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 some places call a medium/large, others might call a large and what some call a jumbo might 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. We do our very best to make sure each crab is ...
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 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 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.
Why don't you take preorders for crabs?
In previous years we were able to take preorders for crabs as long as it wasn't for a holiday weekend. After much deliberation and review of our notes from past years regarding the changing supply of crabs, we have decided to take same day orders only for crabs. Crabs are a limited natural resource and we generally do not know how many or what size crabs we are going to be receiving each day until about 15 minutes before we open. Our crab supply is completely dependent on what our crabbers catch each day and is greatly affected by the weather on the Chesapeake Bay as well as fluctuations in catch and demand. In order to prevent the chance of overselling and not being able to fulfill orders, we have decided instead to limit orders to the same day only.
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 when we open for pickups later in the day. Just like any other restaurant, we get very busy around the dinner rush and cannot always accommodate late orders.
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 crabs, please DO NOT call 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 45 minutes to 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.