by Michael Vyskocil, photography by Nikola Tzenov
Dan Schuman knows crabs. In fact, thousands of crabs have passed through his hands since he got his start in the crab business in 1971. With an eye for consistency and quality, Schuman dedicates himself to putting the freshest crabs he can find into the hands of his loyal clientele. His business, Captain Dan’s Crabhouse, serves customers throughout Baltimore, Carroll and Howard counties.
Schuman sources crabs from the Chesapeake Bay and beyond, relying on his decades of relationships with watermen who know what Schuman looks for in the crabs he purchases. This attention to detail funnels down to the care Schuman and his team — his brother Mike, his wife Cathy and his longtime manager Manny San Juan — take in serving steamed crabs to Captain Dan’s standard. “Every crab is steamed to order,” he said. “We will never offer a reheated crab to our customers.”
While you can enjoy Captain Dan’s crabs steamed and ready to serve at your next crab feast, crab also stars in the dishes found on the menu at Captain Dan’s seafood restaurant in Eldersburg: the crab pretzel, lump crabcake fluff and the seafood skins.
Longtime Captain’s Dan server Lindsey DiLeonardi describes these crab-inspired creations. “For our crab pretzel, we take a soft pretzel, top it with our homemade crab dip, put cheddar cheese and Old Bay seasoning on top and bake it until it’s golden brown and bubbly. The lump crabcake fluff has a 4-ounce lump crabcake that we dip in a thick homemade batter and deep-fry it. To make the seafood skins, we take a potato, cut it in half, hollow out the middle and put a homemade crab ball in our homemade crab dip in the potato. We add a creamy sauce (an imperial topping), cheddar cheese and Old Bay seasoning, and bake it until it’s golden.”
Quality ingredients are only part of Captain Dan’s recipe for success. “Our customers understand that they can always talk to an owner,” Schuman said. “We really pride ourselves on our customer service.”
Fun fact: Captain Dan’s Crabhouse ships Maryland steamed crabs and fresh seafood across the United States.
Captain Dan’s Crabhouse 2021 Liberty Rd., Eldersburg
(410) 549-2511 | www.captaindanscrabhouse.com