What makes those Maryland crab cakes taste so great?

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Our never-ending education about crabs, crab cakes and the Chesapeake Bay continues at Faidley’s Seafood in Lexington Market where Bill Cole and Damye Hahn discuss local business and what goes into making your crab cake taste great this summer in Maryland.


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Bill Cole, Damye Hahn, Nestor Aparicio

Nestor Aparicio  00:00

Welcome back, WN st Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive we’re positively doing the Maryland crabcake tour. We’re fade Lee’s at the world famous Lexington Mark I love where you position me your name because I can look out and see since 1782. So I know how long it’s been here since since 1990 and Cole roofing, no call was here. It’s all brought to you by our friends Maryland lottery. Bill has number 18 year hasn’t scratched yet, but Marty Gary’s gonna get one. He’s gonna talk fish here later on. And I’ve got lottery tickets giveaway all summer long. We’re gonna be a Coco’s in two weeks. We’re going to be at Shannon’s at Hale Thorpe soon. We’re going to be a Costas on the third celebrating 25 years and drug city on the fourth. Celebrating 25 years in just a month. Fourth of July weekend fish fishing the bay, Lexington market city and crabcakes bilkul of course sponsors all of our community stuff here. So you had ever had

Bill Cole  00:56

Baltimore City Public Schools trash truck drive by okay. Why does Baltimore City nevermind? Why does Baltimore City Public Schools

Damye Hahn  01:05

have a trash truck separately than the other trash trucks? Yeah, have no

Bill Cole  01:10

sense to anyone we should I’m gonna investigate this

Nestor Aparicio  01:12

show he takes looking out the window.

Bill Cole  01:16

Looking at it. What kind of truck is that? Oh, it’s a trash truck. Okay,

Nestor Aparicio  01:20

trying to promote her crabcake. He taught me so here’s so here’s the

Bill Cole  01:23

here’s the observation I just made. So I never really order crabcakes when I go anywhere, this is not a thing

Nestor Aparicio  01:30

is when I was telling you the last segment I’m in New York, why would I think if you I was I was thinking you were saying you should hold the meetup to New York. I’m thinking I wouldn’t know what’s in a crabcake. And I would never order it.

Damye Hahn  01:41

Yeah, they’re not shipping that much up there now. Okay, so I’m not

Bill Cole  01:45

even I’m not even necessarily referring to like, I definitely wouldn’t do it out of Maryland, right. But even in Maryland is just like, if I’m picking that was never really my pick, you’ll take a steak, you’ll take a pork chop, take workshops, I love a good portrait. But my assumption is, is that if, if somewhere earlier in my life, I would have experienced this crabcake I would continue to search for that. And I would order it all the time. Thinking that it’s going to be as wonderful as this was, I’d be disappointed every time. But that experience so you have one earlier in your life, and you’re not all that excited about it goes down the list. Like I’ll tell you good pork chop every day, you know? And now I’m like, No, I understand

Damye Hahn  02:30

now even chat GPT said if you have one place to get a crab cake, it would be fadeless

Bill Cole  02:36

doesn’t really that is awesome. We have more

Damye Hahn  02:41

material out there.

Bill Cole  02:42

That is why stop on my son is currently doing a research project around a eyes interpretation of economic models. So I guess the theory is like, like if Chechi Beatty is going to give you advice somehow related to the economy. What’s the backstory that it’s right data is built on? Right? So he’s gonna love when I tell him that it’s picking the crabcake location and that I mean, that’s just such life,

Nestor Aparicio  03:12

champ, etc. If you’re gonna listen to one radio show in Baltimore, it’s got to be mine.

