes look nicer than potato chunks and pasta strands or orzo look better than macaroni. Sauces that are vibrant and flavorful, like sour or spicy or both, rather than simply creamy could be interesting. Try sliced baby red potatos with a vinegar / oil based dressing (vs. mayo based) and fresh basil / scallions (had this at a potluck, and don't know what other ingredients were involved in the recipe). Or, a cold noodle dish, like this Hot-and-Sour Soba salad recipe from the NYTimes: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/29/hea...

Random other foods that I think taste good cold:
-tomato caprese salad
-gazpacho
-vietnamese summer rolls (usu. with shrimp or pork
)-sushi

Other suggestions for cold/room temp foods (I cheated and copied them from my old university's catering site, since UMich had pretty decent catering):

Cold Hors d'Oeuvres
# Skewered Filet Mignon with Horseradish & Peapods
# Skewered Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Honey Jalapeno Sauce
# Skewered Lime Chili Chicken with Chipotle Mayonnaise
# Skewered Chicken Satay with Peanut Dipping Sauce
# Shrimp Canaps with Red Pepper Mayo on Cucumber
# Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Canapes on Cucumber
# Beef Tenderloin & Horseradish Canapes on Sliced Potato
# Smoked Salmon & Fresh Dill Cups
# Spicy Shrimp & Sundried Tomato Cups
# Shrimp Tandoori Bites with Raita Sauce
# Chive and Chevre Potato Cups
# Shrimp Cocktail served with Cocktail Sauce
# Smoked Chicken Salad Pte Choux
# Roast Yellow Pepper & Chive Boursin Pte Choux

Platters
-Lavash Pinwheel Platter
* Filled with assorted meats, cheeses and garnishes then rolled and sliced.
-Mini Focaccia Platter
* Miniature focaccia squares topped with pesto, mushroom, fresh mozzarella, roasted pepper, fresh thyme and tomato confit.
-Smoked Salmon Platter
* A side of smoked salmon accompanied by red onion, sliced cucumber, capers and bagel chips. Garnished with piped cream cheese.
-Roast Top Round Platter
* Accompanied by assorted party breads and rolls. Served, sliced, with horseradish-fresh chive sauce, and a roasted garlic and red onion sour cream.

Other
-Spicy Shrimp
* Delicious jumbo shrimp marinated with Asian chili pepper paste, then sauted and chilled. Served with a julienne of sweet colorful peppers and snow peas.
-Asian Vegetable Salad with Grilled Chicken
* Julienned Napa cabbage, snow peas, carrots and scallions tossed with Asian vinaigrette
-Grilled Lime Chili Chicken Salad
* Tender boneless chicken breast seasoned with cumin, chili powder and lime, then grilled and sliced. Served on a bed of assorted greens with red and yellow peppers, vidalia onion and cilantro. Garnished with dried cherries, smoked cheddar, toasted pine nuts and a southwestern ranch dressing.

I hope this gives you some ideas that might be useful!

May 03, 2009
caffeination in Home Cooking

Warm Spinach Salad with Honey-Garlic Vinaigrette

I just made this. All I can say is, be careful. I used rice vinegar instead of cider vinegar and used less oil than called for in the recipe. When I was browning the garlic in the oil, I added the 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar and the whole pan went up in tall flames (there's scorch marks on the fan above the stove now). Pretty startling / scary for making salad dressing! It does taste pretty good though.

Mar 28, 2009
caffeination in Recipes

Whole Foods fired a man for taking a tuna sandwich destined for the trash

The Union Square Whole Foods in New York fired a man for taking a tuna sandwich destined for the trash, which meant he was ineligible for unemployment benefits due to being fired for misconduct.

the NYTimes mentions more here:
http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/200...

What do you think of that?

I personally think that was a bad move on the part of Whole Foods and don't plan to shop there anymore.

What do you think? How significantly do you allow a store or restaurant's policies and/or actions (vs. quality /prices of goods offered) affect your purchasing decisions?

Mar 16, 2009
caffeination in Not About Food

Ordering Off the Kids' Menu

I don't mind buying kid's meals at fast food places, though I would feel a little bad about doing so at a restaurant. In fact, if I'm on the road, and food options are limited, I'll go to Arby's and get a kids meal. they have a mini-turkey sandwhich (I think turkey breast, swiss, bread) along with a side of applesauce (or maybe some other fruit-like option and juice or milk. Far from the most appetizing meal ever, but not bad in comparison to other oil-laden fried options or salads that are difficult to eat in the car (plus still have loads of cheese and other fatty type things in them). If I still have 5 hrs of driving ahead of me, I don't want something grease-laden sitting in my stomach. Plus, I don't like getting overly full since that is just a horrible feeling to have while stuck in a car, driving. Also, the toy is usually not linked to any movie / commercial character and is instead along the educational vein of things, which I appreciate. Last time I got one of those meals, the 'toy' was a mini-board book about the statue of liberty, which I gave to my friend's 2 year old daughter.

