Coming ashore on Fort Avenue at Captain Larry’s for a famous South Baltimore ‘cake

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Mara Householder of Captain Larry’s shares a crab cake and tells Nestor about the history of her family’s South Baltimore pub on the road to Fort McHenry.


crab cake, crab, people, capillaries, baltimore, eat, delicious, chris, bar, mahi, tartar sauce, place, tartar, narragansett, captain, signed, greek salad, fried, called, friends


Nestor Aparicio, Mara Householder

Nestor Aparicio  00:00

What about W en st Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive. I want to say this before I get to the crabcake tour. We’re here at capillaries. We’re down in Federal Hill, so brought to you by the Maryland lottery to friends and win their nation. I will always remember where I was. When Lamar Jackson signed the five year extension with the Baltimore Ravens. It was right here Catholic, the crabcakes started in there in the oven, and Lamar wasn’t signed. And by the time the crabcake gets to me, Lamar is a raven for life. How about that? So, Todd Schuler, you get 10 points in a great memory for being here, Maurice. Here, Mr. householder as of 17 years down here on Fourth Avenue, the Narragansett sign outside has always made me want to come in and get the official beer of the clam. This is my first ever Narragansett Did you inherit it with a sign on the door?


Mara Householder  00:52

No, no, no, that was that was something that we got when we started

Nestor Aparicio  00:58

was sort of the natty boh of New England. Yeah, it has a similar body and flavor and characteristics of all that.

Mara Householder  01:05

And also interesting fact is that was the beer that the captain was drinking when he was eaten by the shark.

Nestor Aparicio  01:13


In Jaws,

Mara Householder  01:14

right? Because it was the New England drink in the Narragansett. All

Nestor Aparicio  01:17

right, well, they’re against beer in the sign is outside, but they’ll give you any kind of beer you want. So I come at this honest I wanted to do the crab cake tour about three years ago during the play. And I thought of being in places like this, like every local bar and gundogs I’m from Dundalk had a crab cake. And they were all pretty good. And I always say I grew up poor with claw meat, my mom would CHEO it all out and put a cell receipt and Mustermann and fry it pan fried would come at me like a little hockey puck. And for the first 25 years of my life, that was a crabcake right? I mean, whether you went to Rosses, or the Crowle in or Cheerios or ever all of these local bars not dissimilar to capillaries had a crappy. I wasn’t old enough in the 70s 80s to be down south ballbar. But I’m assuming every place down here out of crabcake to

Mara Householder  02:05

probably Yeah, you’re probably right. Yeah,


Nestor Aparicio  02:08

I mean, you know, and it wasn’t a Gucci product. It wasn’t right, but it still being the most expensive thing on your menu. But it wasn’t $50 a pound. It wasn’t like that. It wasn’t that kind of delicacy. It was a local tradition and doing it in places like this. So Chris pica, my dear friend from West Baltimore, moved to Atlanta and New Orleans bourbon everywhere. He moved back to Baltimore during the plague two years ago, and he moved a block and a half away from you. And when I started the crabcake tour first things you gotta gotta capillaries I’m like, I tried by their all time it didn’t see crabcakes outside it it says beer it says it says New England beer. And I said I’ve been in there for beer before anyone know they had a crab cake. He’s like the best crab cake. You know, you gotta get it. You gotta go there. So he started on me about a year and a half ago to come up and then Victoria August is your friend and my friend as well. She was here on on St. Patrick’s Day and I in earnest said I hear they got a great craft. DJ, you gotta get you tomorrow. You got to come to the crab game. So here we are. It’s been a lovely, lovely day. I want to thank all of our guests that have been a part of the show today. Todd Shula was here and that moment momentous moment at 420 on draft day when the Ravens signed Lamar Jackson so but also Shana tobac was here Chris real also and but I want to have you we’re gonna have the crab cake here give me the story of this place because this is a traditional brick row house corner South Baltimore boys have always been a bar

