The Best Crab House on the Eastern Shore
At The Old Mill Crab House
Once again, it's time for that age-old Eastern Shore tradition — the family-style Crab Feast. And the best crab house on the Shore for 16 years running in which to enjoy this dining experience/social event is in convenient Delmar, Del., — The Old Mill Crab House.
Awaiting the arrival of the over-sized tray loaded with piping-hot steamed crabs, with mallets and knives in hand, crab lovers feel right at home sitting at the brown paper-lined tables, complete with rolls of paper towels, pitchers of their favorite beverages, and The Old Mill signature squeeze bottle of "Parkay" to complement the "picked-that-same-morning" corn-on-the-cob direct from the local farmer right down the road.
At The Old Mill many groups, businesses and families return time after time to experience this summertime crab-eating ritual, turned social event, where they can sit around the table and talk (instead of texting) while they hammer, crack and pick at the spicy Chesapeake Bay steamed crabs and munch on southern-style hush puppies and deep-fried shrimp and clam strips. And best of all, they don’t have to clean up the mess.
For the crustacean lovers across the region, summertime signals the beginning of the Maryland Blue Crab season — to some, the best time of the year. The Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries are busy producing the sweetest crabs anywhere in the world and many of them will eventually show up on the crowded tables of The Old Mill Crab House, creating a "little Heaven right here on earth."
"We only buy 'No. 1' fat, heavy male crabs which are considered the best," remarked owner Don Prouse. "We just keep them coming in fresh from our local suppliers, we don't cook a dead crab and we don't preheat or precook. We use a custom-made spice for our steamed crabs and add just a little vinegar. People love our crabs and they love the tradition of the crab feast."
At The Old Mill, it's all about the freshness, quality and tradition, which also carries over to the rest of the expansive entr ée menu.
The creamy, classic-recipe crab imperial and the "special recipe" jumbo lump crab cakes are two trademark dishes at The Old Mill that deserve every visitor's attention. Both are filled with huge lumps of sweet crab held together with the minimal amount of filler and the perfect amount of Chesapeake Bay spice.
"We get a lot of compliments from our customers about our crab cakes, our crab imperial, Chicken Chesapeake, stuffed rock fish and our twin lobster tails crowned with crab imperial," said Operations Director John Snarsky. "In fact, every crab dish at The Old Mill is prepared with the sweet-tasting, sumptuous back fin crabmeat from those Maryland Blue Crabs. There is no equal."
For the land-lovers who prefer a char-grilled certified Angus beef steak, The Old Mill menu features a delicious melt-in-your-mouth barrel cut steak or a tender, juicy, center-cut house steak that will help you celebrate that special occasion.
If a rack of mouth-watering, fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs finished on the grill with The Old Mill’s own barbecue sauce is on your mind, customers can enjoy a full or half rack dinner or create their own surf-and-turf combo with a jumbo lump crab cake or 10 large steamed shrimp.
About half of The Old Mill clientele order the all-you-can-eat specials, which feature combinations of steamed Maryland blue crabs, snow crabs, steamed shrimp and The Old Mill fried chicken — all served with the signature hush puppies, deep-fried shrimp and clam strips, and the freshest corn you will ever taste. "Many folks come in here especially for our 'original-recipe' fried chicken. It's that good!" noted Prouse.
If your visit to The Old Mill includes the younger members of the family, the very affordable $5 children's menu features the always-popular chicken tenders, mini-burgers, hot dogs, mac & cheese and French fries.
To top off your visit to the Eastern Shore's best crab house, save some room for "The Old Mill Funnel Cake Sundae," the "Big Bopper" ice cream sandwich or the chocolate éclair ice cream bar — the perfect finishing touch for a hot summer evening.
Quality food, top-notch service and the overall dining experience are what make The Old Mill a destination for so many people. But the story-telling, laughter, memories and friendships that are shared across those brown paper-covered, crab-filled tables are priceless. So, let's get crackin', let's get talkin' and let's keep the tradition of the crab feast alive at The Old Mill Crab House, the best crab house on the Eastern Shore.
The Old Mill Crab House — Route 54 & Waller Road, Delmar, Del., 302-846-2808, www.oldmillcrabhouse.com
Written By: Jeff Pivec
Published in print and online.