Bahama Mamas North



Bahama Mamas North

13201 Coastal Highway

Ocean City, Md. 21842


May 30, 2010

Some things you just don’t want hear when you’re eating crabs. “I’ve been sweating my balls off” is one of them. Those are the exact words that came out of one waiter’s mouth at Bahama Mamas North as he waited on a group of friends Memorial Day weekend.

That same waiter quickly served those friends crabs as the two neighboring tables – a group of bikers and a large family with young children – waited and waited for their crabs. The waiter complained loudly enough that those of us at other tables could hear how he had all of three tables to wait on and hadn’t stopped since he got on the job.

Boo hoo. I’m glad the kid wasn’t my waiter or I gladly would have read him the riot act.

And, man, what a bad experience – one I swear I won’t repeat.

Before I completely blast the substandard food and service, let me first say that in years past I’ve ordered carry-out from a different Bahama Mamas location (the 78th Street location before it became a sub shop) and been satisfied. I was eager to try the restaurant where Higgins used to be located. I didn’t get to it last summer.

Unprepared, under-trained and under-staffed. Those are things no restaurant in a resort town should be on a weekend, especially a holiday weekend – one where people are itching to part with their cash after a great day on the beach.

With tables open, Bahama Mamas deliberately didn’t seat its customers, telling people the wait was 15, 20, 35 minutes because the restaurant didn’t have enough servers. Seriously – not enough servers on a holiday? During a recession?

As I waited my 20 minutes for a table of two (there were at least five open tables inside and at least four outside), the hostess (“Honestly, I don’t know where the crabs are from.”) seated two other larger parties that didn’t have reservations. Four other families took their names off the waiting list, and the phone rang and rang.

Once seated, the first waitress said she’d be right with us. She was back in five minutes to tell us another waitress would handle our order. She stopped by again when she saw we were still sitting there. Waitress No. 2 appears – completely frazzled. Frazzled? It’s only 6:30 p.m. It’s too early to be frazzled, to not tell the customer your name.

After seeing how small the all-you-can-eat crabs ($21.95 with crab soup and corn, unless you believed the sign outside that said $19.95) were, we opted for conch shell fritters ($9) and a dozen large crabs ($39) for the two of us. Bahama Mamas considers a crab a large crab if it’s 5.25 ounces to 6 ounces.

The fritters had to be rolled on a paper towel they were so greasy. The North Carolina crabs had a lot of seasoning on top of them, but turned out to be completely tasteless and watery. Typically, when I eat crabs, my hands are covered in seasoning. These crabs were so watery that my hands were basically clean when I finished picking.

By comparison, crabs we bought Friday night from Ocean Grille in Easton had more taste after two hours in the car than these did served hot.

My best guess: the crabs at Bahama Mamas were old. That’s the conclusion of my taste buds and my digestive system since they made a quick exit. Sorry if’s that’s TMI.

Completely disappointed, I guess I can take consolation in a couple of things.

My crabs weren’t given to the waiter’s friends.

I didn’t get a dirty glass of soda, as the table next to me did.

I didn’t have to keep waiting for corn or soup or crabs, as the group next to us did.

I didn’t have to send back any crabs. A woman in the restroom told me of the half dozen she had, two had to go back.

And, I wasn’t sitting next to a large table that hadn’t been cleared. I watched one prime table remain piled with crab pickings for 20 minutes.

The refrain I kept hearing from the waitresses to their customers was the same: “I’m sorry.” I find that sad. Apologies don’t make the food and service any more palatable.

Bahama Mamas, you need to get your act together. Update your web site. This is your second summer at this location and it’s not on your site. Hire enough people and train your staff properly. A hostess should know about the crabs. Waitresses shouldn’t be running from one end of the restaurant to the other. Tables should be cleared quickly – not 20 minutes after a family leaves. And, under no circumstances should waiters be telling customers about their “balls.”

7 thoughts on “Bahama Mamas North”

  1. I served at Bahama Mamas and a fellow server showed me this review and I just want to start by saying the people who write these reviews have no idea what goes on in the kitchen, in regards to the sweating/friends issue if I am running around trying to please stuck up customers who all they want to do is come on vacation and complain who is not going to sweat doing that? Second the crabs go into the same machine and the same steamer we cant just go pick up crabs for our friends and give them to them before any one else. Also just because they got served before some bikers doesnt mean anything because those bikers could have been another servers table and not all crabs come out at the same time. The prices compare to every one else’s down route 1, and to let you in on a little secret these crabs are not from the south they are from Crisfield and EVERYONE in ocean city gets their crabs from the same truck. I am sure if we sold jumbos for all you can eats it would be 30$ and you would complain it is too expensive or they are too small, sorry that we cant hand out king crab size blue crabs as all you can eat. O and when you order fried food its gonna be greasy, out hostesses dont know anything about the kitchen because they seat people, and if you all really wanna complain then have the guts to do it to us, because I have never had complaints like any one has said on any website so if you want to complain tell it to our faces or go to the next crab house and complain about the same crabs and things down there why not just open your own and please every little complaining stuck up little vacationer trying to get free food. It is an endless battle because no one will ever stop complaining when they come in no matter what we do, and I have worked for many restaurants and no one is ever happy.

