Nothing says summer like cold draft beer, freshly shucked oysters and a good crab boil. For those that have yet to experience this pot of goodness, it is basically the combination of fresh ingredients, lots of old bay seasoning, and the opportunity to eat with your hands. Sometimes you really have to get down and dirty and work for your food.
A crab boil typically consists of Maryland Blue Crabs steamed together with new potatoes and corn on the cob. Similar to a clam bake, the star of this show does not share its spot light with other crustacean (as the lobster does in a clam bake). And though it too comes with a bib, this fun adventure also calls for a mallet, making the processes of attaining the meat that much more fun.
Although more commonly found in Maryland, Mermaid Oyster Bar and the two Mermaid Inn locations have decided to bring this Chesapeake native to New York City. And although you still have to work for your food, at least you don’t have to travel far to do it.
So here we were, two gals, two drinks, and two mallets, ready to kick off the season, and bang away at the crabs thrown on the table before us.
Making sure to get there on the earlier side, we started with our favorite bivalve, and ordered a dozen oysters. Six Rappahnnock Rivers from the East Coast and six Stellar Bays from the West. The Rappahnocks were simple and refreshing, while the Stellar Bays had a whole lot more flavor, as is expected from a West Coast oyster.
Next up, the crab. A great deal, $24 included a bucket of crabs, new potatoes, corn on the cob and amazing cornbread with butter. Forks out of the way, we cracked open the crabs, and worked at all the sweet delicate meat. Oh yeah, we ate our potatoes with our hands too. Reminiscent of being a kid and wanting to play with your food, we loved the whole processes and every bite.
Blue crabs are a summer treat, so don’t miss out. And if you’re heading to the Mermaid, make sure to get there early for their happy hour and a half freshly shucked oysters. Happy pounding!
Mermaid Oyster Bar
79 MacDougal Street
New York, NY 10012
The Mermaid Inn (East Village) 96 2nd Ave # 1, New York – (212) 674-5870
The Mermaid Inn (Upper West Side) 568 Amsterdam Ave, New York – (212) 799-7400
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