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Restaurant Critic & Food Blogger
For all my views know that I love seafood, all kinds of seafood and those establishment that know how to make good seafood gets rave reviews from the one and only Chef Woo Can. These establishments focus on one thing only, to provide the best quality seafood to their customers. That's what they are in business for, for the customer and to establish their reputation to their customer base. That goal and only that goal will bring back customers forever.
Ok, seafood is going through a rough patch right now, over fishing has destroyed existing fishing grounds, mass production of seafood is treated with chemicals to ensure their longevity, most seafood is flash frozen and now demand exceeds supply. That means to get fresh seafood, your going to pay a lot, but if your a seafood lover, price matters but that seafood taste is one of a kind, the sweetness of sea scallops, the tenderness of bay scallops, the succulent savory taste of fresh Maine Lobster to our delicious Maryland crabs from the Chesapeake makes it worthwhile to juicy oyster and clams.
Yes, I will be the first to say that quality is being compromised with climate change affecting the seafood chain. Wild salmon may eventually be more expensive than caviar eventually. Over development of natural lands to satisfy the greedy is taking shape in the Northwest USA with wild salmon possibly being affected by mining of precious metals.
To open a seafood business is tough, to keep up with all these factors impacting price is difficult to say the least. Seafood entrepreneurs are losing their focus, focus is how do they manage a business expenses while making a profit. Do they compromise on quality? portions? hike up rates? all to pay for expenses, payroll etc...… or is the thinking of expanding the company name and hopefully the reputation may reach a broader customer base?
I choose Conrad's Seafood Restaurant and take out because I've been there a few times. I know Conrad's has been in Maryland for quite sometime but within a year or two, the company has decided to expand.
Let me first tell you of my experience there first. One time it was a company luncheon and I had a crab cake sandwich. What I got was a semi sort of warm crab cake on a huge roll. When I say huge roll, it was bigger than the crabcake. Now, if I wanted bread, I would pick up a loaf of bread at the local market. When you go to a seafood restaurant, whether for lunch or dinner, I expect seafood and it should be hot off the presses. What, in the kitchen the crab cakes are sitting under the warmer light?
Very disappointed but thank God I didn't have to pay. But other had ordered the snow crab legs and they said it was watery and "Where's the meat"
This was before Conrad's was planning to open up 2 more places in Harford County.
Another time my friend and I decided to try out the new Conrad's by Wegmans, used to be the Ocean City Brewing Company.
As a self proclaimed food critic, I usually, let me change that I rarely go back to a restaurant that's terrible.
Well Conrad's was the lucky one to get a second chance. Boy, oh boy am I stupid!. I ordered Fried Calamari and stuffed shrimp with crab imperial. The Fried calamari tasted like it was frozen. You can tell by the coating and the texture. The stuffed shrimp, I was really expecting at least six stuffed shrimp and I don't think I was wrong expecting that with a nice creamy flowing crab imperial with lump crabmeat. What I got at the time was 4 small shrimp with a glob of so called crab imperial , not much lump crabmeat and it was a smooth sauce but rather coagulated and rough. It's hard to explain but it didn't have the flowing effect like melted cheese, rather it wasn't hot rather warm and been sitting around I guess it was a popular dish.
To top it off, when the bill came, It was ridiculous. I could have gone to my fiends local Chinese restaurant for the price and had a banquet meal.
So, Conrad's has massive payroll expense, 3 leases, utility bills, inventory for 3 restaurant/carry out and boosting the price to pay for all these expenses. In the final analysis, they will lose customers, quality will become poorer, professionalism will be hit and the price will be out of range for most and those that love seafood may think twice of paying for something that is considered sub par.
Inventory, seafood is highly perishable, what do they do with the slow moving dishes? that I can only imagine is sitting for a long time especially food that is not turning over very quick. What? do you actually think they will throw out seafood that's been sitting around, no they will probably sell it as one of their specials! DO NOT BUY ANY SPECIALS!!!!! They are trying to move the slow moving seafood inventory. Conrad's has lost their focus, expanding? why? I'd rather have them not expand but I'm not originally from Maryland but I think it was a bad move.
I have to say, I don't have anything nice to say about Conrad's Seafood Restaurant, Everything is terrible, just saying so on a scale of 1-5 with 1 being poor, I give this place a
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com
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