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The First Family of Crab Cake Restaurants

July 31st, 2007 · 4 Comments

The First Family of Crab Cake Restaurants

Here is a great story on the background of some of the most famous restaurants serving crab cakes in the Baltimore area. Amazing that Linthicum’s G&M Restaurant, Timbuktu in Hanover, Romano’s in Glen Burnie and Hellas in Millersville are all part of the unofficial first family of Baltimore Crab Cake Restaurants.
-The Crab Cake Guy

“Lumped together Local crab cakes share history, ingredients”
by Grant Huang Staff Writer for the Maryland Gazette

If the perfect crab cake exists, you can probably find it here. After all, Linthicum is home to G&M Restaurant, where the signature dish is a golden, 8-ounce mound of crab meat that’s drawn squeals of praise from national and regional publications such as The Washington Post and the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times.

“It’s certainly gotten the most attention for being a meal in itself,” said state Sen. Ed DeGrange, a longtime patron and crab cake lover. “It’s absolutely huge.”

But as it turns out, the magic behind G&M’s crab cake isn’t quite exclusive to the unassuming brick building on Hammonds Ferry Road.

Close cousins of the celebrated dish can be had at three other north county fixtures: Timbuktu in Hanover, Romano’s in Glen Burnie and Hellas in Millersville.

And it’s not just the crab cakes that are linked. Behind each restaurant is a rather complicated network of Greek families and friends. It’s so close that many customers, even regulars, assume the restaurants are run by the same people.

“We don’t like to be lumped in with each other professionally,” said Mike G. Stavlas, a manager at Hellas. “We’re all our own establishments.”

Behind each of these four bastions of crab cake bliss is a 35-year-old recipe created by Mike Stavlas’ uncle, Michael N. Stavlas. Michael’s name, together with his brother Gerasimos, provided the letters G&M. The pair opened G&M as a carryout in 1972.

“My brother, he would run the store. The recipe was really created by me,” said Mr. Stavlas, 58. “At all these other places, my formula itself is the same. But if they want to take credit, that’s fine. I don’t care anymore.”

These days, Mr. Stavlas devotes his time to Stavlas Properties, a commercial development company he started after three decades in restaurants.

Starting with G&M, he and Gerasimos began a decades-long career that spread the Stavlas crab cake to its current four locations. The brothers sold G&M in 1983, and it’s changed hands again since then. Two years later, Michael bought a struggling Hanover restaurant called Timbuktu… For a the rest of the story click here and visit The Maryland Gazette article.

Additional Resources:
I Love Crab Cakes! 50 Recipes for an American Classic by Tom Douglas and Shelley Lance
The Crab Cake Guy’s Recipes
The Crab Lover’s Book: Recipes & More by Mary Ethelyn Orso
Ocean Friendly Cuisine: Sustainable Seafood Recipes From The World’s Finest Chefs by James O. Fraioli and Cousteau
Lumped together Local crab cakes share history, ingredients by Grant Huang, Maryland Gazette

Tags: Crab Cake News · Crab Cake Restaurants · crab cakes

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Debbie // Apr 14, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Is there anyone that has the recipe or can come close to the receipe for the Timbuktu crab cakes?

    I am trying to find out what is in them that makes them so creamy and delicious.

    Any help?????
    Thanks,Deb.

  • 2 Kim // Feb 18, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    A recipe that looks promising comes from a cookbook called “Bon Apetit Y’all”. We order crabcakes from Timbuktu and have them shipped here to NC, so we know how wonderful they are and what they look like! The recipe calls for sauteeing them in butter, but I’m trying to cook them like we cook the crabcakes from Timbuktu. They look a lot like Timbuktu’s cakes, but they are not out of the oven yet. They look promising! I highly recommend this cookbook to you!

  • 3 Mark // Dec 25, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    Kim: I’m still waiting to hear how the crab cakes turned out. Were they the same as TBTs and G and Ms?

  • 4 Linda // Jan 21, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Kim: I’m with Mark. Were they the same as TBTs and G and Ms? I really would like to make these crab cakes at home.

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