Schultz’s Crab House named an ‘American Classic’ by the James Beard Foundation
Schultz’s Crab House in Essex received a special honor last week by being awarded the prestigious “America’s Classics” award from the James Beard Foundation, an organization that recognizes culinary excellence and achievement.
Opened in 1950, Schultz’s, located at 1732 Old Eastern Ave, has remained a neighborhood staple for its friendly wait staff, novellength menu, and its fresh seafood specials which include the customer-favorite “crab fluff”.
The James Beard Foundation praised Shultz’s treatment of Maryland’s favorite oceanic critter, saying “In summer and fall, when Maryland crabs are at their finest, devoted regulars feast on locally caught swimmers plump with sweet meat and zinged with a house blend of spices. Regional classics, highlighting the Old Line State’s signature crustacean.” Along with blue crab served up in several differently delicious ways, Schultz’s is also known for their homemade soups and desserts, stuffed lobsters tails, and their selection of cold beers.
Schultz’s was opened by Mildred & William Schultz, who were better known as “Mom” and “Pop”, who recently moved to Baltimore from Buffalo, New York. They opened “Schultz’s Cafe” in 1950 in a rented space which is now the location’s main dining room. In 1952, they purchased the entire building which originally consisted of three separate storefronts: the bar, a spa
ghetti carry-out, and an appliance store. After walls were removed and the building was renovated, the businesses transformed into “Schultz’s Lounge”.
Its current owners, Mildred and William Schultz, took over in 1969. Constant customer support has kept Schultz’s going for decades. The American Classics award honors this longevity and local loyalty.
“In an ever-changing culinary landscape, these honorees have created enduring restaurants and food establishments that have not only stood the test of time, but continue to bring people together in celebration of the unique flavors in America’s vast food scene,” said Susan Ungaro, the president of the James Beard Foundation.
In order to be eligible for the award, a restaurant had to have been in business for at least ten years and be owned by residents. The winners are chosen by the organization’s committee which consists of restaurant critics, writers, editors and other experts. A public call for entries was sent out in fall of 2016.
The James Beard Foundation Awards Gala celebrating the honorees will be held at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on Monday, May 1, 2017.
The tables at Schultz’s are often covered with brown paper in preparation for one of their most popular, and signature, dishes: a dozen of steamed crabs.