As the founder and eater of Charm City Food Adventures, Doug Clayton eats a lot of crab cakes, too! Along with Marcella Knight at Koco’s Pub, we made the case for Baltimore beyond the local delicacy on the Maryland Crab Cake Tour stop presented by The Maryland Lottery and Window Nation.
crab cake, place, eat, baltimore, people, coconut shrimp, tacos, food, wife, town, mom, coco, chicken salad, foodie, talking, years, walked, instagram, pictures, jalapeno
Nestor Aparicio, Doug Clayton, Marcella Knight
Nestor Aparicio 00:00
What about wn st Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive or positively Coco’s, we’re in the Lara Ville. It’s all brought to you by our friends at the Maryland lottery. I have instant lottery scratch offs were given these way. Here today we’ve had a $100 winner it Coco’s, Bob and Laura Ville we have Marcellus here she is the proprietor you know your mom and her being a part of the you call yourself proprietor owner. Run the joiners mom stolen charter like what do you call yourself?
Marcella Knight 00:30
Oh, gosh, I don’t know I a little bit of everything. I think she crab cake baker. You know, an owner.
Nestor Aparicio 00:39
And that’s like, that’s unto itself. Like that’s hard work. This guy here meets owners and he does things around ball. We love food bloggers right to clean. He’s a food blogger. He’s got an Instagram. It’s really long. Go ahead. Baltimore. Go ahead.
Doug Clayton 00:52
Charm City Food event Trump City Food not
Nestor Aparicio 00:55
even Baltimore charms? Yep. We’re becoming a foodie town. Are we I mean, have we expand? We’ve always had cake. So that makes us like a thing. Nobody else has we
Doug Clayton 01:04
yeah, we’ve had all those traditional barber foods. And now we’re having an infusion of international foods are coming to Baltimore now. So
Nestor Aparicio 01:11
yeah, and like places like our house where you go into one place, and you can have 50 Different kinds of things. Even like, I haven’t done dog guy, but I’m a highland town. I grew up in Highland town on Saturday mornings, because more of the bus went. And I go up to Highland town now and I do business with Chaucer up the hill on Highland Avenue, but the amount of ethnic food that you can eat from the Highland town bridge to the park. And then if you go up and down Broadway, you’re talking mainly Latin food. There’s not just Latin food. I mean, there’s every kind of Asian food middle eastern food imaginable. And then there’s this sort of like hipster new foodie things. Your absurd, Marcel. I mean, one of the things about your place with the crab cake is I’m your Facebook friend. We’ve been friends forever, but you never share your crab cake. On your Facebook. You’re always sharing a burger on your ring, a coconut tree you’re sharing different stuff that I always because my wife likes crab cakes, his loves seafood in general. But she loves burgers and she likes creative burgers and she likes specials, you know something that’s like, on a plate that she hasn’t ever seen before anywhere else. It’s a chef creation like your place today. I’ll give you your Mr. Foodie guy. Have you had the coconut shrimp here?
Doug Clayton 02:24
I’ve only had the crab cakes every single time I’ve been here. It’s kind of crab cake and
Nestor Aparicio 02:28
what happens, right?
Marcella Knight 02:31
Get anything. Exactly. That’s why we try to post all our other food because we’re more than just crab cakes.
Doug Clayton 02:37
The crab cakes are phenomenal.