Damye Hahn  03:16

Right, right. Well see, and apparently, the AI model doesn’t use advertising. So it’s got to be it’s got to be organic material. It’s got to be people saying, or how many articles or whatever? Yeah, exactly. It can’t be how many top ads you bought, I

Nestor Aparicio  03:34

think I told you this. I told him this was before we were on the air. I lived downtown for 20 years, 19 years. And I probably was in here three times a year, eating your crabcake because three times a year, her father would come to town or and not that I wouldn’t take them out to the suburbs to a place or whatever. But living downtown. They want to walk somewhere they want to go to a game, whatever. You are the only place I would take literally the only place that I’d say we’re gonna walk through an old market. We’re gonna you’re gonna see fried chicken, we’re gonna get a crab cake. That’s why we’re taking you and people we’re always we’ve always walked to the front and come up through the market. I never I didn’t know this door was here till five years ago. Honestly, I just know. I’m not from the west side. Why would I enter from the west side or from the east side? So

Damye Hahn  04:16

because that’s where the parking lot is.

Nestor Aparicio  04:19

All these years and I never really put is it Friday is embroiled what makes it so good. What’s in it? What’s the slurry until, you know, five, six years ago, I started doing the show here every month and then the economy went boom and Trump in the city and the EpiPen like all that and I’m like the crabcake tour. The interesting part of it is you can explore everywhere nobody’s gonna do it your way because your ways like your way. Like I mean literally. You got pissed at somebody because they had a family’s name on their crabcake they

Damye Hahn  04:49

did it in a restaurant. We went to a restaurant.

Nestor Aparicio  04:52

Listen to this. This is an amazing story. Dude. We went

Damye Hahn  04:55

to a very nice white tablecloth restaurant in Charleston, out there just outside Did Charles sit on Kiawah Island? And we sit down, there’s eight of us we sit down, open the menu. And it says, families families famous jumbo lump crab cakes. That was their, their, their, the top of their?

Bill Cole  05:16

Were they ordering them and you shipping them to the right. So it’s homage. Right? Right, except the hangers here doing

Damye Hahn  05:27

exactly what I want to ship.

Bill Cole  05:31

You could have done a decent

Nestor Aparicio  05:33

crabcake or was

Damye Hahn  05:34

decent crabcake. But it wasn’t ours. And apparently the chef had come up here fell in love with ours and then wanted to mimic it. But I, as I told the manager, it was funny because a friend of mine had a fatal t shirt on. And were you sitting there and the the he said to the waiters, the waiter came over, he says, I think we might have a little problem. And the waiter looks down looks at the shirt and goes, Oh, I’ll get the manager. So I did I said I said I’m very flattered. You know, and once again, I’m very flattered. But we do have some trademark issues here. You can’t just use our name and not have our product. So they they did take it off the next day. But it was interesting that somebody was actually trying to get away with that.

Bill Cole  06:26

And they didn’t do the deal just to keep it now get them

Damye Hahn  06:30

no show. No, they put Maryland style on there. I think

Nestor Aparicio  06:33

Yeah. Well, this is where I want to bring you because Marty Gary’s gonna be here. I don’t even know his title. He’s the fish guy around here, the seafood guy out on the waters. And you will talk so much about True Blue and Maryland crab. And you sent me all over the state two summers ago doing the crab cake tour. And there were places that had true blue in the window. And there were places that didn’t. There are places that sell famous crab cakes here in this area in this region. When the minute I taste the meat. Not only is it not Maryland, it’s not even the same species of crab. Right. And we talked about this, that some places can serve a softball crab cake for 1695 and have these big things of lump. But that’s

Bill Cole  07:14

that stuff they call crab stick. You’re telling me no, no, no, no, no. That’s not Maryland crab.

Damye Hahn  07:20

There is a you know, I even heard some people using fish but most of it is either from the like the west coast of Mexico, and all the way over to Asia, Indonesia, like a Philips as a packing plant in Indonesia. It is a blue swimmer crab. It is not a blue crab. So they’re they’re two different species. And they taste different. Yes. And that and they’re an ocean crab it gets bigger. Our crabs never get that big. Not anymore. We’re between everything that’s eating them in the Chesapeake Bay and us eating them. They never get that large. So we’re not getting any colossal lump this

