The Burrows are still at it after more than half a century at Sambo’s Tavern. One reason: the classic crab cakes. Stop us if you’ve heard this one: These cakes are made with meat from local blue crabs and include little filler.
Ike and Elva Burrows buy crabs right off the dock out front, making Sambo’s Tavern a
truly authentic local dining experience, not unlike eating a lobster roll at a roadside stand
Sambo’s Tavern has practiced the river-to-table philosophy for more than 50 years: Blue crabs are plucked fresh from local waters and delivered dockside to the tavern. It just seems natural. The crabs are then expertly transformed into various dishes. The Burrows family has long known that exceptional crab cakes are made with plenty of meat and include little filler. These babies melt in your mouth.
If Sambo’s Tavern were any closer to the Leipsic River, it’d be in the drink. But the panoramic view of the winding waterway, sprawling marsh and local watercraft is only part of this landmark’s allure. There’s the comforting presence of a single pool table, a jukebox and a wall map that lets visitors mark the spot from which they hail. Of course, the servers are as friendly as they come, the crabs are as delicious as they come and the beers are always cold when they come. You know you’re in a real tavern when folks younger than 21 are banned.
Critic Ciro Poppiti thinks Sambo’s Tavern “should be a Hall of Fame consideration. When you think Delaware crab house, you think Sambo’s.” The crabs, crab cakes and softshell crab sandwiches are all good, but Poppiti loves the view. “What a sight to see the crab boats docking at the back of the restaurant and unloading the day’s catch.”