Maryland crab cakes at Timbuktu


I took Maurizio and Annie to buy take-out crab cakes at this unlikely crab cake venue on Dorsey Road in Hanover, Maryland: an out of the way, side of the highway restaurant and take-out joint. A place, if I were hungry and looking for a place to eat, I would not drive into. The name Timbuktu Crab Cakes, and the camel logo, promise nothing related to seafood…and probably nothing I’d like to eat at all. As we drove in and parked Annie remarked that she’d never come all the way back to this place no matter how good the crab cakes were.

Like most people, myself included, she associates great crab cakes with waterfront venues in Baltimore Harbor or Annapolis, or nice spots in downtown D.C. Generally I would agree but my sister and brother-in-law changed my mind a few years back and sold me on Timbuktu. The crab cakes are enormous…two or three times the size of crab cakes one is generally served. They are delicious; flavorful and meaty, with just a minimum of breading and other ingredients necessary to hold them together. We ordered one a piece and were stuffed and thoroughly pleased.


Here’s what Zagat has to say about Timbuktu:

“Crab cakes are the real draw” at this “raucous” Hanover seafooder where “an undemanding but hungry” army of eaters goes gaga for “hearty” patties made with “golf-ball-size chunks of crab and very little filler”; “don’t count on ambiance” in the cavernous space, but prices are “reasonable”, and the “friendly” service “keeps pace.”

The good news is that Timbuktu delivers nationwide. I’ve never ordered them for shipment but I’m confident that they are nothing other than delicious. Timbuktu has a restaurant and lounge, as well as a massive take-out business. By the way, Annie will be making the drive to return here.

Here’s Timbuktu’s recipe for Crab Soup. I haven’t tried it but I’m pretty confident it’s delicious:

Maryland Crab Soup

2 ounces pork or ham bone
2 quarts water
3 (1-pound) can whole tomatoes, crushed
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen mixed vegetables
2 cups diced potatoes
3 medium stalks celery, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons OLD BAY® Seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 pound Maryland crabmeat

Cut pork into pieces and put into 8-quart pot. Add water, cover and simmer about one hour. Add remaining ingredients, except crabmeat and cook until vegetables are done, about 20 to 30 minutes. Add crabmeat to soup. Heat through.

3 Responses to Maryland crab cakes at Timbuktu
  1. Laurie Holloway
    May 21, 2015 | 16:40

    Can’t believe that our Timbuktu made it into your blog!! Cakes are amazing though and I am glad I could share them with you.

  2. Renee
    December 23, 2016 | 20:26

    I have to agree with you! My sister use to work there many many years ago. I’m getting ready to make crab cakes and totally forgot Timbuktu ships! If I’d had only remembered to order before! I’m now searching online for a recipe to make some for tomorrow and thought I’d give it a try to see if someone’s crab cake recipe came close to there’s. Whats the chances that I’d find there recipe ?? I’m sure after doing a little reading it has to be the type of crab meat they use that makes them the best. It’s definitely worth the stop if your on Interstate 70 hop off and give them a try.

    • Wendy
      January 15, 2017 | 13:51

      Their recipes are on their website!

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