27525 N Sandgates Rd, Mechanicsville, MD 20659
Parking: Lot, Free
Bike Parking: Yes
Good For Groups: Yes
Good for Kids: Yes
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Take Out: Yes
Cuisines: Take Out, Fast Food, Seafood
Alcohol: Full Bar
Takes Reservations: Yes
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Price Range : Average
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My best friend introduced this transplanted Yankee to the Southern tradition of picking crabs. She took me to her "favorite place down in the county." Sandgates sits right on the Patuxent River. The tables are covered with brown paper. Malt vinegar, Old Bay and saltine crackers sit on the table waiting for the friendly waitress to bring your tray of freshly steamed hot crabs. She announces "These are good and heavy" - translation: lots of meat to be picked. Of course you have to order some crab balls, hush puppies and steamed shrimp to go with the crabs!
Plastic buckets, crab mallets and a small knife are the only utensils you'll ever need. Well, if you're anything like me, you'd be wise to bring an apron to wear. If you can pick crabs and stay clean you're not having fun.
OK, so my first experience was not exactly graceful - lobster and clams are my heritage. My feeble attempts at crab picking were the source of much amusement for my friend and the staff of Sandgates. Finally, my friend asked the waitress to "Bring the Yankee some butter so she'll have something familiar."
When life gets too chaotic head for Sandgates. It's a casual downhome place with fabulous crabs and friendly waitresses that recall a bygone era.