FOOD REVIEW: Ocean Pride Seafood
A good test for me, as to the true merit of a restaurant, is how well they fare with the foods they are not known for.
I thought this might be a good time to check out one of Lutherville’s favorite crab shacks, Ocean Pride Seafood, to see how they hold up when their top seller is past the peak of the season.
I know this may seem counter-productive to some, but I’ve always believed that if it’s worth putting on the menu, then it’s worth doing right, and the menu at Ocean Pride has a whole lot more than crabs filling its pages.
As I made my way into Ocean Pride I was confronted with two options; to my right, a crowded sports themed bar filled with a lively crowd sipping cold draft beers and sharing a few laughs. Then there was a dining room to the left that was a tad reminiscent of a scarcely attended bingo hall, save for the large plastic marlin nailed to the wall.
In the spirit of taking the road less traveled, I went left.
Let me point out that though crab season is over and I was in the market for alternative fare, Ocean Pride still serves steamed crabs year round and thus the stripped down and spaced out décor of the dining room does make a bit of sense.
I know that when I eat crabs I generally end the meal looking like I was forced to eat my way out of a swimming pool full of mustard and Old Bay, so a dining room filled with porcelain and mahogany would be downright ridiculous at Ocean Pride.
I have to applaud the no nonsense approach. With just enough seating to keep the kitchen busy and the customers satisfied, Ocean Pride creates a sense of comfort and familiarity that is mirrored in both the staff and the food.
One look at the menu at Ocean Pride confirmed my hopes that my decision to bypass the blue crab wouldn’t cripple my dining options. With both classic American favorites such as the Oysters Rockafeller and Burgandy Beef Tips, along with creative twists on simple pleasures like the Cajun Tuna Skewers or the Morrocan salmon, the kitchen at Ocean Pride proved time and time again that they are not one trick ponies. Ocean Pride also offers a raw bar selection that is amont the freshest and highest quality in town. And on top of that all the prices are extremely reasonable.
Of course, I couldn’t stick around long enough to sample the whole menu, nor would my ever expanding waistline have handled such a feat, but the point here is that the more dishes I tried the more I wanted to keep eating. Even when a dish wasn’t perfect it always had redeeming qualities such as the Ahi Tuna skewers that were a touch overcooked, yet were seasoned perfectly and served with a wasabi dipping sauce that I wanted to bathe in.
So hopefully, there’s a future article to be written in which I will find myself back at Ocean Pride burying my face in some delicious crustaceans. But for now I urge you all to follow my lead and veer off the beaten path, and if you do, make sure to veer directly into Ocean Pride.