Sake Gumi
I visited my friend in Alexandria this weekend. She teaches kindergarten in MD. Last time I visited her, it was right before the crab season, and she promised me she would take me to crabbing next time I am in the area.

2 years later, I went back. By this time, she got out of boonytown MD, and is now living in Alexandria. I didn't care for going out in DC, or Georgetown. All I wanted was to relax and eat crab. Although she has been living there, she has never been to a real crab joint. Maryland blue crab, cracking its shell with a wooden hammer, was something I saw on Food Network every time they talk about MD.

Her boyfriend, JT, found a place near the Potomac river in Dumfries, VA. Dumb Fries? What a name?! It's as bad as Intercourse, PA, Hooker, OK, or New Erection, VA... Speaking of odd town names, check this out. This is pretty funny.

Anyhow, we went to Tim's River Shore. It was located on the Potomac, and the direction were very serious. According to their website, direction said "...You'll then make a left to be on Cherry Hill Road. Follow that a couple miles down a windy curvy road, cross the railroad tracks and you're dead end at the river. Tim's is down the gravel on the left hand side". Dead raccoons, double wide, trampoline, you name it, they were there. We drove JT's Mercedes, and thought we would be totally ass kicked. Pick up trucks were definitely the car of choice.

Though we were skeptical, or scared, we were determined to crack the shells with a hammer, so we went to the restaurant. It was REAL. No bullshit. Tabletops were covered with bikini contest pictures from 10 years ago, as you can see below. Can you imagine you come back to the joint after 10 years, with your husband, and he finds your skimpy bikini on the table top?

We ordered a dozen crabs. There was this salt mixture on the table. It was salt, pepper, paprika and thyme.

Other dipping sauce, malt vinegar. I don't like it because it smells like stinky feet, and I wish they had rice vinegar instead.

After a couple of minutes, the waiter brought a big piece of paper to put over the table, and a piece of wood. I was hoping to get a nice wooden hammer, but oh well, we were in Dumfries, it might be too dangerous to give a hammer to a drunk customer. You never know who's the wife beaters, since everyone was wearing one...

While crabs were being steamed, I took a picture of the river from my table.

Here comes the goods. Perfectly steamed, smeared with the salt mixture, with wipes (which is a joke, since my fingers smelled like crab until next morning), and lemon wedges.

Let me tell you. This place was for REAL. I've had crabs at many places, but this was the freshest crabs I have ever had in my life. I've had big crabs in Japan. But we Japanese don't use hammers to crack crabs. We are too polite to the dead animal, so we use a knife, scissors, cracker, and other devices, but I will tell my mom to buy a wooden hammer. It was very easy to crack. These crabs weren't that big and the process was very labor intensive. You first crack the hand, suck the meat out, then move to the body.

If I was with my mom, she would slurp the guts, but I didn't. Did you know lump crab meat comes from near the butt of a crab? That was a new findings while eating it. Also I have a complete new respect and understanding of why lump crab meat is so expensive. I want to know how crab shackers can extract the meat without breaking the delicate meat. It was so hard, and being me, the most impatient person, I basically put everything in my mouth and spat out the shells. I also found out not all the crab meat is red (or pink) and white. These guys were almost brown and white. You think it's kind of gross looking at brown, but it was so flavorful, sweet and yummy.

I bet I can make a nice broth out of the shells.

Who builds a red coconut tree in the middle of white trash town in VA? Tim's does.

It kind of look like some restaurant you see on the ocean front, but Tim's was totally in the ghetto land. I was the only Asian, and I saw two Black people, and everyone else was white. All the girls hair was totally teased up, and blond, and all the guys had mustache. Real.

On a side note, this is what my friend got as "thank you" gift from one of the kid's parent. Can you believe this? Money flowers! People down there are very creative, in a trashy way...

We came home, put all the clothes in the washer, then took shower... I will definitely go back with a group of people. Definitely worth it.

Tim's Rivershore Restaurant & Crabhouse
1510 Cherryhill Road
Dumfries, VA 22026
T: 703.441.1375



  • friggin hilarious!!! you are one funny dude.

    let’s DEFINITELY go here on a future Umamiventure! that would be really fun.

    kayoko on

  • Woah. I took a train from Williamsburg, VA back to Washington, DC this weekend. I was asleep for most of the ride, but opened my eyes and the first thing I saw was THIS PLACE!!!

    It looked like an amazing place to take a day trip out of the city and eat some crabs.

    I tried Google searching it when I got home, but couldn’t figure it out. Thanks so much UMAMI!!! What a beautiful coincidence.

    When I go, I’ll print out your review and place it under a tabletop with the bikini pics ;)

    mark on

  • Yeah, we saw train passing by like every 15 minutes. You must be on one of them. If you have a friend with a boat, you can dock right there. Don’t go there looking like political peeps from DC. You might get beaten up.

    Yamahomo on

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