As strange as it sounds, it’s actually pretty difficult to find Maryland’s famous hard-shell blue crabs in Washington, D.C. Baltimore and Annapolis, of course, are a whole different ball game, but after much searching I was coming up empty-handed in terms of a great off-the-beaten path crab place in or close to our city. Luckily, the Quarterdeck Restaurant in Arlington was suggested, and it was just what I was looking for! Newspaper covering the tables, mallets, and pitchers of beer, this place has it all.
We spent our late summer evening sitting on the enormous patio and feasted on piping hot blue crabs dressed in Old Bay spice. You can order them by the dozen or half-dozen, in four different sizes, or go all out for the all-you-can-eat “crab feast” for $34.95. In addition to steamed crabs, the Quarterdeck’s menu has a healthy variety of surf and turf, including a few vegetarian items (though, fair warning, you might be scrounging a bit). Also highly recommended is the assortment of homemade pies, from key lime to red velvet to an odd yet yummy blueberry cream. And I would like to note that the Quarterdeck is the only restaurant in my recent memory that has draft beer cheaper than bottled beer. There’s something to be said for that, right?!
The location of the Quarterdeck leaves something to be desired, as it is nestled between highways in the condo metropolis that is the Courthouse neighborhood, but in some ways the journey out there adds to the fun. No views of the Bay from this establishment!
I wasn’t aware until I visited that there is actually a season for blue crabs, from April to October (or “Tax Day to Columbus Day” as the website states). So, this post may be a bit late for the year’s catch, but if you can’t make it this summer, file it away for 2011!
To get there: orange line to Courthouse, then a 15 minute walk (with sidewalks most of the time). 1200 Fort Myer Drive, Arlington, Virginia. (703)-528-2722.