Marcella Knight 02:41
For the person that comes in four times a week, they can’t eat. Right? So we do have more offerings. Well, you’re always
Nestor Aparicio 02:49
trying to get me to eat something. It’s not your crab cake. And I mean, I’ve seen corn, I’ve seen all sorts of things on these plates. And I’m like, Damn are so is gonna get me down there. And when I’m gonna get there, I’m gonna get crabcake do what you do, right? Yeah, that’s what we all do. Right? So the cook your coconut shrimp. I’ll give you a little foodie thing. All right. I ordered the coconut shrimp and your server who might have been one on one $100 She said, You know their hand bread and I’m like, Marcel, whatever you bring me it’s fine. You were trying to pimp out the soup. You brought me scream a crab and Maryland crab. I was in the mood for salad because I just I’m going to mix a salad with all this. So I got a Greek salad was delicious. But the coconut shrimp came out and I looked down and they came with raspberry jalapeno sauce. I’ve only seen raspberry jalapeno sauce served to me in one way and I’ve had it 100 times state fairs. One of my sponsors will be at Beaumont next week on Thursday state fairs partners Evan he’s got a new it’s like a sports like it Dave and Busters in a basement. It’s a it’s a what does he call it? He’s got a word for it. It’s a barcade Arcade is he hasn’t Gainesville. So his state fair. He serves his raspberry jalapeno with chicken and waffles. So it’s a great sort of waffle. You could dunk a chicken and waffles or whatever. There’s butter involved in maple syrup if you want it. And I’m like that’s perfect. But what else would you do it with? I wouldn’t think to do it with a coconut shrimp. Yeah, so she brings us to me up there. And like I just push the soups away and a salad. I’m sitting there and it’s kind of decadent, and it’s something you haven’t had on your palate before the coconut. Yeah, with the raspberry with the heat with the shrimp spreche in there his biggest my head like these crab cakes. And I said to myself, all right, I want to promote that on the show. So I’m glad I did. But where else has a foodie? Gonna find that?
Doug Clayton 04:45
I’ve never seen that. Well, when
Nestor Aparicio 04:47
I see something like that I’m inclined. Definitely it’s because it’s there next I don’t get it. So what gets you to a place? What brings you to code? Why did you find out about disjoint
Doug Clayton 04:55
I just like questions like where’s the best crabcake and 50% of respondents Coco’s like it is. It’s got hype. So what
Nestor Aparicio 05:05
got you into fooding and Instagramming? And because I’ve had other Trump’s at blog I’ve had people on, and I love eating food with people that eat at other places, right? At the end of the day, you know, wherever your gig is, you’re making a few bucks on this, whatever you’re doing, you’re recommending places that I want to know about. It’s like her putting food on here. I’m like, I know the crab cakes. Good. But you gotta tell me more about that trip, because I want to try it when I’m here.
Doug Clayton 05:27
Yeah, I started a small hobby just gone from business to business. Yelp reviews, I read, I took pictures of everything I ate and became a big hobby. Still just a hobby. And it’s a lot of fun. I just love exploring new places and getting feedback from reading. I know about coconut shrimp. I’m gonna try coconut shrimp. And that’s how I get recommendations from just by talking to people on Instagram. We Yeah, way back in the day, it’s just peep people would talk about you. And then I looked you up on Instagram or like, I’m gonna come down here when
Marcella Knight 05:55
we were doing this. Eric reached out to you. Oh, yeah, that’s all that’s
Doug Clayton 06:02
been coming here for years. So yeah,
Nestor Aparicio 06:04
yeah. So for you, I do the crab cake tour. And people were like, Where’d you come up with the idea? But the whole thing really started during the plane, right. So the plane comes. I’ve done sports radio since you know, the beginning of time. Right. So it’s our 25th anniversary of the station. So 2020 I was considering a mayoral run. I mean, everybody sort of knew that right? And you know, and this is when Sheila was going to run and Brandon’s involved. So I decided to start having these kinds of conversations. And every time I would have we were doing them at fete Lee’s one of my sponsors cost us a sponsor, not your mom at the time, just different places, moving it around town, and they all had crabcakes and every time I would look at old pictures of me with Ray Lewis, or with Rod Woodson, or like old, John Ogden, we always had a crab cake in front of us because I did the show at the bar for years and years and years. And they always had crab cakes on Monday night. So if all these pictures would crab cakes, and then all of a sudden, when the plague happened, I looked at all these pictures I had and every Martin O’Malley had a crab cake. Larry Hogan, everybody I sat with, we were eating crab cakes because we’re doing it it cost us or families or wherever right are here, you know you’re in crabcakes right? So I said to myself, What would bring people together after the plague when you’re closed and your curb siding? And I thought to myself, You know what, I sell my soul right now to do this show, to have a conversation in a real bar with crabcake and it will lower people like Dave, Sean and yourself money, people everybody would want a crab cake and every single one of them is different. Yeah, every place you go and you know, this rolling up here that we got a crab cake on a ours is really good. It’s family recipe. You know, your mother was saying that 30 years ago, you know, it’s not just bigger. It’s really good recipe. And every and I’m being a side, Mom, we propor so I like frozen.
Marcella Knight 07:45
The hockey potty Kati.
