Baltimore Sun Review
Ribs, crab cakes are showstoppers at Corner Stable
By Karen Nitkin
"Be careful -- don't break the China," joked Charles, our affable, curly-haired waiter as he shuffled out foam plates for our bread like he was dealing cards.
This don't-take-us-seriously humor is part of the shtick at Corner Stable, a feeding trough of a restaurant where decor consists of Keno numbers lit up on a board and televisions tuned to the day's biggest sporting events.
The restaurant isn't about fine dining -- it's about messy, delicious ribs, crab cakes and other local classics.
Charles greets customers by telling them the news of the day and always dispenses a joke or two along with the food. No wonder he's one of the most requested servers, according to owner Chip Reed.
Corner Stable has been serving up ribs and good cheer since it opened in 1972. And it's always had a bit of a swagger. Large letters affixed to the outside of the building inform everyone who drives by on York Road that it has the best ribs in Baltimore. Nothing subtle about that.
About two years ago, the original owners sold the restaurant -- along with its top-secret ribs recipe -- to Chip and Randy Reed and Joe and Jay Stonik. The new owners put in new bathrooms, added more light and made the dining area nonsmoking.
They also added soups, some salads and sandwiches and Randy Reed's crab cake recipe.
Basically, they shifted the focus away from the bar and toward the kitchen, making Corner Stable a more family-friendly destination, though it's still on the dark side and still sort of loud. The new focus makes sense, since any old bar can serve alcohol, but nobody does ribs and crab cakes the way Corner Stable does ribs and crab cakes.
The baby back ribs, flown in from Denmark, according to the menu, are unusually meaty. The Danes clearly know how to fatten up pigs. The ribs are slow-cooked so that the meat easily parts from the bone and are topped with a silky sauce that packs plenty of flavor without being overly tart or particularly sweet. Looking around at the other tables, I saw that ribs were by far the most popular item.
But the crab cakes are just as worthy of praise. At 8 ounces, they're larger than hockey pucks and made with nothing but jumbo lumps of meat. The moist interior, gently tweaked with just a few spices to bring out the sweetness of the crab, is held together with a tender golden crust.
Side dishes are a roster of classics done right -- tangy, rich baked beans, cool, mild coleslaw, golden fries and green beans cooked with pork until they melt in the mouth.
We tried some other things too -- broasted chicken breast was sort of like fried chicken -- not a combination of broiled and roasted, as the name implies -- with a crisp coating and a moist interior. Fried shrimp were greaseless, fresh-tasting and medium-sized.
Not everything is quite as wonderful. The tomato base in the crab soup is too sweet, the bread, though served warm, is soft and boring, and the salads are heavy on the iceberg. But nobody's going to Corner Stable for bread and soup.
Even after a big meal, though, they might want dessert, and Corner Stable offers everyone's favorites, including cheesecake, pecan pie, carrot cake and a brownie sundae. We had the brownie sundae, a no-frills combo of warm, chocolaty brownie, cool vanilla ice cream and whipped cream, and devoured it in minutes.
Charles, of course, gave us a hard time for eating too much. But when a restaurant masters those all-American classics, who can resist?
Baltimore Magazine Review
Crab-ilicious!by : Henry Hong, Suzanne Loudermilk, Martha Thomas, and Mike Unger
We know. The Stable equals ribs - juicy, fall-off-the-bones meat in a rich, smokey sauce. Wet naps are de rigeuer. But the restaurant also has one of the best genteel crab cakes in town. Who would have thunk it? The plump disk of lumps has nary a telltale sign of filler. It was solid crab, making it a bit drier than some. Still, this cake works. At lunch, the crab cake sandwich is $18.99 with fries.
We Won!!! - Corner Stable Reviews
* New Award * "Best New Restaurant in Howard County 2012"
* New Award * "Best Turkey Dinner 2012"
"Best Family Restaurant in Cockeysville 2009"
US Commerce Association
"Baltimore's Best BBQ 2008"
AOL City Guide
"Baltimore's Best Ribs 2004"
"Baltimore's Best Baby Back Ribs"
"Baltimore's Best Crab Cakes"
"Best of Baltimore" 2002 AND 2003 AND 2004
"One of Baltimore's Best Crab Cakes"
Best Carry Out 2004
Best Pit Beef and BBQ 2005
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I have been going to corner stables for years. This is my FAVORITE place to eat. The Ribs, Chicken, Steamed Shrimp and Crabcakes are the BEST. Forgot to mention the crab soup is also out of this world. Also make sure you join the e mail club you recieve AWESOME e-mails from corner stable. Great food and service, I have never had a bad experience.