Nestor Aparicio  08:02

collage go out on that we don’t have any way there will be no way in the world that Maryland and our bay and our tributaries could possibly produce crabs that you could have a Maryland crab cake in other places. And you are very specific and you’re in when you get a crab cake you’re in December when it’s out of season, which a billion people do. I’d have Bruce Zimmerman is like a nephew to her pitcher for the Oreos. I came in here with a mask on two years ago. He’s at that table stuffing boxes. Sure he’s helping him pack boxes because they do so much shipping the whole pasteurization process I’ve learned so much about this, but just growing up and thrown up a chicken neck off the pier over back river over in the you know, over in Dundalk on a Bear Creek which I did when I was a kid and a little cages to catch crabs. We just grew up with it we think it’s every it’s so special. Tony’s so special and it needs to be hugged specially to yes yes

Damye Hahn  09:03

and we only have this short six months season if that you know it’s determined by the Department of Natural Resources each year you know when we can take the first crab out when the first crab you know the last crab can be pulled and it’s highly regulated. And and for good reason. But it makes it that much more special. Because we can’t get it 365 days a year. That’s why I told you there’s pasteurization, there’s blast freezing. There’s other ways that we collect up crab through the fall to make sure that we can put some in each one and then the rest is you know from the Gulf and even the tip of Venezuela, which is the same species.

Nestor Aparicio  09:44

So when I see Venezuelan meat I know enough to know that’s the same species same crab so they will chase the same because of the Saleen ation of our water or the brackish waters we have we

Damye Hahn  09:56

have if you look at our aircrafts are sweeter yeah and you look At our cat Cana crab meat, you look at a Venezuelan Canada Venezuelan Canada’s completely white, and washed and arcane. Canada’s full of fat and eggs and everything else. You got the orange and the yellow and the green running through it. And that’s what gives it all the flavor.

Nestor Aparicio  10:13

Especially the orange a better time now. The orange Yeah, the orange is where you get it.

Bill Cole  10:17

My impression is that, like, no one pretty much knows anything that we just talked about, like a lot of don’t understand.

Nestor Aparicio  10:25

That’s why I do this.

Bill Cole  10:26

Right. Okay. But my real question from the business standpoint is do they care?

Damye Hahn  10:31

They do when they taste it. It’s amazing. My mom, it’s her favorite thing to sit in here. And we get probably 70% of our businesses tourism. Because, again, they get on the internet. They say okay, this is authentic Baltimore, we’re coming here. We will get people from Russia. And then you got people sitting next to him from England. And then you got people from all over the country. They’re bringing their families in there. They’re driving up and down the coast and they literally come off and 95 come in here.

Nestor Aparicio  11:00

I’ve rarely been in here and honest to god, I usually leave here at lunchtime 1212 31 o’clock to get out of your way. Wrap it up. I have rarely been in here when I haven’t seen somebody bring a roller bag in here. Yes.

Damye Hahn  11:16

So they do they just Uber from the airport, which is another reason why I chose Gainesville. Because it’s so close to the airport for and the tourism is is so important to our business. But they will come in here and they will have one of these and they just go oh my god. This is what it’s supposed to be. This is what it’s supposed to taste like. Yeah.

Nestor Aparicio  11:36

And what about you man? These are consistent crabcakes

Damye Hahn  11:39

that’s another thing you know Nancy’s that for consistency. You have to keep it the same. You have to keep

Nestor Aparicio  11:45

I’ve never had a crab cake and it didn’t taste exactly the same as the last time I was in here. Even the way you cook it I tried to get you to cook a little more because I like a little crispier

Damye Hahn  11:53

and we say no.

Bill Cole  11:56

Sorry, so do you. In the idea of competitors. There’s all these other places that make crab cakes so people are buying crab cakes there instead of here. What is a? I guess a bigger limited limiting factor for you. Other people selling crab cakes or the fact that crab cakes are a premium item and only so many people can afford to eat crab cakes.

