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The pickle should not be the highlight

After a sandwich-eating hiatus, I'm back to eating several per week. It seems the sandyblog is back in business.

I used the sandyblog to justify ordering the most expensive sandwich I've had in recent memory. It came from Obrycki's, a crab-themed chain I encountered at Baltimore/Washington International Airport en route to Hartford. They brag of their spices, which they say are different from the usual ones you find in any old Baltimore crab haunt.

Intrigued, I opted for what appeared to be their most representative offering: Obrycki's "famous backfin crab cake" sandwich. It came as a ball of spiced crab meat and stuffing and spices on a toasted kaiser roll. On the side were a slice of tomato, some lettuce, a pickle and a pile of regular Utz potato chips. I ordered a pint of Clay Pipe Backfin Pale Ale from Westminster, Md. to wash it all down. I didn't like it as much as Doggie Style or other Colorado micro pale ales, but it had plenty of flavor and nothing about it turned me off. It was pretty malty for a pale ale.

The sandwich itself was disappointing. It tasted no different to me than any crab cake I've had in Colorado. Maybe I'm unrefined when it comes to seafood meatballs. But I expected something new and exciting and didn't get it. The cajun crab cake sandwich from the now-defunct Denver Deli that used to sit on 6th still stands in my mind as the best. This is not to say it wasn't a tasty sandwich — it was. But with all the crabby decor and the air of prestige in the place gave me artificially high expectations. I'd have been less let down if the sandwich had come from a dumpier joint.

Obrycki's unique spice blend, which was also available in a gigantic Mrs. Dash-style shaker on the table, tasted overpoweringly of salt and black pepper to me. However, the spice blend was excellent on the chips I didn't overdo it on. They were good chips, and not too greasy. But there's no way I'd be able to tell them apart from a pile of Lays in a chip lineup.

And while the tomato and lettuce were fresh enough and nothing special, the pickle was amazing. Somehow it stood out and had the best flavor of anything on the plate. It came as a full-length quarter and had all the snap and firmness you could want. It was tangy and spicy without overwhelming and I could have eaten several more. This was surprising given the fact that I generally like crab much more than pickles. And it was sad given what I paid for the sandwich.


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