Here’s a simple test: The reason to go to Faidley’s is: A) Atmosphere B) Location C) Crab cakes. I guess the fact that this is in Baltimore pretty much answers this question, huh? First of all, Faidley’s has no atmosphere, unless you’re a big fan of eating while standing at a counter. And it’s neighborhood can be generously described as “interesting.”
But boy, those crab cakes. When the subject comes to local restaurants, you can turn to Yelp, or Chowhound, or Trip Advisor. But to me, the real authority is Michael Stern, the guru of Roadfood.com. Here’s an excerpt from his review (you can read the whole thing here):
Forget all the spongy, bready, fishy blobs that pass as crab cakes elsewhere. To know the paradigm, you must eat in Maryland, at Faidley’s in particular. In this eat-in-the-rough market on one side of the boisterous, centuries-old food emporium known as the Lexington Market, a crab cake is a baseball-sized sphere of jumbo lump crab meat held together with minimal crushed-Saltine filler and a whisper of mayo and mustard that is just enough to be a foil for the marine sweetness of the meat.