Excellent | Worth a Detour
Review by: Michael Stern
Step Back In time
In the Chesapeake Bay just south of Smith Island (famous for its Smith Island Cake), Tangier Island (population 727) asks visitors to “step back in time.” In this natural wonderland, there are no automobiles. What do people do? They catch seafood. Crabbing is a way of life.
How Do You Like Your Crab?
To taste what they’re talking about, visit Lorraine’s Seafood. Here you can eat hot crab dip (made with lump crab and served in a bread bowl), cream of crab soup, and fried clam strips.
Soft shells belong at the head of the list. Barely battered and fried parchment-crisp, they glow with what the management calls “Tangier style” seasoning. They deliver flavor you simply don’t get in soft shells that have been trucked to somewhere far away. Combine them with creamy-sweet crab cakes on a combo lunch, and you just might become a proselyte for the creatures author William Warner’s celebrated book about the Chesapeake Bay called “Beautiful Swimmers.”
On the side you can get house-made potato chips, waffle fries, or sweet potato fries. (Sweet potatoes thrive in farms all along the Eastern Shore.) Or, keep with the theme of the meal and order “crabby fries.” These blanket French fries with Old Bay seasoning, hot crab dip, and cheese. A single order will make a table of four happy.
If You Are Anti-Crab
They do know how to fry seafood in this place. Virtually everything comes out of the deep fryer. You won’t go wrong ordering shrimp, scallops, or flounder.
Yes, crabbing is a way of life here, so if crab (or fish) does not suit your fancy, you probably shouldn’t bring your appetite to Tangier Island. Really, Lorraine’s is the one place to go — the only eatery on the island that’s open year-around. But if you find yourself in search of a non-swimming meal to eat, this accommodating restaurant does offer a few token dishes: baked manicotti, hamburgers, pizza, and sub sandwiches.
|Meals Served||Lunch, Dinner|
|Credit Cards Accepted||Yes|