Mara Householder  03:32

it has been for a long time like but definitely our lifetime my lifetime your lifetime but um so what Captain Larry’s was probably started like maybe 40 or 50 years ago Captain Larry there was a captain there was a captain there is actually is a captain Larry Okay, and he opened up this corner bar it was a very policeman friendly place. As a matter of fact, there are bullet holes in the ceiling over there from a bunch of policemen doing target shooting. Trying to get closest to the pin because these are 10 ceilings. So there are holes in the ceiling. Okay. Check that out. Yeah. So anyway so capillary ended and when capillary did I used to work for him once in a while so

Nestor Aparicio  04:24

he’s in the 60s 70s 80s or nurses the 80s 90s 90s Okay, all right. Fair enough.

Mara Householder  04:29


Yeah, I mean, I was think 5060 years yeah, do the

Nestor Aparicio  04:32

math me out Yeah, yeah. Yeah, like when I hear a song that say to look at this queen belt buckle here. I wear these it’s a 45 years old. Yeah. And I’m like, exactly. I shaved for 40 I shaved for 55 But but but there is you know, there’s a period where the arrows change and every bar 10 list is a family owned plays changes hands and then you get to envision a new dream what what right what is Captain Where’s

Mara Householder  04:58

so I I love this one. So I said to Captain Larry, if you ever want to sell this place, I would like to have first right of refusal. And so he agreed to that. And then a couple of years later, Tim wisdom did from Little Havana has offered him to buy the place. And Captain Larry said, Mara has first right and him and I were good friends. Tim asked me if I was in if I was interested. And at that point, I had just bought a house. So I had didn’t have the means to do that. So Tim buys it. And he completely renovated the whole place.

Nestor Aparicio  05:31

So it didn’t look like this.


Mara Householder  05:33

God at all. And after he renovates it, he decides that he doesn’t want to another bar. So he approaches me and my brother and I decided at that point. Okay, we’re ready to start. And so here we are. It’s a real family bar. Yeah. The two of us.

Nestor Aparicio  05:52

Well, I almost came down on St. Patrick’s Day. You guys had some delicious looking corned beef again, I know to hang out for that. But I hit Victoria that day. And she said I’ll get you here for the crab cake. Chris loves your crab cake. I know a lot when I said I was coming here. Lots people said Ah, you found one of the gems one of those sorts of places. Not talking about with faith. These are Pappus or causes other places, but a real neighborhood place and I’m always in search of more of these recipe guy that was your recipe mom’s Larry’s was

Mara Householder  06:23

actually Captain Larry’s but I have tweaked it a little bit, just a tiny bit, just to give it a little and a little Latvian loving, a Latvian love and why Latvian love it because my brother and I are Latvian. So we like Latvia.

Nestor Aparicio  06:39


Is that is that I used to go Leviticus or is that there’s that and Latvia, Lithuania, Lithuania and Vicus right, our neighbors and honestly a lot of bars had that sort of a minty kind of thing writers know, it’s

Mara Householder  06:52

like I’ve had it before. It tastes like Christmas. It’s like really cinnamon and honey. Yes. It tastes like Chris. Okay.

Nestor Aparicio  07:00

All right. Yeah, drop. I’ve had we back in the 90s. I’ve been on radio 31 years. People started talking about Reebok when you talk with his Vicus some people call it Leviticus or whatever. And I said what is this but people South Baltimore and West Baltimore knew what it was found a Lithuanian brownie and not Latvian. But they’re they’re similar foods.

Mara Householder  07:20

There are brothers and sisters to the south.


Nestor Aparicio  07:22

Right on. Okay, so you would vinicky sent here? No, no, no,

Mara Householder  07:27

no. Yeah. Mom’s Okay. Mas. Okay. And Chris makes it there.

Nestor Aparicio  07:32

So that’s why man I saw I’m not I’m not that far off. All right. Well, crazy to think that. I don’t want to sound stupid. We’re capillaries. Maurice here. 17 years of being here. Now the unique part of your joint board games, right. And this menu of unique things. Chris came in my first guest he had like pita chips with lamb was very Greek sort of it was Mediterranean

Mara Householder  07:56


is the Euro DEP. So it’s basically a deconstructed Euro.