  2. On 7/27/10 My friend and I took our kids to lunch at Bahama Mama’s on 132nd Street for steamed crabs. They have a huge price display facing the dining room for take-out only and the menu stated “market price” for crabs by the dozen. The waitress said 3 dozen crabs would be $60. When the bill came we were charged $87!! I went up to the bar where the waitress was sitting to point out the error she said that she made a mistake and quoted the wrong price. Manager came out and said we need to pay for what we ate and did not care about the waitress’s error. When we started to argue with her she threatened to call the police. Not wanting trouble I signed the receipt and tossed it behind the bar and walked out. The manager came out into the parking lot and yelled that I’m an Ahole. Never experienced anything like it before.
    Neither one of us have ever experienced anything like that as a guest in a restaurant.

  3. They re-steam crabs they steam dead crabs and the manager is psycho, If you complain about your food and try not to pay you will have the cops called on you. Brenda is the manager and that bitch is wild, she fired 8 servers in 2 weeks, one girl for not pushing a trash bag all the way down the trash can. There are 6 servers left and if you go there you have a 50-50 chance of getting a terrible server. If you decide to dine there good luck.

  4. I was a server for most of this past summer. I would just like to make it aware that most of the crabs are re-steamed. Meaning any crabs left on the table will later be sold back to other costumers. After getting over the grossness of that, the manager, Brenda, does not abide by refunding any unhappy costumers. In the restaurant business, it is always the goal to please the costumers first. This has never been a goal for Brenda’s. She is very quick to tell costumers to “f-off” and call the cops on them because they are unhappy with there food or crabs.. I highly do NOT recommend this restaurant. The employees are unhappy and treated poorly as well as the costumers. Brenda has even put her hands on a past employee in an aggressive manner. If you want good crabs and happier servers go to crab bag, whom were our competitors.

  5. First of all, the previous comment written by username”Servers” can only be one person. The owner’s decrepid girlfriend, who actually manages this horrible restaurant. That is the only worker at Bahama Mama’s North that would ever have a good thing to say about the restaurant. The place might as well be run by a retard, because it is in fact run by a dimented, disgusting old bittie named Brenda Truelove. She has no idea what she is doing with the restaurant. I feel sorry for the owner, who Brenda is trading sexual favors to in exchange for a job. If you try to complain to her, which is a very likely case at this restaurant, Brenda will call the police on you, ultimately ruining your dining experience and possibly your vacation.

    The horrible management is not the only thing wrong with this place.


    Then they are re steamed when an order is sent back to the kitchen. Smell a bad crab? that is because the crab was either cooked dead(very possible) or has gone rotten sitting in a refrigerator for a long time. Do not ever believe that you are being given a special offer when you order one size and your server brings you a size bigger at the same price as the smaller crab. They are going bad! That is why they are being sold.

    The steamers drip sweat into all of the crabs, and are known to play jokes with the crabs.

    If that isn’t enough to disgust you, how about this….THE CRABS THAT ARE LEFT ON THE TABLES ARE PUT BACK INTO THE POTS AND RE-SOLD AGAIN!!!!

    This is disgusting as well as illegal and against health code.

    If you are thinking about going to this restaurant, PLEASE THINK AGAIN!!!!

  6. Unfortunately, the rating system doesn’t allow for a “0” in all categories for this place. Also unfortunate is that we didn’t check out some reviews before going. All of the negative complaints mentioned in the review for Bahama Mamas 13201 Coastal Hghway, Ocean City, MD that I just read, were our experience also, the worse of which was a 1 hr. wait for food. Out of 12 of us, one person got their food in a timely manner — the one that ordered the crabs, which came right after the beverages were served. The rest of us waited for an hour and were in the process of walking out, when some woman we assumed was a manager or chef came out and in the most unprofessional businesslike manner proceeded to sternly tell us in essence that nothing was wrong with the service time and that the overly greasy dripping food they eventually delivered was just fine. Even the staff (waitress & hostess) were apologizing to us for this woman’s crude, rude behavior — so much for “pleasing the customer”! I guess that doesn’t matter to them — just collect the tab. On exiting the place, another customer told us, she saw a similar incident happen on her side of the restaurant and she was about ready to walk out too because of the lousy service. We all found it extremely upsetting because they ruined the last night out of our family reunion and instead contributed to us leaving hungry and baffled. The behavior of this woman who seemed to invoke a lot of authority (like a bit bull) in threatening to call the police and also calling in a “body guard” type person to enforce her words, was something out of a movie. Mind you — this was a “family gathering” with a toddler and baby and very little alcohol consumed. Not a brawling bunch of men swilling down pitchers of beer and eating crabs!!! We are filing a formal complaint with the Better Business Bureau of Ocean City because of this and hope to inform others of this most horrible place to eat. After we got back to our hotel, one of ‘neighbors’ sitting outside on their balcony asked us where we ate and we told them of the horrible experience. They said, “oh you should’ve asked, we would’ve told you not to go there.” They have been coming to Ocean City for many years and have only heard negative things about the place. The waitress apologized over and over for the woman’s behavior as I was walking out and said she wished she didn’t work there and that that is “how she is” (referring to the woman who spoke rudely to us. I can’t believe they stay in business! Obviously, they have a reputation for poor food and service. On a different note, a relative who ate at a Bahama Mamas near the Boardwalk had a very good experience. Guess that means go to the EXACT restaurant someone you trust recommends — just because it has the same name, doesn’t mean it will be the same. Sorry, sad experience

    This Manager needs serious attention from a mental health provider. She is dangerous. I watched her throw out an older couple after yelling the F word to them over and over. It was truly disgusting. The food is terrible and the only positive comment was obviously written by the owner or his Manager. Stay Away!

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