The Taylor Avenue location of Pappas Restaurant, thought by many to have the best crab cakes in Baltimore, has been a landmark for local diners since 1972. Now they have expanded to a new location in Cockeysville, adding a spacious sports bar to compliment the restaurant offerings. The Minx and I had already visited the new Pappas when it first opened and were quite happy with our experience, so when we were invited to a media tasting of their new menu and cocktails, we didn't have to be asked twice.
We started with some appetizers, including a seafood sampler of mini crab cakes, calamari, scallops, and shrimp. The calamari was tender, which is always important. The crab cakes were delicious; the Minx thought they were even better than their larger counterparts.
We were also served Santa Fe eggrolls, which were not unlike mini chimichangas, and a rich crab dip with lightly fried pita chips. Chef Carlos Zea, who hails from Ecuador, is not afraid of spice. Everything was well seasoned.
One member of our party ordered raw oysters, and seemed pretty pleased with them.
For my entree I chose the salmon dijon. Salmon can be difficult to cook and serve at just the right level of doneness, but my salmon was cooked through without being dry and flaky. The creamy sauce had a pleasant lightness to it thanks to the tangy dijon mustard, and the ample amount of mushrooms brought an earthiness to the dish.
The Minx went for the chicken Chesapeake, which is a chicken breast topped with broiled crab imperial. As with salmon, chicken breast has a danger of becoming overcooked, but the breast was quite tender. Every element on the plate was nicely seasoned, including the green beans. In fact, all the dishes we've had at Pappas show a great deal of care when it comes to seasoning.
Just like their flagship restaurant, Pappas in Cockeysville is a great place for a satisfying lunch or dinner seven days a week, but the new location's sports bar offers a welcome spot for a drink and a light meal. Happy hour starts at 11 am (yes, that's not a typo) and lasts until 7 pm with drafts and rail drinks at $3. They also offer tasty mule drinks for $5 and $2 off wines by the glass. To keep things hopping, there's live music every Wednesday and Friday nights and late night trivia on Tuesday nights starting at 11 pm. Even if you don't have time to hang around, you can always order from the carry out menu.
* Any products in this post that are mentioned by name may have been provided to Minxeats by the manufacturer. However, all opinions belong to Minxeats.
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