Nestor Aparicio  07:59

I saw that it looked delicious. Ah, here comes the crab cake. Look out just in time. Turbines butcher brothers. You know, he’s he’s camera shy. We’re gonna bring them on wave. How about that? Because he’s a part of this too. I’ve seen her work. He’s slinging his crab cake for me. Yeah, he’s

Mara Householder  08:14

he’s good at that.

Nestor Aparicio  08:15

So you’re you’re a broil crab,


Mara Householder  08:17

silent partner.

Nestor Aparicio  08:19

Silent and off camera as well. This is the captain Larry’s crabcake I you know you can get this a lot of different ways and I guess traditional in Baltimore be French fries and coleslaw. Right? But you offer me a Greek salad and I’m, I’m not Greek but I got a Greek name. I never turned down a Greek salad was one of the popular sellers. You’re telling me about your menu a little bit here. So

Mara Householder  08:40

typically, the the fish tacos are pretty popular. They’re Baja style. And the fish sandwich which is an aisle Murata fish sandwich. So there’s this place in Murata and it’s called mics and they have

Nestor Aparicio  09:01


foreign to the keys. Yeah, I’ve only been as far as Key Largo. I’ve never been to Key West.

Mara Householder  09:05

They sell this fish sandwich. So it’s bait fish. Mahi. Right. Well, ours is with mine. Okay. And then it has American cheese, tomato, mayonnaise and pickles. It sounds very weird, but it and it’s on wheat toast. It sounds very weird, but it is delicious. It’s like one of those things. When I say to somebody trust it, trust me, and I’ve never ever ever had any complaints.

Nestor Aparicio  09:32

Well, I’ve been doing this crabcake tour long enough. And I’ve been eating food on the radio for 31 years. I I had Shannon here. She used to bring me rusty scupper food. 20 years ago, she worked with Ross. He’s got pro Fridays. They were sponsoring us. I was I’ve been in Maui for the last 10 days. And I’m going to share this video because I made a video of this. I went four years ago to this little humble fish market on the northwest side of the island. It’s just in a strip mall. And I looked it up was highly rated and I thought I’ll go in a fresh market. I got the macadamia nut Mahi and they serve it with fresh pineapple salsa. And they serve its Hawaii, Robert rice and they give you a blob of macaroni salad the way we do cole slaw here. I thought for years it was the greatest thing I’ve ever tasted. It was the best thing I’ve ever gotten in a box for sure because it’s carry out joint. And I ate this thing and I went back last week and I did it again. But it’s Mahi Mahi is somebody I go in restaurants and I see it on the menu. I never order it right. It’s such a delicious fish. And it’s a versatile fish a lot of different I’ve never I’ve never thought about it on a sandwich to me. It’s sort of a delicate it’s a played like a crab cake. I wouldn’t put it on a sandwich. It’s delicate, you know, but ma he’s a delicious fish. And that’s what you’re doing on your sandwich. It is good. What else we got on the menu here?

Mara Householder  10:49

Let’s see what we’ve got


Nestor Aparicio  10:50

clam strips because you gave me the official beer of the clan. Yeah,

Mara Householder  10:53

right. Well also because it’s like and they’re like who just you know who just style like traditional? Remember? Howard Johnson’s? I never went to her job. But they were no longer than I am but yeah, they were orange and blue would have their for their fried clams. You know, why was orange blue like that? I don’t

Nestor Aparicio  11:12

they did research and I’m not I’m not making this up. i This is real. They said that those colors made people the hungriest or they believe that interesting why we so weirdly teal and orange and the little right? They thought that that made people feel hungry. I don’t know if it’s true or not but on either Howard Johnson thought so Maurice here we are at the capillaries. I have not dug into this because I had my crab mallet from basketball but when I do have a fork here, crab cake recipe how’d you tweak it? Tell me how you tweaked and will you fry this? Are you just are you just a boy we boil it, it’ll fall apart. It’s all one crab. Well

Mara Householder  11:47


you could fry it and like I will I do like a special sometimes it’s called the fireball sub. And that’s a sub with fire like with crab balls on it. Okay, and those are flash fried. And then they’re tossed with a buffalo sauce and then topped with a blue cheese slaw.

