Following closely behind crab cakes and steamed blue crabs, the next most popular menu item at the Fenwick Crab House are the heavenly smoked babyback ribs. The ribs are first given a rubdown in a traditional dry rub and left to chill for 12 hours. Then it’s to the smoker for four long hours, time during which smoke and low heat give the ribs unbeatable flavor and texture. Then it’s a quick slather in a secret ketchup-and-vinegar house-made barbecue sauce.
The Fenwick Crab House opened soon after the Storm of 1962 and, like the G-scale model railroad that chugs around its dining room, the landmark business is still going strong. The restaurant is traditionally open from Easter to Columbus Day, but its crab cakes are so popular, they are shipped to customers year-round. Scott Fornwalt, who bought the place 26 years ago, says he sold more than 5,000 crab cakes last Christmas. For almost half a century, the Fenwick Crab House has been known for its steamed crab specials and other crab dishes. Fornwalt added the soft shell crab club sandwich when he took over and the crab dip baked in French bread about 20 years ago. Even a classic has to stay current, so this summer, look for the new 10-ounce prime rib burger served on a pretzel roll.