Nestor Aparicio 07:48
Kati is right, exactly. Or call me that my mom had to shake the obey or the Jao in there. And she gussy it all up with some mustard, you know, and it tastes great. Yeah. But it wasn’t Gucci, right back. 50. Or it was just what we had on Fridays. Yeah, and salmon cakes, right? And my mom was trying to help out him like hockey pucks. So I liked them that way, too.
Doug Clayton 08:14
Like, that was my first 30 years of life.
Nestor Aparicio 08:17
I’m gonna go out and eat crab cakes everywhere and promote businesses. Yeah. And you know, last time I came in here, her business was struggling because everybody was struggling. We all had mast on we’re trying to the other end is, and I kept saying to myself, right before that period, sports was shut down. Ravens, there’s no fans, baseball was shut down for after a year. So what I’m going to talk about talking about keeping business together and making the city better. And it’s places like this. It’s places that serve crab cakes. It’s places that are local, that have somebody that’s been there 30 years and have a mother that founded the place and they’re into it. That’s what makes a city great. Yeah. And I think it’s a great basis for conversation. So as much as you’re out, like having a good time, and it’s so great. Hey, you want to support local business show and eat something great. You want to be a little bit of a Maven and you recommend things to people and then have them recommend things to you definitely. Second thing for me is I become a foodie even though I’m skinny, because people know ate these crab cakes. And they’re always giving me a recommendation not looking for recommendations. No, no offense to the crab cake, but it’s not that I’ve had them all. It would be kind of weird. I didn’t I had a crab cake. You don’t want to hear this is a sad story. But I did my 30 crab cakes 30 days Two summers ago at a restaurant association. Marilyn was my sponsor Marshall, the great people. And I said recommend some places to me in your association that are off. I mean, I know about Coco’s I know about you know, all the papists I know I’m gonna get all those places recommend something in a far flung place I’ve never heard of and they recommend I’m not going to tell you where it was because it was in montgomery county. They don’t know anything down there. Let me know it’s Washington. What would they know about making a crab cake? My wife and I were going down to see sticks at the Pavilion down in Virginia and it was my day 23rd Of The Month. I’m gonna get a crab cake in montgomery county, and I got sent to this Place and, uh, when it was really high end trip, really rich area. And it was one of those bistro places where they have a little bit of everything, right and it’s all high end and it’s all, you know, carry out heat up food kind of thing. And they had a famous crabcakes in montgomery county. On the wall, it says we ship our crab cakes everywhere in the world. And I’m like, this must be good. So I get the crab cake and they put it in a little tin container. And I’m going to eat it down at the concert and put it into the container. It’s carried anyway, we’re going to have a tailgate, my wife had beer in a cooler, we get down there and I open the container on it, I get my forecast and I start picking through the crabcake and I’m gonna get my forecast right here because there’s not going to be what I found in this thing. And I start to eat to crabcake now I’m not going to do that start to eat. And it started to crunch a little crunchy peppers. No, I love peppers. She comes from Greek folks who secrete fluid peppers in and idle down to fade Lee’s Nancy I said pepper. I hear these traditionally. Amen. I like me Greek crap. All day. I’ll put red pepper in my crab meat and fry it. Nobody’s looking at it tastes good. And it’s uh, you know, so I’m eating this thing. And I’m like, I got five bites into it. Like chewing it. And Gen Z eaten it. You know, Jen’s not a crabby person. And I said they took a chicken salad recipe. It made a crab cake. They did. It was the flour in it. It was celery. And it was it was a chicken salad slurry. I’m not serious. It had nothing to do with obey. It had nothing to do with the sweet whatever you put near that complements it. It just was it was chicken salad. We crab me and they say they ship these things place. And then I’m thinking to myself, no, no, no, no, no, you know, I I came home and I haven’t I’ve mentioned it two years. You go to the internet. You’ll find it on day 17 or whatever. And it wasn’t my favorite. It wasn’t inedible. It’s so weird. It’s kind of like raspberry jalapeno with coconut. You don’t know to try it right. Don’t make a crab cake. Like you make chicken salad. Yeah, you know don’t make Shrimp Salad. Like you make chicken salad. Shrimp. Sounds good. consumer oriented. Good shrimp salad. Here we
Marcella Knight 12:26
have great shrimp salad.