Damye Hahn  12:21

You know? It never bothers us that other people are selling crab cakes. Everybody is going to you know have their own flair and do what they do. And nobody can feed everybody. You know, McDonald’s can’t give everybody a burger. But I don’t think when people come in here they will especially because a lot of it is tourists. They will splurge. The locals have to you know the locals will come in here and we’ve got people that will come in here once a week. We’ve got people come in here once a month. And they will splurge for it because they know the difference they know when they taste it they know what they’re getting. They know the quality

Nestor Aparicio  13:02

and you’d have a really hard time replicating this at home because the slurries just I know it’s got some kind of mustard in it but that’s what you

Damye Hahn  13:07

can buy that I can sell you the we sold 695 I have

Nestor Aparicio  13:12

my thoughts come get yours. Yeah, people think about me crab and made a crab cake at home since this tour started. I literally I have to. I was given one pound of crab meat by Chad the crab man down at Al’s in Essex at the end of the crab cake the end of the end of the crab cake tour two years ago and we we took it he had a television gig. So we had a whole like couple pounds of meat. I dumped it in crab soup. It’s the only crab meat I’ve had. Oh my wife made a thing. That was cool. It was the best vat of crab soup ever. I had to put the kitchen sink in. There was cabbage in there. There was bacon in there. There was okra in there and it was peas in it are green beads and air is white corn

Bill Cole  13:57

Arab suit. What he just described is not crab soup. Just want to clarify

Damye Hahn  14:03

a crab sounds wonderful.

Bill Cole  14:05

Sounds delicious, but it is not. Well I think the differentiators the bacon. Yeah, right right. If you put bacon in your crab soup is no longer crabs

Damye Hahn  14:17

on eastern shore they used they would use the Smithfield salty ham you Sophie Hamza, and the little chunks of salt.

Nestor Aparicio  14:27

It has to have a big ham hawk or smoke thing to it that no smoking. Trust me

Damye Hahn  14:33

down on the eastern shore that the salty Ham was a big thing.

Nestor Aparicio  14:35

I want to tell you what my mother would make you bilkul you don’t know what’s good.

Bill Cole  14:41

No, this is not. This is not a determination about good versus not good. It’s about where you talked about crafting. trueness, right legitimate that’s that’s the debate I’m having. And, and I’m not like I don’t really I can’t comment on that. All right. So

Damye Hahn  15:00

and here’s the other thing he learned room temperature is good. You get more flights or

Nestor Aparicio  15:05

her mom gave me a whole lecture about not too far not overheating. This is a leftover remnants of what’s left and you’d say, well, we made this crabcake 3040 minutes ago. It’s room temperature. I let me heat it up for it. No, no. It tastes better when it’s cold. Not cold room temperature, you chase, you actually taste the Christ. Because I drink in a stout or a red wine. You know, you wouldn’t want the red wine chilled because the flavor would be different. Right? And although I do love them, fry, you know this about me you have any more questions for Jamie? Because I love when you host the show because you think of things that ask I don’t think I learned stuff.

Damye Hahn  15:45

After I got him. I do want to say one thing after I got you to try the oysters. Now you’re going to do an oyster oyster tour.

Nestor Aparicio  15:52

Are you open in spirit? Yes. You ever met when

Bill Cole  15:55

he admitted he’s gonna do that? Listen,

Nestor Aparicio  15:57

you asked her about the competitive thing. And I gotta stay in business too. And I do business with Costas Pappas places around town. It’s fine. I move around. She’s the one who inspired all of this because people would ask me all the time. What’s your favorite crab cake or the best crab cake and she knows this. You go to the east side of town. There’s going to be a whole lot more old bayonet crab cake. It’s just going to be a little it’s going to be salt here. It leans more toward my parents making claw meat fried like little hockey pucks. I had Rick Vaughn on the show last week. And one of my favorite crab cakes is the one that tastes like my mother’s which was the press box at Memorial Stadium. They had a fryer and they fry them and they were like little hot the same crab cakes. You got it the Leaning Tower pizza behind home plate with a little fried crab cakes and mustard packets right? Delicious. Not this right but delicious. Right? There’s a place in Annapolis. It’s a Paul Davis is Paul. And they serve that crab cake. That’s not this. It’s totally different. It’d be like saying I want a teriyaki steak or I want a garlic pepper. It’s the same thing but it’s not the same. And because of her and this and people asking me to which one’s your favorite. I’m like, go eat them all right, so that’s kind of to me as the crabcake tour. I’m like I’m eating Mo and Mike dude spirits west now the look exalt like fade these or whatever put, you know, be hard on grading your crab cake. It’s delicious, right? It’s your family recipe right? You know who screwed all this up? Zimmerman’s the one that really beat he and I have had a fight on YouTube. Gary Vaynerchuk was witness to this. Zimmern and I got my crab cakes. No, it was it was actually Santonio Holmes worse than than Vaynerchuk have a stealer. Santonio Holmes was in this conversation. And I said to Zimmer and I’m from Maryland this before I did the crabcake tour, and he I think he plugged you I think he might have plugged Costas too. I lost my head. He plugged some places in town. Pretty say there’s only one way to make a crab only one way or the and then that’s crabcake and I’m like, Dude, stop. You’re acting like a guy on TV. There’s never been a Marilyn. It’s a billion ways. It’s like you piss it on my crap shoot. What’s wrong with you? It’s what’s delicious.

