Crab soup you'd eat forever Taste: When the staff tested four restaurants' bowls of cream of crab, The Sunset's outshone the others.

October 22, 1998|By TaNoah Morgan | TaNoah Morgan,SUN STAFF

Soup. It's a comfort food. Crabs, if you're from Maryland, are a necessity. And cream of crab soup on a chilly autumn afternoon, well, that's paradise. But only if it has the right consistency, aroma, flavor, texture and a great deal of crab meat.

Recently, some members of the Anne Arundel Bureau staff took an unscientific, partially blind taste test (one restaurant's soup came in bowls with its logo on the side) of cream of crab soups from four North County restaurants that were recommended by staffers or boast of having the best cream of crab soup.

We tested soups from The Canopy in Pasadena, Deep Creek Restaurant in Arnold, Roy's Kwick Korner in Glen Burnie and the Sunset in Glen Burnie.

The winner, hands down, was the Sunset. The soup, $3.50 a cup, $5.50 a bowl, is wonderfully flavorful and so thick -- too thick for some of us -- that a fork or spoon stands up in it.

It is "the kind of food you wouldn't mind eating if stuck on an island for eternity," said one of our group. And it reached the comfort food level, according to another, who wrote, "If I'm ever laid up sick, bring me this stuff on my couch and forgeddahbout that chicken soup stuff."

The Sunset also is the only restaurant of those surveyed that sends a container of sherry on the side, which adds a distinct flavor and aroma.

In a perfect world, designed by me, the Sunset would use chunks of crab meat, but one of my colleagues prefers the stringy strain of meat, noting that the strings cling to the spoon. The Canopy's soup, $2.50 for a cup, $3.50 for a bowl, came in a distant second. It's thick and flavorful enough, with a good amount of crab meat and a pleasant aroma. But you wrap your lips around that first spoonful with what looks like a huge chunk of crab meat only to find out it's a dumpling -- a tasteless piece of dough.

At least one colleague thought the soup was too thick, complaining, "If I had to wallpaper a room, this soup would have been excellent paste." Another drawback: The Canopy serves cream of crab only Thursday through Saturdays.

So how did this soup make second place? It's better than average for fast food, a far cry from heaven, but good enough for Earth. And it's conveniently located next to our offices.

The cream of crab from Roy's Kwik Korner, $2.95 a cup and $3.95 per bowl, had a few supporters in the office -- those who prefer a thin cream soup. Comments about the texture ranged from "appealingly smooth" to "slimy."

One of the group thought it had a "rich, almost buttery flavor," while another asked whether it was prepared with mayonnaise. The majority agreed the soup was bland. And we unanimously agreed Roy's soup had one redeeming quality: healthy chunks of crab meat.

Only two words describe Deep Creek's cream of crab -- very bad. One colleague said the soup, $3.95 per cup and $4.95 per bowl, looked "pretty," and another said it "had a decent color." But we all agreed it was the worst, with precious little crab meat.

Cream of crab soup

Sunset Restaurant

625 Greenway Ave.

Glen Burnie

410-768-1417

*** 1/2

The Canopy

8125 Ritchie Highway

Pasadena

410-647-7722

** 1/4

Roy's Kwik Korner

1002 Crain Highway SW

Glen Burnie

410-768-3369

* 1/4

Deep Creek Restaurant

1050 Deep Creek Ave.

Arnold

410-757-4045

no stars

Pub Date: 10/22/98

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