Frequently Asked Questions
Why is it important to ask for detailed size info when ordering crabs?
Crab sizes vary from region to region and business to business. What we call a medium/large, others might call a large and what some call a jumbo might just be a large. We grade our crabs by size and weight and categorize them in half inch increments. Our owner hand sorts every crab that comes in the door, checking for size (from point to point) and how heavy the crab feels and sorts them accordingly.
Why don't you take preorders for crabs?
In previous years we were able to take preorders for blue crabs as long as it wasn't for a holiday weekend. Year after year, we have seen an increasingly high demand for crabs and a stagnant supply that has limited our availability to take preorders on many non-holidays, so we have decided to stop taking day in advance orders for blue crabs. Crabs are a natural resource and are not always available when we'd like them to be or as plentiful as we would like them to be. We do not buy crabs in advance and pre-steam them and our supply varies from day to day. We often do not know how many or what size crabs we will be receiving until about 15 minutes before we open. The ability of crabbers to go out on the water and fish for crabs is very wind and weather dependent and often affects our supply. If you're looking to place an order for crabs, please stop by or call early in the day to place your order for a pickup later that same day. We take orders from all of our customers in person first before we begin answering the phones.
What is the best way to order crabs?
We have always believed that customers who come out to order in person should be waited on before we begin answering the phones. During the 2020 season we were unable to take in person orders due to Covid regulations but we are going to try to return to in person ordering for the 2021 season. All orders (especially for crabs or other steamed items) should be placed early in the day for pickups later that same day. Even though we are not an eat in restaurant, we fill up quickly for what are essentially reservations for pickup times around the dinner rush (typically from 4:30 p.m. to close) and we cannot always accommodate orders that are placed late in the day. It is always best to call early in the day to schedule your order with a pickup time. Our phone message always has the most up date info regarding whether or not we are taking any more orders for the day.
What if I want to order something other than crabs?
If you are calling to place an order that does not contain steamed or live blue crabs, please DO NOT call or stop by as soon as we open. We generally have a good supply of our other menu items and are not at risk of selling out of those other items. Please call about an hour after we open (or a few days in advance) to place an order for these other items. In the spring and fall we have an online preorder form for our market items such as fresh fish, crab cakes & raw shellfish. If you're interested in using this form, please sign up for our email list.
Why don't you have more jumbo or x-large crabs?
We specialize in crabs from the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary rivers, and while we do see larger river crabs from time to time, the x-large & jumbo crabs are not as prevalent as they used to be or would be if we sourced our crabs from Texas or Louisiana. We take pride in offering our customers great local crabs and supporting our local Delmarva watermen. And don't forget, a big crab isn't always a good crab and a good crab isn't always a big crab!
I've heard about the crabs called seconds, what are they?
When we sort our crabs, we're not only looking for the size, but the weight of the crab as well. Any of those crabs that do not meet our standards are put into what we call our seconds and are sold for a lower price than our regular crabs. These crabs range in size but generally do not have as much meat as our regular crabs and can sometimes be watery thanks to that. We do not take complaints or offer refunds on these crabs.
Seconds are a great option for people on a budget or for groups with kids (order yourselves our regular crabs and give the kids the seconds, it will keep them busy picking while saving the parents some money on dinner). Seconds are also a favorite of many of our customers suffering from joint pain as they are easier to pick. They're also great for soups and stocks!
Are your crabs & shrimp gluten free?
All of our steamed seafood menu items are gluten free. The crab spice we use is gluten free. Our menu items are prepared in an open kitchen so if you or someone in your party has a severe allergy that may be triggered by contact with foods containing gluten or another ingredient, we suggest that you do not consume our products.
We have someone in our group with an allergy, what can we order?
We think the best way to eat crabs and shrimp are when they're steamed with crab spice. However, we understand that allergies or dietary restrictions preclude some of our customers from enjoying seafood that way. If anyone in your party as a severe allergy to any of our menu items or any of the ingredients in J.O. #2 (our crab spice) we suggest they skip ordering from Steamers. All of our cooked items are prepared in large steam pots in an open kitchen so there is always a chance of any item coming into contact with other seafood items or spices during the cooking process. If you are concerned about this, please consult with your physician or order your items raw. Although we strive to serve all of our customers needs, we cannot guarantee any of our menu items against severe allergies.