Nestor Aparicio  12:09

Buffalo blue cheese on a crab cake on a fried crab balls. I love crab. So because of my East Side bias, and I’ve said this a million people and I get laughed at by real foodies that a crab cake must be boiled because of the delicacy delicate nature, the meat and whatever your slurry is and fillers, they would call it or whatever the thing the binder thing holds together. My favorite crab cakes and you have just you’ve nailed this one here are their fried on the bottom because they stay in a boiler long enough to give it that crust. A lot of places in Ocean City do it this way. If you look underneath, it’s nice and crusty under there. That’s perfect for me. So I say party on top business at the bottom. That’s the way I do it. So I did a delicious Greek salad. I really want to thank you guys for hosting us and having us down here. When he opened everybody’s from hours and and big events and things you do because I know St. Patrick’s Day is a little bit of a holiday here as well. But you do any other major things celebrating the anniversary, do things like that. Well,

Mara Householder  13:10

as a matter of fact, tonight we have on Thursdays sometimes we have what is called Pay It Forward Thursday. And so we have people come in, and they bartend so all the tips go to whatever charity they do. Oh, it’s beautiful. Tonight, we’re doing Zach sacks, which is a very, very dear benefit for me. As a friend of mine, her son was killed in a drunk driving accident. All right, so she starts xx and asked me to be part of the board. And so it’s very lucky we get a lot of people. So I sure have

Nestor Aparicio  13:52

told me told me that charity gets with people can Google that find Zach Okay. All right. Well go out and give the local


Mara Householder  13:59

Yeah, well, Westminster. Yes. That’s yeah, for us. Yeah. And the reason why I know this family is because of Baltimore. Well, so I met them. So where are you from? Where you grew up? I grew up in the rockville area. Do you see?

Nestor Aparicio  14:13

So you’re not you’re transplanted Baltimore? Yes. I

Mara Householder  14:16

came here to go to Towson and was working at the eight by 10 and just had so much fun, quit school and started bartending. And here I am, you probably

Nestor Aparicio  14:25


slung a beer to me down at the API probably Yeah, I’m going to eight by 10. My favorite members eight by 10. And I had the gal from mothers that Dave married she tended bar at Turner’s back in the day I worked there too, right and Turner’s had those great holograms that you can look into and it was a little of a mind deaf right. And you go outside and they were they pit beef right out. right out in front of what is now the Atlas restaurant, right are out in front of what is the is McGurk? Yeah, right. But there was always a pit beef standing in front of the bay. St means that

Mara Householder  15:00

was filling me with as we called it was streaming because it was great because you at two o’clock in the morning

Nestor Aparicio  15:09

Oh yeah, I made

Mara Householder  15:10

lots. Well, we


Nestor Aparicio  15:13

had to say do we want to do that? Are we going to go over to to the legends at midnight or? Right, right, right. Yeah, man like yeah, doing certain places, by shipping baits always open to the morning. They have a crab cake over there as well. And a cheesesteak from what I understand. We’re getting Larry’s promoting Baltimore, I wouldn’t bet whatever’s in my pocket. Not much, because I just got back from why, but whatever is it I want to bet that you were from Baltimore I had no that’s because people would settle in Baltimore. I always say, Me, I know I’m wrong that maybe I’m wrong. I know. I’m wrong. Did you have to be from here to really love here? Because it’s so unique and quirky. That’s really not true. And the more I see other people that say no, no, no, I, I didn’t grew up here. I came here and like, this is the felt like home to me. That’s why I moved here. Right? Yeah, that’s a neat thing. I like that even more. I mean, I’m from here. I’m stuck here. You know, I ain’t going nowhere. I love family wants me to tell you that right now. But I’m from Dundalk. And my whole life has been here. I think it’s interesting. When do people do come from other places and make their life easier? And by bricks? Yes. They were gonna serve a crap whichever your first crabcake rockville, you didn’t grow up. crabcakes

Mara Householder  16:20

now probably when I came here, I would say I don’t even know. And you know, I think my first crabcake was actually a Phillips crabcake.

