When laid out item by item, Lucky Inn's lunch and dinner menus could possibly span the entire length of the Great Wall of China. The lengthy lists keep the eatery’s chefs busy crafting favorites such as general tso’s chicken, beef with broccoli, and shrimp in garlic sauce, as well as noodle dishes of the lo mein, chow mein, and chow fun varieties. Meat-free fare arrives in the form of orange-flavored tofu and sautéed snow peas, harvested by ski instructors during slow days.
The esculent artisans at The Olive Tree serenade diners with an extensive menu celebrating seafood and cuisine inspired by regions all throughout Italy. Evening diners can entice taste buds with comestible selections from a far-reaching dinner menu. Rouse appetites with fresh sautéed mussels reclining in a bath of garlic wine sauce ($10.59) before chowing on ricotta-stuffed baked manicotti ($11.99). Exercise incisors on grilled pork chops Italiano, served with grilled veggies and a side ($14.99) or crash a shrimp scampi slumber party jumping on a bed of linguine ($18.99). All entrees are served with unlimited garden salad and enough breadsticks to construct an edible scale model of Michelangelo's David. The dinner menu is rounded out by a variety of homemade desserts, including homemade cannoli ($4.95) and tiramisu ($4.95).
Conrad's Crabs puts the locally caught moneycrabs where its customers' ravenous mouths are as they live up to their "We catch our own" slogan. Waterman Tony Conrad brings in as much seafood as Poseidon allows, from crabs to fresh whole fish (both market price). A fusion of a seafood market and a carryout restaurant, Conrad's has a full menu of locavores' delights. Seafood can be purchased raw or steamed to order, with the fresh-caught fish and crustaceans going for market price daily. Long-standing selections include Conrad's Steamer Combo (six each of jumbo shrimp, oysters, and clams with a pound of mussels, $22.50) and entrees such as fried hard crab ($13.50), six fried oysters ($13.50), and a pint of Maryland crab soup ($5).
Light glints off chrome-plated woks in a glass-enclosed kitchen at the eatery’s center. Patrons look on from a semi-circular sushi bar or the surrounding tiered seats as chefs handcraft Asian dishes ranging from marinated nigiri sushi to the house specialty—vegetarian sweet-and-sour fried chicken. Japanese seaweed salads also emanate from the kitchen alongside Chinese classics such as peking duck and kung pao beef, which warms diners’ insides as effectively as spicy tuna rolls swaddled in tiny afghans. To end meals in style, coconut flan or Chocolate Duo Mocesse trip lightly across the tastebuds.
Instead of limiting themselves to one type of cuisine, S & J Crab Ranch has included two of their favorites—Maryland seafood and southern barbecue. Local flavors pile up at the raw bar, where diners can order gulf shrimp by the pound or plates of clams and seasoned mussels; however, as the restaurant’s name implies, crabs are the signature item. They can be steamed and served whole, as jumbo lump crab cakes, or in a creamy soup spiked with a bit of sherry.
Of course, the seafood seeps into the southern-inspired meals as well. A selection of classic southern sandwiches includes fried catfish with creole mustard. Regional cuisine builds out the rest of the menu, giving diners options such as slow-cooked Texas brisket, Carolina-style pulled pork, and st. louis ribs rubbed with secret spices. Even the classic American dishes take cues from S & J’s penchant for the ocean—fresh crab meat bulks up the mac ‘n’ cheese, and pulled pork and barbecue sauce enhance a pile of nachos.
Anyone can offer crabs on a menu, but it’s what you do with them that counts. Luckily for diners, what The Crackpot does with them has, according to Baltimore magazine, become "a Baltimore tradition to appreciate." A full-service bar helps customers wash back these tender crab morsels, which are still cooked according to The Crackpot's original recipe.
Though the five-page menu has expanded to include steak, prime rib, burgers, wings, pasta, soups, and a kids' menu, not much has changed since 1972 in terms of ambiance. The retro crabhouse—decked out with wood shingles and twinkling holiday lights—still has its first crab traps hanging from the walls, sharing space with a 7-foot sailfish and a mounted swordfish. The restaurant also hosts a Heroes Table event, inviting a small group of wounded veterans and their spouses to dine for free once a week.