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tonight I write...or never

Sunday, June 18

I loves me some crab cakes

Saturday night our family went to dinner at the Dahlia Lounge, a place we had never eaten before in the past. We should be smacked for not eating there sooner. For starters we had baked hearts of palm served over salmon and a wild morel ravioli. Oh, how the flavors melted in my mouth! I could never begin to become a food critic, so you will just have to take my word that these two appetizers really did whet my whistle for more delectable treats. I decided I wanted sea food, being that I have not had any since getting pregnant. I live in the Pacific Northwest....if I could start back up on the coffee, I could certainly indulge in salmon (It's the tail end of Copper River season), or a piece of halibut. But it was the crab cakes that piqued my interest.

In case you don't know, I grew up in Baltimore. My summer dinners consisted of steamed Maryland Blue Crabs, lunches of crab cakes, and later in the fall- crab bisque. I'd never known any other crab until I moved to Seattle when I was dismayed to taste the Dungeness crab. In Maryland, you get a bushel of steamed crabs, seasoned with Old Bay, of course, a pitcher of beer, and your evening is filled with pickin' some of the sweetest meat you could ever taste. Here, when you order Dungeness crab, you get one. One crab that is boiled and has absolutely no flavor. After that disappointment, I decided to order crab cakes, holding out for some flavor. I continue to be saddened with what I am served. Bland is about the best word I can use to describe past dinners. Prince said it best, writing 'Nothin' Compares 2 You', an homage to the Maryland Blue Crab. Betcha didn't know that little bit of trivia, did ya?

Prince never tasted Tom Douglas' creation that was on Dahlia's menu Saturday night: Lemon~scallion Dungeness crab cakes with sweet chili avocado, caramelized romaine,
tomatoes with basil and béarnaise. I did and I have to say it was the best tasting crab cake served up in the Pacific Northwest that I have ever tasted. Make that TWO crabcakes as that is how many were on my plate. The cakes were fluffy and thick~ ALL CRAB, not filler like most restaurants pass off. The crispy yet smooth coating, which I never asked, but tasted much like my favorite coating- panko, was buttery without tasting fat or heavy and complimented the crab meat well. The sweet chili avocado brought out the fresh taste of the crab while the carmelized romaine and tomatoes added that sweet kick. It was heaven served on china.

Oh, Dahlia Lounge...I WILL be back for dinner. Those crab cakes are calling my name again......

ps- Of course I never left the restaurant without having a slice of Tom's Famous Triple Coconut Cream Pie. My God, I thought I was in heaven with the crab cakes.....Oy, it was so good!!


  • At 4:40 PM, Anonymous Karyl said…

    Hubby and I went to dinner at Arnie's in Edmonds on Saturday night, where I tasted my very first Copper River salmon!! YUM YUM!!! (And I don't even much like salmon.)

    Ahhh so that's why I don't like dungeness! I'm from southern Virginia, the south end of the Chesapeake Bay, and I remember getting a dozen fresh crabs from the farmer's market and steaming them for dinner on a summer evening. Now THAT'S some yummy crab!! And yes, you must have Old Bay! Did you know it comes in flavors now?? Lemon & Herb, and something else, I can't remember.

  • At 5:17 AM, Blogger Vajana said…

    all i can say is, don't ever come to the Midwest. You will be heartbroken. I believe I have now made it a vendetta to personally go to Maryland to eat some crab. Hm.

  • At 12:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I love 'em too. But I love them even more now that i have Tom Douglas' book. There is a really good article about crab cakes on bellydujour.com, a whole bunch of good links as well. check it out.


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