Bill Cole  18:14

I know that you’re not you’re

Damye Hahn  18:15

not listening. It’s just not true. I use fire

Nestor Aparicio  18:18

to traditional if it is tradition, roasted tomatoes or my craps you present to Gucci for you?

Bill Cole  18:24

Yes, that does. Like no, no, remember what we started with? Remember where we started? We started from this humble beginnings right? This humble beginning of using the resources that were available to us to make something out of something that we might not have even used otherwise. Yes, and

Nestor Aparicio  18:42

you’re this you like saying that my mother making the fried crab cake with the crappy crab meat is the only way the rest of my life Don’t

Damye Hahn  18:51

be dissing the claw meat. I love the claw meat

Bill Cole  18:53

me too. I know. I love swing again. That’s that’s legitimate. Right? That’s that’s your universe. That’s the way you did it. That’s the way she did it. That’s one really

Nestor Aparicio  19:04

wonderful, Gainesville location. If you offer the poor man, that Dundalk crabcake and you take Kwame and you

Damye Hahn  19:12

somebody to pick the cause. That’s our problem. Right now. We can’t get Marilyn claw me nobody’s picking cloth.

Bill Cole  19:19

It would be interesting. If there were like, three different crabcake options, right,

Damye Hahn  19:25

which is what we used to have here. We used to have a claw like the original, the big one.

Bill Cole  19:29

And then like, you know, the deep fried hockey puck and yeah, I love it.

Damye Hahn  19:34

We have to we have to different than the Bougie. Like

Bill Cole  19:39

we use all the fancy stuff.

Nestor Aparicio  19:40

You know the difference when it’s foreign meat when it’s not not not foreign? First of all work when it’s a foreign creature when it’s not a blue crab. Correct. I taste the difference immediately. Yeah, and then I don’t

Damye Hahn  19:52

want to be because you’ve had enough.

Nestor Aparicio  19:55

We do after effects of that and the hours in the day after that. It’s a completely diff For an experience than to eat well, right, but until it makes me sick, like it makes me not right. And I know that

Bill Cole  20:09

crabcakes How about like one of those like bars, where we all sit around and there’s like a window. And the guys like making your crab cake like what do you know? Like, there’s like five different crushers? We do right here, you can talk about me, right? But at that place, we need to sell like $12 beer, right? And they sit at the bar and they get to watch printing it. Because you know, everything’s got to be an experience,

Damye Hahn  20:38

which is actually what we’re doing in the new market. We are having a crab, you know how they they have the window to making the fudge. We will know what you’re making. Because that’s that’s what we do here. That’s one of the things people when they come in is a watch us making them. They watch them go into the fryer go on to their tray, nothing is behind a wall. You watch it all happen. And you could say, oh, can I get extra this or that on there? And they do it for you give me extra tomatoes if I want to. Absolutely. I know she loves it. Tomatoes are really good, but that you get to watch all day long that he’ll be making crabcakes here. Yeah. And we’re going to repeat that in the new Lexington market. We’re going to have an area of where you’re going to watch the whole show. So

Bill Cole  21:23

the sign for deviled eggs.

