Skipjack’s Restaurant, Crab House and Sports Bar (7703 Belair Rd., 410-668-5053) is a seafood lover’s paradise. Whether you're looking for traditional seafood dishes such as steamed crabs, shrimp or clams, or something different like crab nachos or Guinness seared scallops, you’ll find it at Skipjack’s.
There are so many items on the menu, it’s difficult to choose. Appetizers ($6.99-$12.99) include crab pretzel, crab toast, crab cake minis and other seafood selections, including fried clams or calamari, steamed mussels or shrimp, and chicken tenders.
Steamed seafood is well represented, from shrimp, mussels and clams to crabs and snow crabs. Skipjack’s has some interesting salads ($4.99-$12.99), including Greek, nicoise and lobster cobb salads. Entrees include staples such as ribs and steaks ($18.99-$19.99), wraps and sandwiches as well as decadent fare like crab imperial-topped soft shell crab ($19.99).
When we were there for the first time on a recent Friday night, we choose the crab toast ($10.99), firecracker shrimp ($8.99) and oyster stew ($4.99) to start, and the broiled Skipjack’s seafood combination ($26.99) and softshell crab sandwich ($11.99) for our entrees.
The dining room is behind the bar area, which was gearing up for karaoke just as we were leaving. The dining room is relatively quiet, as it has carpeted floors and leather-covered seats, as well as tablecloths and a drop ceiling to absorb noise. Our server seemed somewhat inexperienced—he could not tell me what red wine was available, and came back to ask us additional questions twice after taking our order. However, he was extremely friendly and upbeat.
The crab toast and firecracker shrimp came out quickly. The crab toast is toasted slices of garlic bread topped with crab imperial. The imperial is light on seasoning and has no celery or peppers, which lets the creamy goodness of the crabmeat shine through.
The firecracker shrimp is sautéed in a garlic/white wine/buffalo sauce, which is also drizzled over the top of the shrimp and the garlic toast it is served on. The shrimp are large, tender and delicious, but I’m not sure what the purpose of the garlic toast is—since the shrimp are served with the tail on, you can’t really pick up the toast and take a bite.
The oyster stew is a little bit of heaven. It has plenty of oysters, and it tastes buttery and creamy with an almost whipped consistency. Delicious!
Our entrees arrived just after we finished our appetizers. The softshell crab sandwich is two pan-fried soft shells served on white bread, with lettuce, tomato, tartar sauce and a lemon. A generous portion of perfectly fried, hand cut fries is served with it.
My broiled seafood combination is glorious. A huge plate piled high with four mussels, four shrimp, a full-size crab cake, three clams casino, two pieces of rockfish, a baked potato and a huge portion of green beans.
Everything is broiled to perfection, but could use some seasoning. It’s all very bland, except for the crab cake, which has a somewhat sweet flavor, which is not unpleasant, just unexpected. The mussels and shrimp are large and tender. The clams casino features chopped clams combined with seasoning and cornmeal, which is then stuffed into the clamshell and broiled.
Vegetarians should be warned that the green beans, while very fresh and crisp, are served as a medley with yellow squash, zucchini, carrots and enough bacon that the side dish should be called “green beans and bacon.”
Skipjack’s is the place to go if you have a variety of tastes to satisfy in your party —there’s something for everyone.