Nestor Aparicio 12:28
I haven’t had it yet. It’s very you know why I’ve never had it. Because Marcellus here dog is here. Tell me about your Instagram and I do want to ask you completely off the past. Give me a food recommendation. It’s gonna blow my mind. Give me the best thing you’ve eaten. Not a crab cake. Not a place I know about don’t tell me about something famous that you had that I’ve already had. Right? Don’t tell me Captain Harvey’s Cheesesteak. Don’t tell me Jacobins broccoli. Tim poor. Yesterday.
Marcella Knight 12:57
I’m down my Akhavan.
Nestor Aparicio 12:59
Have you had the broccoli? It’s the best thing that passes these lips. Friends from Chicago down to academia with their meat cheese to a meet us as my family. I take people to meet us all the time. But I love good things. I like good menu items and I’ll go anywhere to try something new. And if they have a crab cake on the menu even better, because then I can build a crab cake tour. I mean, I can’t have the crab cake tour if you don’t have a crab cake, right? I mean, it’s kind of ship one end give me a food truck do something. But I mean, I love talking charities and neighborhoods. Give me some give me a place or two something I need
Doug Clayton 13:30
what you might know about it. A lot of people don’t know about it, but you might know about it. Since you live up north I write and tell scenarios. Yeah. Jake’s grill Jake’s grill. Alright, so a lot of people don’t know about that place. But you have to be in proximity to us. I think that’s why you didn’t
Nestor Aparicio 13:44
I have been there. Yeah. You’ve been the Woodrose for barbecue.
Doug Clayton 13:47
I’ve been to Woodrose Yeah. Have you been to heritage I’ve been to heritage heritage is great. I love heritage.
Nestor Aparicio 13:54
I always feel bad for the people in the cannabis lot next door. Because they stand in line at the Cannabis store. And they have to smell the barbecue. It’s like putting a cannabis store next to like a donut shop. Right?
Doug Clayton 14:04
Right. You know what I mean? Yeah, you have to get
Marcella Knight 14:06
afterwards they’re hungry. Anyway. You have to get a new hood.
Nestor Aparicio 14:08
If we put a cannabis store here in Largo you just put the crabcakes smell going over in that direction. It’s like being behind a burger. Yeah, I’m saying so. So. So ekiben would be at keypads,
Doug Clayton 14:18
great people. Up in the bottom arc that comes bottom right to track you bet like start with one look started with a cart. That’s three locations, which was gonna be a dozen locations like,
Nestor Aparicio 14:28
Marcel, I’m gonna give you some love because when I text you, you get right back. Steve’s docking me. You’re ducking me, Steve. Docking me don’t come in for you spend a lot of money $11.33 on my broccoli. My wife’s out of town. And I want to tell a story because I really want to give him a free plot because he stayed places great and he does good things. And that’s part of what the show is about. You know, just, you’re great. And you mentioned your crab cakes all the time when I’m in other places because it’s just where it is. You know, people mentioned your crab cakes too. And I’m not gonna say don’t go there. I’m gonna say yeah, it’s great. Get there. shrimp. They got this jalapeno spinner. I don’t know. But my wife is out of town. And I’m Bachelard so you’re gonna send me home with your church chicken tonight? Yeah, right because your church chickens. She got to smoke, right? We were mentioned at your chicken right? I
Doug Clayton 15:15
said the boy walked by smoker. Make.
