Food & Dining

Park Place Offers Fresh Crabs, Steamers

crabBy Terry Rogers

Every Wednesday, starting at 5 PM, Park Place in downtown Milford offers Steamer Nights with Maryland crabs, shrimp, clams and Dungeness crab legs. Chris Fitzgerald, owner of the restaurant, says that this is bringing back something that was part of their menu many years ago.

“Crabs were one of the staples when we started out 26 years ago, but we got away from it when the price of crabs were more than consumers wanted to pay,” Mr. Fitzgerald said. “With this year’s availability and abundance of crabs bringing the price down, we decided to bring them back. We get our crabs from Tommy Bowman, a local who is very proud of his product. Only the best makes it into the basket.”

After enjoying a dozen crabs priced at $44 or a half-dozen priced at $24, enjoy DJ Dave Spignone for Karoke and dancing at 9 PM on Wednesdays. Mr. Fitzgerald said that Park Place is good at what they do, believing it should not just be dinner, but an event.

Blue crabs are a staple on the Delmarva Peninsula throughout the summer months. Blue crabs are found in muddy waters along the East Coast with bright blue claws and an olive green shell when they are in the water. Females have red-tipped claws and spend more time in saltier waters than male crabs. Blue crabs have been found as far north as Nova Scotia and as far south as Argentina.

After cooking, the shell of the crab turns bright red and many people struggle with understanding how to eat them. In actuality, opening a blue crab to access the meat is not difficult. Remove the two large pincer claws by gripping and twisting as you pull. There may be a small clump of meat on the end that is suitable for eating. Pull off the other legs as well, checking the ends for meat.

Turn the crab over and, using a knife, peel up the point of the apron. Slide the knife under the hard body of the shell and lift to peel it off the body. Some recommend not using the knife method and just lifting up on one of the points on either side of the crab. Once the shell is removed, remove the internal organs from the center and those attached to the top of the shell. At this point there are differing methods to accessing the meat. You can cut the body in half just above the leg joints after breaking the body in half, or simply break it in half with your hands.

Use your knife or finger to pull the meat from the shell of the crab. The meat inside the crab is white and sweet, which is what most people prefer. However, there is also meat in the claw as well. To access the meat in the claw, simply place your knife against the shell just below the pincher and tap it with a wooden mallet or the handle of another knife. The shell should break open evenly and you can remove the meat with the tip of the knife or your finger.

“We are very happy to have added Steamer Nights to our menu,” Mr. Fitzgerald said. “But, that is not all we’ve added. On Saturday mornings, we now offer breakfast starting at 9 AM. If you are on your way to the beach or enjoying our Downtown Milford Farmer’s Market, stop in for fresh cooked breakfast.”

Park Place is located at 5 South Washington Street in Downtown Milford. For more information, visit their website or call them at 422-2112.

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