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Restaurant Critic & Food Blogger
1207 Baltimore Pike, Bel Air, MD
My wife decided to surprise my daughter and myself with a lunch from Conrad's. It was really nice of her treating us to lunch. Of course she ordered take-out and waited for the meal to be brought out to her.
Now, if you read my past reviews on Conrad's restaurant near Wegman's, it was horrible, overprices and quality was terrible. My feeling is especially for seafood, good value is very important since seafood prices have been skyrocketing.
Knowing this and not having high expectations.
My wife says that the establishment was very clean and strictly following the CDC guidelines. Ok, now let's get to the food.
My wife ordered her favorite, a crab cake sandwich. She ordered clams strips, fish and chips, hushpuppies, coleslaw and chicken tenders for my daughter and I.
The essence of eating seafood especially fried seafood is very thin batter or light coating of bread crumbs.
Ok, the clams strips were not the packaged fried clam strips that are more batter than clams, Corad's were much larger in size with a heavy batter and not fresh at all. The clams strips were dry and tough and very very chewy. Not fresh and not good. They were probably in the freezer for some time. The texture was like clam jerky, that tough! The batter was s thick, I was eating all dough with a tough piece of clam strip. Forget about the saying "tendersweet clams!
She opened the fish and chips, now I love fish and chips made with cod dipped in a golden light batter. What we got was thin slices of pollack fish, so razor thin and covered with a huge amount of bread crumbs deep fried until the color was very dark border line way over cooking the bread crumbs turning dark brown on a bed of french fries. Hate to say it but the seasoned french fries was the best of the entire meal.
The chicken tenders are hard to ruin. You can tell by the bread crumb coating that these were bought in bulk. Tender? yes, color? perfectly golden brown. The hush puppies which I haven't had for years are suppose to be seasoned fried cornmeal, They were bland and way too dark, no taste, no flavor, probably bought in bulk too. I was so turned off by the meal I didn't even want to attempt the coleslaw.
My question to Conrad's, how do you still stay in business. You've expanded your brand but I believe if you have a good product why expand. You apparently don't have a good product and to expand the way you are, maybe in the short term amongst all the competition, your not offering anything spectacular!.
I've been to Jimmy's Seafood, Papas (which has a # of locations well deserved but Conrad's? Hang up your apron. It means nothing to have a clean premises to comfort customers but if the food is terrible, what's the excuse!
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
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