Nestor Aparicio 15:21
I’m Venezuelan, my people LEED Platinum. So so my wife’s out of town. And this is like, I’m feeling like, what trouble? Am I gonna get into my wife’s not here I can. I am like to sinead o’connor song. This is Prince song, right? I can do whatever I want. So when I go home and sit, I shall die will I be lost? So the other day it was lunchtime. And I’m thinking what am I going to get? Nothing to hear. I don’t want to eat anything fatter, because I’m going to yoga afterward. I got in my car. I drove in 94 degree he a two in the afternoon. I put my order and it was $11.33 and I drove down to ekiben. I parked in the alley, like a junkie. I had my chopsticks. I had my chopsticks in the parking lot because you have to eat it right away. It’s 10 Pour it right and you get the sauce on the side or it’ll be a flood in the bottom of the of the sauce. Dip it, you want to dip it right in this in this delicious, sweet vinegar. I mean, it’s delicious. And it’s got salt. And it’s got. It’s got mint. It’s got it’s got bite. It’s just delicious. So I’m sitting there eating like a junkie, and it’s tuning after my air conditioner is on. I’m listening to some music, and I’m in a parking lot in hand and for 11 bucks. I’m like in heaven. And I’m thinking, God, this is what I do. My wife’s out of town and I’m not going to tell her about a snuck off. I felt so dirty eatin without her because she couldn’t have it right and I didn’t want to even send her a picture of me like you know, so I snuck down there and I said it’s crazy how food for 11 bucks. Six miles when you’re in the mood for whatever whatever you’re in the mood for the food or beer or you know whatever that is that you you get your palate you know you get what you want. I’ve been
Doug Clayton 17:15
that ally many times
Nestor Aparicio 17:19
all right, Doug. Ladies here tell me how to find you at an Instagram. We have food bloggers on the program he loves cocoas we wanted to feature
Doug Clayton 17:25
Charm City food adventures on Instagram mostly also on Facebook and Tik Tok. We look on Instagram.
Nestor Aparicio 17:29
You got me what Jake she can be one more recommended. Give me a recommendation. I haven’t been to.
Doug Clayton 17:34
I’ve been a tequila Elsa border park a and
Marcella Knight 17:38
say that again?
Nestor Aparicio 17:40
Where is it?
Doug Clayton 17:42
Tequila el Seborga pocket by by a passion Park. I had like 30 types of tacos. And they have for some reason they have Chinese plates. So they have tacos and it’s amazing.
Nestor Aparicio 17:53
Is it on a Baltimore street side of the park? Or is it on the Eastern Avenue side?
Doug Clayton 17:58
South? I don’t know what South is Eastern. Yeah,
Nestor Aparicio 18:01
I’ve been. I’ve been there. There was a place that I went over on Baltimore street. That was my favorite. I hope it’s still there. And if I can, because you’re plugging places. Yeah. So my wife and I lived downtown for 19 years. And and I would say this to you or Nancy it fade these and I’ve told you this 100 times, there was nowhere to get a crap kicked downtown other than
Doug Clayton 18:22
faith. Ya know, like walking,
Nestor Aparicio 18:25
walking, I’m talking about like, when I have a tourist downtown, we’re gonna walk somewhere to get a crab cake. Definitely. And it’s not that families is that great. There was no sec. There was no second place that was remotely like a place I would go right. But we would walk around downtown, which we did. All the time. We stayed skinny, we walked everywhere. We never drove anywhere. We would literally get off on foot and start walking east and said we did a taco summer and like 17 or 18 After she survived the second time. We walked to different taco places and got one taco in three or four different places and got a beer just to go in and see it smell it see if it was spicy. So I’ve had tacos in places to some places are gone. Yeah, but I eat tacos before I started crabcake Right, right. Yeah, and some are just too spicy for me. You’re and I’m not. I’m not a really big ol Pastore. I love the little onion. It’s I’m I’m not cheap cheese, but I’m more gringo.
Doug Clayton 19:24
But if you don’t like alphastar, they have 30 other types are not el pastores. So all right.
Nestor Aparicio 19:29
Yeah. Now have you been to Carlos Ramos place? Have you been to clavo?
Doug Clayton 19:33
Nestor Aparicio 19:37
when when we go out with spouses and we go to a place we’ll go over to clavo we’ll go get some tacos, tacos. We’ll go over to club clubhouse fantastic. He’s opened a new place of Towson. He’s gonna get a crab cake for me and he swears he can corral Steve. Oh, yeah, he’s the keys. My key to Steve. Hey guys, I gotta be nice to have you over club. So it’s getting to know people around town, like you and people with a dream. Carlos is great. Great story. I can’t wait. He’s never been on the show. So I can’t tell it. He’s not been on so you know you haven’t been on and off last time you’re on you’re the mascot you pretty. Thank you. Alright, so everybody bats your place and the history of your place and why they need to come here in ways that I haven’t even thought about ordering online or like shipping like things that people need to know that they don’t know about Coco’s.
Marcella Knight 20:19
Okay, so we started in 1985 My parents open the pub joint this thing Yeah. And it started out as a little tiny place where we had a pizza oven that we cooked our crab cakes in maybe about six at a time. And we made he sold 20 A week back then. And
Nestor Aparicio 20:41
what made it catch on? I mean, at what point did you go from selling 20 To like, it became your thing because I don’t know when that happened.