Damye Hahn  21:26

Oh yeah, we got deviled eggs. So we’ll get you some devil. So

Bill Cole  21:28

where are you at on deviled eggs?

Damye Hahn  21:30

Right here right there.

Bill Cole  21:32

Like that’s like core meal. Right?

Nestor Aparicio  21:36

Happy going to top? Yes. Yeah. Like deviled eggs. But that’s where you really get

Damye Hahn  21:41

a rebel. Can you bring me a couple deviled eggs?

Nestor Aparicio  21:44

We’re take a break. You’re ready. You set a clock. You gotta go do what you do. Tell Jamie what you do on the airplane ride like, like she does his sexy crabcake

Bill Cole  21:55

100 It’s kind of depressing. Right? Dirty Jobs that no one wants to really talk about or have to deal with. So you get a flood over the weekend. It’s like a super crisis. And it’s

Nestor Aparicio  22:07


Saturday afternoon. I’m texting Julie. And I’m like, this is a mess. Yeah, my wife was a mess. Yeah,

Damye Hahn  22:12

yeah. a leaking roof is no fun. It’s good thing my wife can work a shovel out 20 buckets at 720.

Nestor Aparicio  22:19

But this engineering thing doesn’t work out for my wife. I’m gonna send her over to you. Yeah,

Bill Cole  22:23

she’s there’s so much. There’s so much to talk about. They’re

Nestor Aparicio  22:26

here for that. I mean, really? Yeah, just not my thing. But

Bill Cole  22:31

do you not like eggs in general?

Nestor Aparicio  22:34

I was tortured by this stuff as a kid. You know? I mean, I don’t eat it. Potato salad. I don’t eat my

Bill Cole  22:40

so deviled eggs at a cookout?

Nestor Aparicio  22:43

Yeah, no, I didn’t like to hear though. Click.

Bill Cole  22:45

They’re the first things to go. Right. You can’t make enough I made so many deviled eggs like two or three weeks ago. And they were gone. Maybe it’s because I planned I was gonna have more week like that’s how many I made but because you grab them and you can pop them in

Damye Hahn  23:01

there every time you are intensive. Yes, that my father said stop doing the deviled eggs. And my mother said Are you kidding me? We’re gonna keep doing the deviled egg.

Bill Cole  23:10

But this is another item that when you go to a really expensive restaurant, this is bougie. Yes. Yes, yeah. But again, it’s that what do we talk about what the crab cake right like these humble beginnings, this like root of all goodness, like deviled eggs are made with love. Right? And that’s why people like

Damye Hahn  23:31

homemade salads or homemade salads are wonderful

Nestor Aparicio  23:34

shrimp salad. Sign me up. Yeah, I’m gonna break

Bill Cole  23:39

Commercial Roofing. Solar, solar, commercial solar. Yeah, I’m just

Damye Hahn  23:46

talking about solar. Okay, okay.

Bill Cole  23:50

Is that good? Or you want me to tell you more. I mean, we do repairs. We do schools, we do shopping center radio stations, radio stations, we do restaurants, whatever we you know, we do like we’re just problem solvers.

Nestor Aparicio  24:01

He’s on the front of Baltimore positive. She is on Baltimore positive every single day. Our friends and window nation has sent us out on the road to eat deviled eggs and crab cakes and I’m not going to do it. I’m going to be all over the state later on in the summer, with 25 voices 25 days all brought to you by our friends at the Maryland lottery as well. Margaery is here he is the fisherman around here. I’m going to honor him by having some shrimp salad here. Some jumbo Texas shrimp. Here we’re gonna talk about Maryland oysters and Maryland fish and the cat fish that are angering her and hickories on Eastern Shore. And me and Dan Rodricks and waiters out on the north Potomac River outside of Williamsport, Maryland, near Luke, Maryland. We’ll do that. They’ll close out. James gonna hang around Marty’s here we’re faintly celebrating. Summertime. 25 years wn St. We are at 5070, Towson Baltimore. We never stop talking Baltimore positive

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