Tag Archives: Ocean City

Elliott’s Seafood

Elliott’s Seafood
10922 Adkins Road
Berlin, MD 21811
Facebook page: Elliott’s Seafood on Facebook
Aug. 22, 2016
After a kayaking trip down the Pocomoke River in Snow Hill, the desire for steamed crabs turned out to be a strong one, but they needed to come from somewhere different. Google and Facebook suggested Elliott’s Seafood in Berlin, close to Ocean Pines.
The long, red crab barn is located on Bill Elliott’s property, parallel to his home. There’s no question the crabs are local. The crab pots and bushel baskets are stacked up behind the long red barn that houses a freezer, steaming pots, office and customer service area.
Elliott catches the crabs himself south of Assateague and steams them up to order, seasoning them with J.O. Spice.
At this carry-out operation, a dozen mediums and larges cost $30 in late August. A half-bushel (four dozen, actually) cost $75.
The heavy half-bushel, packed in a vodka box, turns out to be just what he said it would be mediums and larges. Some are a little light. Some are extremely heavy. Seasoned well, these crabs made for several meals with some claws left over for soup.
Elliott’s makes the list of go-to places near Ocean City.

Country Barn Seafood

Country Barn Seafood

10852 Cathell Rd.

Berlin, Md. 21811


Aug. 30, 2013


The newspaper ad advertised “hard and fat” crabs, so I just had to find out what Country Barn Seafood had to offer.


The gruff voice on the phone rattled off Labor Day weekend prices between $30 a dozen and $66 a dozen, and the carry-out business would only take “cash or check.”


How are they running, I ask? I wanted to see what kind of an answer I’d get.


“It’s the way I grade the crabs. They’re all heavy,” says Charles “Speedy” Voss, co-owner of Country Barn Seafood.


He’s the only one there, so he’ll need some time to get the crabs ready.


Not a problem for me, since I’m in Ocean City and Country Barn is in Ocean Pines, down Cathell Road past the hardware store.


I order a dozen medium-large at $54.


“J.O. or spicy?” he asks.


At first I don’t realize he’s asking me how I want the crabs seasoned. I tell him to make them spicy, and then I tell him to make them like he likes them. He says he’ll go easy on the spicy.


Arriving at the Country Barn Seafood, Voss is sorting crabs into bushel baskets. But he’s not just measuring them for their size in length. He’s checking out each crab’s abdomen. Its color determines its fullness. He’s also checking out its back swimming leg is to determine what stage of molting the crab is in.


Lightly spiced, the local crabs from the Choptank and Wye rivers lived up to his “hard and fat” guarantee. Voss’ careful sorting pays off.


There wasn’t a light one in the batch. Each crab was full and sweet – how they are supposed to be.


While the business is no-frills inside, it does offer a nice touch – a stack of old newspapers so you have something to crack your crabs on.


Country Barn Seafood is a “keeper” if you’re looking for steamed crabs in Ocean Pines, just don’t expect a baker’s dozen.




Rippons Seafood

Rippons Seafood

120th St. & Coastal Hwy
1911 Coastal Hwy.
Ocean City, Maryland 21842


June 22, 2012


The drive to the beach turned out to be long – 4 hours – and through crazy downpours. As I got to Ocean City, I kept having an internal debate: Should I get crabs? I found myself then debating whether I should try Rippons? Years ago, the crabs there didn’t agree with me. But my gut told me to try again.


Before I realized it, I had driven to Rippons, a stand-alone brick building on 120th Street bayside, next to the Ocean City Square Shopping Center. It’s been there since 1985.


The friendly guy behind the counter spelled out the options for me and recommended the local crabs, calling them “decent.” The choice would be $25 a dozen for mediums (5- to 5 ½ inches), $35 a dozen for medium-large (5 ½- to 6-inch) or $60 a dozen for large (6- to 6 ½-inch). The medium-larges, he told me, would be full, but the selling point – the fact the crabs came out of Chesapeake Bay waters, some from Crisfield and some from near Hooper’s Island – sold me. OK, I also wasn’t willing to shell out (pun intended) $60 for North Carolina crabs.


I managed to get to Rippons just before the early Friday dinner crowd, and as I waited, the popularity of the place became obvious.  At least a half dozen people ordered as I waited for my crabs. One regular who came for shrimp joked that he wanted to sit in front of the fresh seafood counter so he could “drool on the food.”


I must admit the fresh seafood, Maryland-packed Wind Mizz crab meat and homemade crab soup looked tempting. Everything looked tempting. I was hungry. Rather than add more food to my order, I did kick in an extra $6.99 for a 1-pound container of seasoning. The counter worker told me seasoning was the same type used to steam the crabs, a mix of the commercial brand JO2 and other spices Rippons used.


The heavy bag of crabs I was handed told me I’d made a good choice. I cracked it open the bag in the car and let the steam rise up, fogging up my glasses as my finger swiped a taste of the seasoning.


With the Coastal Fisherman newspaper laid out on the table, I poured out the crabs. I picked out one of the bigger crabs, a completely full one. I let my tongue enjoy the first claw, holding it in my mouth to really taste it. My reaction: I hope the rest taste as sweet. My mouth was on fire, and I couldn’t stop licking my fingers. For me, that’s always a good sign.


A quick count revealed I received 13 crabs. The crabs all met the minimum size requirement. A couple actually measured 6 ½ inches. Some were right on the verge of being the next size, and I’d call three light. With it being early in the season, I couldn’t argue with a few being light. But two, sadly, qualified as mushy, a bit overcooked.


As I worked my way through the baker’s dozen, another internal debate started, only this time it was the good wife/bad wife dilemma. Should I eat all of them? Should I save the biggest of them for my husband?  The answer: The good wife saved him three. The bad wife just couldn’t hold out. She ate the biggest one.