Oct 17, 2008
caffeination in Features

Things I ate/drank in college that I will never eat again

i'm not quite out of the drinking disgusting things period of my life. As a med student, i have a shortage of time, money, and standards (when it comes to alcohol, hah). Thus, I guess it may be inappropriate to post as I'm not really sharing what I'll never drink again...as I do drink pretty much anything. Anyhow, thought I'd share in case anyone gets a kick out of it.

Most recent atrocity that comes to mind was drinking straight shots of Seagram's lime-flavored gin with no chasers. I typically hate gin (reminds me of pinesol), but the lime reduced the 'pine-ness' a bit. And the reason I went w/ no chasers? The only available beverage (other than tap water), was a remnant of a bottle of an electrolyte drink (i.e. old generic-branded gatorade but more dilute).

Also on my list:
-straight shots of 114 proof Old Grandad Kentucky Bourbon.
-Bacardi mixed w/ mango juice in an old water bottle (easier to transport).
-Lots of cheap warm beer, especially in plastic cups (usually not all that hygenic after forgetting which cup is yours, or after multiple rounds of beer pong).
-Liter bottles of cheap Mexican beer on the beach.
-40s duct-taped to your hand.

i'm not always THAT bad, more just lack of decent venues + location with horrible weather = people making do with what they have.

Drinks that I consider fun: any sort of "bomb" (sake, car, irish car, jager, etc) or anything that is set on fire and then consumed (flaming lamborghini, flaming dr. pepper, etc).

Oct 05, 2008
caffeination in General Topics

Things I ate/drank in college that I will never eat again

Ack, i remember my dorm days when I missed most meals in the cafeteria (due to a busy and conflicting schedule). I shared a tiny mini-fridge (with an even tinier freezer that didn't work) & microwave and thus most of my food was limited to goods that could be stored without refrigeration. A typical meal would be cereal. Another common meal was canned ready-to-eat soup with a pop-top opening mechanism. I'd bring the can, a plastic spoon, and a disposable microwaveable paper cup with me for the day and microwave the soup wherever I could (usually department lounges). In dire straits, I would consume the soup cold, straight out of the can. My sodium consumption was astronomical.

A 'good' meal was a can of green beans dumped into a microwaveable paper cup, plus sometimes a slice or two of cheap lunchmeat, a sprinkle of garlic salt (if i was being fancy)...microwaved and eaten while walking to class/meetings. Sometimes, I'd have triscuits or other crackers.

Once, I had a craving for something sweet and had mini-marshmallows and nutella on had but no good carbs to put them on. I put them on tortilla chipa, nuked the whole mess, and had 's'more nachos.' Sometimes, I'd have cravings for something salty, and would lick chicken-flavored bouillion cubes.

As for caffeine-habits, coffee wasn't a good option for keeping steadily caffeinated throughout the day (would taste nasty when it was 12 hrs old). Instead, I bought lo-carb Monster or sugar-free Red Bull by the case, would empty a can into a nalgene bottle, and sip it throughout the day. I did that daily for one particularly harsh semester.

post-undergrad, I spent some glorious foodie time in Philly working (and eating!). TIme + money + availability of cheap good ethnic food, fine dining at times, and Reading Terminal Market = amazing. I would even make my own greek yogurt & paneer cheese from raw milk from the Amish dairy stand in Reading Terminal Market.

Since then, I have regressed into horrible eating habits due to returning to school and moving to the Midwest (no time + no money + no availability of much that's good). Cereal is now a part of my everyday meal options. Sigh. I just hope that I don't fall into even worse eating habits. I know someone whose diet during his third year of medical school (spent eternally in the hospital) consisted solely of graham crackers / saltines & small cans of juice/soda pop that can be found in hospital floor 'pantries.'

Sep 02, 2008
caffeination in General Topics

Culinary Market in Rochester, MN

It's a great little shop. I bought some dolce gorgonzola and organic 'nutella' there recently. It's small, but what it has there seems to be of great quality.

Aug 24, 2008
caffeination in General Midwest Archive

2008 MN State Fair

Mmm, I went to the MN state fair yesterday for the first time. Went with 6 friends and we shared:

-jumbo 1919 root beer
-mouth trap cheese curds with ketchup
-liquid nitrogen ice cream
-honey sunflower seed ice scream sundae (my favorite!)
-apple cider pops
-64 oz bucket of fresh cut french fries
-4 dozen bucket of Sweet Martha's chocolate chip cookies (ended up taking most of them home)

Aug 24, 2008
caffeination in Minneapolis-St. Paul