This summer, driving to Virginia from New York to go shark fishing, I made a slight detour in Delaware to the small town of Leipsic, a tiny speck of a crabbing village near Delaware Bay. Crab, was of course what I had in mind when make the pilgrimage to Sambo’s Tavern, an iconic crab house that has been open for nearly 60 years. I took a seat in the backroom. Just out the windows a line of crab fishing boats were tied to their docks. As I waited from my crab bisque and crab cake sandwich at a table with newspapers as tablecloths, Elva, one of the owners told me that there was an otter that came around all last summer, and she keeps staring out the windows hoping to see it. She thought she caught a glimpse of it the day before, but wasn’t sure. She also sees Bald eagles regularly, and the boats going out into the bay see whales on occasion.
Sambo’s doesn’t cook crabs until you order, seasoning them with their in-house recipe that they have never revealed. They claim that the crabs here are the best in November, after they have had the entire season to grow fat. This thick, rich, creamy bisque, sprinkled with chile powder, was about as perfect of a bisque as there might ever be. The view doesn’t hurt.
283 Front Street