Strolling past the old five-story brick building on Pratt Street just east of Broadway in Upper Fells Point, our ears were captivated by what, for many Baltimoreans, is our ultimate siren song. Was that—could it be—the familiar crack of mallet hitting shell echoing inside these long dormant but once hallowed grounds?
The familiar red sign, with the words “Obrycki’s” and “Seafood Restaurant” separated by a crab, still hangs outside the front doors, but a new name adorns the blue awning above it. In the ground-floor space that one of the city’s most renowned crab houses once called home, Angie’s Seafood is hoping to make a name for itself.
Opened last September by Angela Fiorenza and her partner, Zack Ahmed, the large restaurant and bar aims to bring a traditional, down-home seafood spot to a neighborhood that surprisingly lacks them. The menu is dotted with familiar favorites like shrimp cocktail, steamed mussels and clams, steaks, pasta, and, of course, crab in many of its glorious incarnations.
During two recent visits, we found that while Angie’s isn’t the kind of place that does one particular thing exceptionally well, it does do an exceptional number of things quite well.
Appetizers tend toward the bar variety—crab dip, fried calamari, mozzarella sticks, chicken in both finger and wing form. We opted to split a jumbo lump crab cake, which lived up to its name in both size and composition. It was piping hot, relatively filler-free, and set an encouraging tone for the rest of our meal.
The Broiled Fisherman Platter, with shrimp, scallops, crab imperial, and fish (tilapia on the night we visited), is a good way to taste a boatload of seafood. While we’d order it again, next time we’ll ask that it be prepared with less butter, an abundance of which overpowered some of the seafood’s natural flavors.
The fried items we tried, which included shrimp, oysters, scallops, and fish, seemed to be more in the kitchen’s wheelhouse. Most provided just the right amount of crunch and guilty grease fix that fried food devotees crave. A small filet arrived tableside medium rare, exactly as we requested.
There’s nothing fancy about the service or ambiance at Angie’s. The bar, loud and lively, is a fun place to crack crabs. (Props to our server who told us, without being asked, that, in the off-season, they’re often sourced from Louisiana and Texas, while in the summer some—not all—are local.)
That’s all fine with us—we’re just happy that a new generation of crab house found these old digs to call home.
ANGIE’S SEAFOOD 1727 E. Pratt St., 410-342-0917.
HOURS Sun.-Thu. noon to midnight, Fri.-Sat. noon-1 a.m.
PRICES Appetizers: $6.95-16.95; entrees: $18-36; desserts: $5-6.