Marcella Knight 20:51
Yeah, I try people asked me that all the time and I think I knew
Nestor Aparicio 20:54
you before your crab cakes were a thing like for the whole city right you know eventually
Marcella Knight 20:59
our customers just you know told enough people it just snowballed and
Nestor Aparicio 21:05
other doses eastern shore with this tomato Yes. Oh, man, you know when you get into may have a fresh summer tomato.
Marcella Knight 21:15
So, yeah, so we ship our crab cakes. We sell them uncooked here as well. A lot of people come in and pick them up and take them home for parties.
Nestor Aparicio 21:25
Destroyed if I took it home, I’d fry. You wouldn’t want to see it. Yeah, I’m a fryer.
Marcella Knight 21:29
We provide cooking instructions. So
Nestor Aparicio 21:32
the problem with yours frying yours as the binder, right? I mean, like people that don’t have a lot of filler. And, you know, and no offense, but I say this all time people are filler to me. He will say fill in with filler. I grew up poor. I if it tastes good, it is good. Right? You have fun? Yeah, that’s fine. That’s what makes it taste good. Right? Like
Marcella Knight 21:52
money was saying there’s no filler. There’s gotta be something. We don’t give him the rest of
Doug Clayton 21:59
the recipe evolved over time. Or you stick with a recipe the
Marcella Knight 22:01
same? Yeah, same recipe. And my mom made them sheen. And now we weigh them because we saw so many of them. And we tried to stay consistent. But when my mom made him, she just it was the size of her hands because it always goes, how’d you come up with 11 ounces. And I’m like, the size of my mom’s and she was teaching me how to make crabcakes I was like
Nestor Aparicio 22:21
11 ounce Drapkin Yeah, it’s
Marcella Knight 22:23
11 now and we weigh every single one of them. And we enroll them a lot of places scoop, they use a big scoop and just plop them down. We have for them all our crab cakes. It’s very it’s a labor of love. It’s very
Nestor Aparicio 22:39
well and it’s out here for you know, for foodies like you want to experience it loves why experience lives back here going like this.
Marcella Knight 22:48
They line up and going to the restroom and it’s like a show while they’re waiting. And that’s
Nestor Aparicio 22:54
how you make them. That’s how you make them. Exactly. Well. I love your little place and I’m gonna bring my wife in and I’m not going to get a crab cake even though I’m eating crab cake right now, because you’re gonna get to go get to coconut shrimp I’m gonna get Thank you my treat for allowing us to come back. We’re sick and money was here. Earlier we had to Senator Cory McCray began to pro we’re pretty locked and loaded when we were in a lot of good conversations here today. My thanks to Marcel and everybody the whole team here we did have $100 winner today on the Maryland lottery. I gave a lot of tickets away Roz anymore tickets for the third March 25 anniversary is over Costas. Thank you Maryland lottery so I’m going to Dundalk for my 25th anniversary is on the third it costs us I’ll be there all day. And then on the fourth at drug city, I’ll be there all day. And I’m imploring people to bring me things that I’ve forgotten things that don’t know about somewhere more seldom I find a picture me her and her mom at the Emerald tavern back in 1993. With me with my dad Passerini helmet on. I was my pastor in New Jersey today to honor you and him because I bought one on the internet. I had this Euler blue, because you remember that’s all I wore in I was an oiler fan back in the day when I met her and getting out being able to do this and have winters meet people tell stories. The Maryland lotteries hooked us up our friends at winter nation look it up as well. A six 690 nation we’re going to be constantly on the third drug city and the fourth back at the Beaumont next week. I’ll go over to State Fair and get some raspberry jalapeno waffles and think of you and the Beaumont is going to be rockin next week too. They have a great crabcake as well. My thanks to everybody here in Lawrenceville. We had a police officer stop by had folks were fencing company stopped by and say hello, the rubber St. Paul fencing company as well. And everybody’s been so kind to us. We do appreciate it back out on the road I am Nestor enjoy the weekend and the Orioles and the Marlins and the Dodgers. We are Baltimore positive wn st ame 1570. Stay with us we never stop talking Baltimore positive