Last week I was on a mini-summer vacation in beautiful Ocean City, MD. I’d never been to this beach, but I definitely want to go back, especially to Assateague Island!
In addition to sun and sand, one of the first things that often come to mind when one thinks of the beach is seafood – lots and lots of seafood! Being a vegetarian, though, I do not partake of this beachside staple (so please folks, stop offering me fish when I say I’m a vegetarian). What’s a vegetarian to do when she’s in seafood utopia, especially in an area well-known for crabs? Let’s find out!
When one is vacationing in Maryland, especially near the Chesapeake Bay, one can expect to see and hear about crabs wherever you go. I must’ve driven by at least twenty roadside stands that said they had the best crabs in the area. While I support local food and roadside farmer’s markets, I wasn’t going to be partaking in this particular delicacy (even when I ate meat, I wasn’t the biggest fan of crab – or any seafood, really). But especially since I was traveling with two omnivores, I knew a crab shack was in my future. We ended up choosing The Assateague Crab House, a small restaurant located just outside of Assateague Island.
Naturally, the menu consisted largely of seafood; however, there were vegetarian options to be found amongst the side dishes, many of which can be made into a meal! Your best bet, especially if you’re a vegan, would likely be the baked potato. It’s considered a side and only costs $2. Unfortunately though it’s only available after 4 PM; so you might need to be a little more creative for lunch. Their sides also include apple sauce and an ear of corn, also about $2 each. The ear of corn I had with my meal was very tasty and, I’m certain, local; since the only thing I saw more of than signs for crab were corn fields. It also tasted like it was just picked; and it wasn’t drowning in butter or salt, which was good (I like a taste of seasonings, not an avalanche).
Assateague Crab House also offers some veg-friendly appetizers. We ordered a basket of broccoli bites for the table, and I was pleasantly surprised at how good they were. I was expecting nugget balls of pureed broccoli and possibly cheese, but what we got was whole pieces of broccoli fried in batter, almost like the South’s answer to tempura; or perhaps a hush puppy with broccoli inside. While still not the healthiest thing in the world, it was very tasty and I could tell that the broccoli was fresh before it met the fryer. If you want something kinda greasy and very good, give them a try!
For my main entree I had a simple grilled cheese sandwich. As a note, a grilled cheese is NOT on their menu – they were kind enough to make one for me when I asked. So, it might be worth asking them to make a vegetable sandwich or other vegan/vegetarian sandwich if you go – they’re very accommodating! It can never hurt to at least ask!
So vegetarians, when you are in seafood country, fear not – you can definitely get some tasty vegetables and have a delicious meal, even if you go to a crab shack! I definitely recommend Assateague Crab House if you’re in Ocean City. It’s a nice place to stop for food before visiting the beach, trails, and wild ponies on Assateague Island!