Nestor Aparicio  16:28

Well, you’re just gonna be better than that. I know that right away. So I’m going to eat the crab cake here. We’re capillaries. It’s all brought to you by our friends. By the way, I got a miracle lottery scratch offs to give, not just to you but to your brother. And I know your husband’s been a big part of doing things here as well. It’s a real family affair. The marital lottery of sponsoring things like this and people like this. Captain Larry’s, we’re right here in the South Baltimore area on Federal Hill. Fourth Avenue. Chris Pike is favorite crabcake Vicki’s favorite crabcake as well. They couldn’t be here today. So I’m eating this. So to honor them. I’ve a crabcakes I did the math on this. It’s over. I’m over 180 places now getting up on all the places. And the interesting thing is, and I knew this going in, I don’t know that I’ve really ever had the exact same crab cake in two different places. You know, they’re all really different. Yeah. Now, is this inspired by anything? Have you added crab cake elsewhere and said, that’s kinda like mine? Or do you have a crab cake that’s not like yours? Because they’re all different? I don’t know. I look I’m looking at this. I can see it’s got a little breading I can see it’s put together nice. I see. It’s got a ton of jumbo lump crab meat in it. But I don’t see any old bay. I don’t see any parsley. I don’t see any. This looks like a very simple recipe.

Mara Householder  17:45


So it is but there is Old Bay but the Old Bay is in the egg mixture. Okay, so that’s the celery like so basically. I mean, it’s crab meat. saltines egg and obey and dry mustard. This is a very

Nestor Aparicio  18:03

it’s a crabby crab cake. Yeah, it’s not, man. Easy. It’s not all bad. I’m just getting the crab flavor. It’s just straight crab. Well,

Mara Householder  18:12

that’s that’s the look we’re going and you didn’t give me any

Nestor Aparicio  18:14

tartar cocktail. Any of these weren’t


Mara Householder  18:18

wheat tastes. We have it if you don’t eat it. We have it.

Nestor Aparicio  18:21

I’m a little bit of any likey tartar God to me that’s for fishstick cocktail. I’ll record crab cake with cocktail in the way somebody record steak where they want because I grew up a cop. Right? Right. And I like cocktail with oysters. I like it. I would dipped it to wetting it down a little bit. I would dip it in a cocktail. But on the tour I haven’t done much of that. Some places have had really unique takes on tartar that have made me like him. Lemony bright carry. That is what ours it doesn’t taste like. Mayonnaise pickles. Yeah. Right. I mean, yeah, I don’t mean easy. Because that’s, that’s for that’s for fishing for me. Yeah.

Mara Householder  18:59

Our tartar is is housemade. And it also has,

Nestor Aparicio  19:03


well, I want to try it. Can I try your charter? Sure. Can I get a side order? retarder. Can I get little tartar sauce? Just a little tartar? Thank you. Yeah. All right.

Mara Householder  19:11

We’ll get that going. A virus? No,

Nestor Aparicio  19:13

no good. I want to keep this segment rolling here because I would agree Shaolin traditionally do service with fries.

Mara Householder  19:22

Now traditionally, actually, it says crab cake was Caesar. But I always give the option of you can get fries or because our Caesars are really good too because our caesar dressing is homemade and then we do instead of sold me


Nestor Aparicio  19:36

on that when I wanted to know like everything on your menu next time.

Mara Householder  19:39

Yeah, what about your Maryland

Nestor Aparicio  19:41


Mara Householder  19:42


See? Next see, it’s like you have to come back.

