If you live for Maryland lump crab, Jerry's Seafood is the place. Crab bisque, crab imperial, crabcakes–the gang's all here. Want an all-crab feast? Start with soup. Cream of crab gets spiked with hot pepper. Lush crab bisque tastes faintly of sherry. And classic Maryland crab, a potpourri of vegetables and seafood, is a quieter but no less delicious take. Steamed shrimp with house-made cocktail sauce to share round the table is another possibility. Then onto the main event. Will it be the classic lump crabcake or the Firecracker version? Both are standouts. Tiny capers give crab imperial a whiff of tartness. And there's the plate that made Jerry's famous: the Crab Bomb, a ten-ounce snowball of lump crab with Old Bay–smaller appetites can go for the Baby Bomb at six ounces. House-made slaw and vanilla-scented applesauce are nice foils for the seafood.
At lunch look for the savory crab salad. Don't venture into iffy territory with the likes of baked haddock, as dry as the hammerhead-shark trophy on the wall. Try to avoid peak weekend hours when–given the no-reservations policy–waits can top an hour. Patrons lined up outside the door seem to consider it part of the Jerry's experience. Incidentally, there is a Jerry. He started in the food biz 30 years ago selling oysters out of the trunk of a '68 Chevy.
Jerry's Seafood, 9364 Lanham-Severn Rd., Seabrook; 301-577-0333. Open Monday through Saturday for lunch, Tuesday through Saturday for dinner. Wheelchair accessible (except restroom).