Suicide Bridge crab cakes come in two different variations: made with backfin meat, their fine and wispy body humming with a devilish pepper glow (fried or broiled); and more deluxe jumbo lump cakes, listed on the menu as “Kool’s Deluxe Crab Cakes” and available only broiled. (Frying lump crab meat would be a sin.) Kool’s cakes are sumptuous, the opalescent hunks of sweet meat seasoned with zest and speckled with herbs — some of Maryland’s finest, for sure. Another crustaceous choice is crab balls – peppery little orbs of crab meat that get deep-fried to become a crunchy pop-in-the-mouth bar snack or hors d’oeuvre.
Beyond crab cakes, the menu is extensive, including such luxuries as crab imperial and au gratin. You also can get steaks, ribs, or chicken, but given the preciousness of good crab cakes, crab soup, oysters, and rockfish to those of us just passing through, we’ve never tested the non-seafood waters.
As for the discomforting name of the restaurant, it indeed is located next to a bridge where on two occasions men shot and killed themselves and where a third man took a fatal drive straight into the water. Another time, according to the Suicide Bridge place mat, a jumper’s body was fished from the creek and laid out on the bridge, where his blood soaked into the wooden boards and was visible for five years. Fatalities notwithstanding, the restaurant is warm and welcoming and its setting is lovely. Broad windows look out on an Eastern Shore inlet from which paddlewheel boats glide into the Choptank River for dinner cruises.