Nestor Aparicio  19:47

promises me tartar sauce that doesn’t say slick. I can see right away that’s that’s got some that’s got some. That’s got more body to it. Alright, let’s go with the tartar sauce here. I’m gonna do that. Keep in mind, I don’t know Like tartar sauce. Okay, so if I like it, it means, you know, I mean, because I’m not supposed to like it but is it deal when there is a little deal? There’s little deal. That’s all that this mystery a little bit known little monster mushroom. I’ve never had mustard in a little late Dr.

Mara Householder  20:19

Mustard I like dry mustard. And you know,

Nestor Aparicio  20:22

I’m at fade these tomorrow. And I say these people all time about crabcakes which one is your favorite? I’m like, I love crab. Like like my favorite steak. If you like steak, we put garlic on it but buttery and you like it, you know, I feel it when I want them on all the above, you know, take a you know, any seasoning will change all that will crabcakes just people. It’s just two words crabcakes and you ordered them. And people don’t say fried or broiled or whatever, they just order them. And they’re all completely different phases very, very mustard for and it’s the only place that I’ve been where like the mustard is the first thing that comes out, right and they’re sort of famous for it, but nobody else does it that way. Right. And so, so doing a mustard with crab and I don’t love mustard. I’ve never eaten a hotdog of mustard in my life. I don’t like mustard, but I’ve learned to really love it as part of Dijon and dressings and slurry. It’s such a it’s a wonderful complement for crab, too. And I guess on the east side, what we would do with the old Fried crab cakes is you would have French and I don’t like yellow mustard.


Mara Householder  21:26

Well a lot of people do. Like I’ll ask them Do you want a cocktail or tartar? And they’re like, do you have yellow mustard? And that is I think that’s more traditionally Baltimore thing. Yeah, absolutely. Definitely. Yeah,

Nestor Aparicio  21:37

no more. This is delicious. I really, really appreciate you. Thank you having us down here with delicious crab cake. This is pikers crab cake and he’s not even here to eat it so I’m have to bring him back. We’ll get it I’ll get him a proper Narragansett after they win the NFL title. Maurice, your brother’s here. husband’s here. Everybody’s here. I appreciate the hospitality. More than that. We got a great day. Yeah, draft day. I was standing next to you and this crab cake was in the oven. When Lamar Jackson signed with the Ravens. I’ll never forget where I was. capillaries. Come on down. Find them on Fourth Avenue. They’re in the heart of Federal Hill. My wife sent me back to we live down here for 20 years. So every time I’m in the city, which is three days a week, she’s always got an errand for me to run or something for me to pick up from the old neighborhood. And we’re starting you know, we’re lost out in the county but we live nine miles. You move to the county and it’s like there’s no demarcation zone for me. I come into city all the time. Right. We really miss it. We miss it with the weather because we were walked the federal walk to down the Harris Teeter or we would walk over to the royal farms. We walked down the veranda were a little a van is below here. This is such a vibrant neighborhood and there’s just always people out here. That’s why love Yeah. Todd get out of here. Can we throw is crabcakes Todd Shula Thank you my thanks to Todd Schuler, my thanks to Chris real doing local tourism and my dear friend realtor Shanna toe back and of course Maura here and her family for hosting us today. Maryland crabcake tour will be at fadeless on Friday, we’re going to be out in the county at the MC falls real an oyster oyster reo. I’m going to get it right because I’m so used to saying fire MC falls fire iron side tavern which is up on my radar station. We’re going to be Middle River dump back Red River neck road next Thursday. All are brought to you by the Maryland lottery in conjunction with our friends winter nation. 866 90 nation make sure you take care of those winners and of course Linda Raskin giving me this is a really cool this is a crab gave off, but it opens beer on the other end. So this is this a one of a kind patented item from Rascon global and I’m appreciative of him signing off from Federal Hill because I gotta stop talking and I got to start eating more and I gotta get that get that tartar sauce together there we can smell the mustard in a little bit. It’s delicious. I am Nestor we are wn st am 5070 Towson Baltimore and we never stop talking crabcakes Lamar Jackson and Baltimore positive stay with us.

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