At 41 years old and a native of Delmarva, I have eaten many crabcakes at many different places... the Corner Stable has the very best I have ever had in my entire life. We stayed in Cockeysville for two nights and the first night my sister took me there so she could get ribs. I got the crabcake and slept happy. We came back the next night too. Everything was awesome, and the service was outstanding. I'll be back... thank you!
Andrea, Dover DEI had just recently visited your establishment while on business. Being from Colorado, I was very impressed with your ribs and crab cakes. They were the best I have ever tasted. Needless to say, I visited your establishment everyday for two weeks. I only wish I could get those wonderful crab cakes in Colorado at the drop of a coin, unfortunately I will have to order them and wait until they arrive. Keep up the great work, I will definitely tell all of my friends and family about your establishment.
The Gal from Loveland, Colorado
My husband and I have crossed the United States 3 times, hitting every continental state. We have tried ribs many times, but never have found any to match The Corner Stable's. Some are almost as tender, some have a very good sauce, but they never quite measure up to what we enjoy here. We heard some people jokingly ask you to open a branch in York, PA, but we prefer to have it in Lancaster, PA. Some of our friends think we are nuts for driving to Cockeysville just for ribs and crabcakes, until they come along and try them. We really appreciate the upgrades and the non-smoking atmosphere. Thanks for wonderful ribs and crabcakes.
Beth and Ken
My son and daughter-in-law come here whenever they are in the mood for "Ribs and Cake." I think my son coined that phrase. My husband and I enjoy it just as much. We have lived in Baltimore all of our lives and it's the best! I have told my co-workers about this place, and this year it was their pick for our Christmas Lunch. Thanks for the good stuff!!
"We came for the World Horse Expo at the Timonium State Fairgrounds and one of the Sponsors took me to dinner at THE CORNER STABLE, several years ago, and now, each year, we go back and we bring all our friends to the GREATEST CRAB CAKES & RIBS in the World. I took my family two nights ago, Thursday, & Friday, and we all had the same meal we had the night before because it was so great! After all, I ought to know, I'm from Easton, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and my grandfather used to own his own Seafood Business. The CRAB CAKES are the REAL DEAL!!!
"Everytime I go to Baltimore I visit your place! It's the best!"
"I have been coming to the Corner Stable since the 70's. You can always expect expert, friendly service and the best food in Baltimore, especially the ribs and broasted chicken. The menu has expanded over the years, and all of the food is absolutely delicious. You can't go wrong by having lunch or dinner at the Corner Stable-definitely one of the best restaurants in Baltimore."
"The Corner Stable definitely has the best ribs and crabcakes. They also serve great broasted chicken, Maryland crab soup, and meatloaf. Everyone there is friendly and helpful. Dining at the Corner Stable is a relaxing, pleasant experience."
"I liked the web site. Cute music. And friendly getting around. However, even though the ribs are fabullous (major yum!) I think you should also highlight the best crab cake in town, and also, the new
Binnie"We try to get down from New Jersey at least twice in 2 years. When our family lived in Cockeysville, it was a lot easier. We've even brought friends down to your establishment. I wish you could open a place in New Jersey. We really, really enjoy ourselves, when we visit."
"My husband and I dine at The Corner Stable almost every time we come to visit our home town of Baltimore. We even had a dinner at The Corner Stable while we were on our honeymoon. We Really wish The Corner Stable shipped their delicious ribs and wonderful crabcakes. Since we have moved to Southern Virginia, we have not found another restaurant to compare to The Corner Stables' ribs and crabcakes. We hope to see you on our next visit. Keep up the good work!"
" I lived in Baltimore, during the eighties, and dined on your ribs almost every Friday! I now live in the Buffalo, New York area. When I visit Baltimore I always stop for your ribs. I have tried ribs in other parts of the country and Buffalo and cannot find any that compare to your delicious ribs.
Please never change the recipe or how you do business."