Best Crab Cake: Faidley's

203 N. Paca St., (410) 727-4898,

It’s getting bad. You’d think we Baltimoreans had gone Texan or Carolinian, we are so vociferous in our partisan loyalty to a food product. If you like Koco’s, you’re sitting there complaining right now. G&M, you’re complaining. But if you are wise, you’re already getting up, as you read this, to make your way to Faidley’s to order one of Nancy Devine’s hand-made crab cakes (the crackers are crumbled by 92-year-old Viola Brooks). They’ve been making them so long and so good that they virtually invented the modern crab cake. And they’re even better when you eat them standing at one of Faidley’s tables, watching Bill Devine, Nancy’s husband, chomp his cigar, or Lou, behind the raw bar, tell stories about working as an arabber in Highlandtown in the 1970s and having to escape racist crews that would come after him by charging his horse at them, or talking fish with Will Hahn, the grandson of the Faidleys. The world of Faidley’s is fabulous and all the other food—from the clams to the muskrat—is delectable, but it is the crab cakes that will always keep us coming back.

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