I found myself in the club level for the Orioles home opener this year, where the food selections are just a little bit different. My companion and I tried out two crab dip related dishes that are available on the club/suite level. I actually wanted to try some of the so-called gourmet nachos that they had at one stand, but when I went to get them in the sixth inning I could not because they were out of nacho cheese. At the nacho stand. Classic Orioles. But let's not dwell on that. On to the reviews:
Location: Club/Suite Level, Pizza Boli's Stand, Section 270
For some reason, the crab pretzel is located at the Pizza Boli's stand despite the fact that there is an entire concession stand on the club level dedicated to crab products. That made it a little bit difficult to find.
A crab pretzel is one of my favorite treats, and if you get a good one at a restaurant it has an even spread of crab dip on the top of the pretzel, topped with cheese, and baked in an oven. That is not what you're going to get with the crab pretzel at Camden Yards. The crab pretzel at Camden Yards is the standard soft pretzel (the one you see spinning in the glass case) with crab dip poured all over the top. It's the same crab dip that you may have had on the crab dip waffle fries, which is a fan favorite.
Crab pretzel expectations from the Facebook page (slide right) vs. crab pretzel reality (slide left):
Quite a difference!
Despite my initial disappointment that the crab pretzel wasn't what I was expecting, I did enjoy it. The crab dip at Camden Yards is really yummy, and who doesn't love a soft pretzel? It was a little salty between both the dip and the pretzel, but I will note that the concessionaire asked us if we wanted a salted or unsalted pretzel. It's possible it wouldn't have been too salty with the unsalted pretzel.
I would eat the crab pretzel again, but it probably wouldn't be my first choice. It's tasty and a reasonable price, but given the choice between the crab dip waffle fries and the crab pretzel, I'd choose the fries any time. The denseness of the pretzel compared to the fries was definitely to its detriment. Also to its detriment is the fact that you need a fork and knife (and preferably a tabletop) to eat this. Definitely not convenient ballpark fare.
Crab Dip and Pita Chips
Location: Club/Suite Level, Section 222
I thought this was really overpriced compared to both the crab pretzel and the crab dip waffle fries. It came with a lot of dip, but nothing to warrant being twice the price. This was served with the pita chips piled into a paper container with the crab dip spread on top of it, similar to the waffle fries. But I found the pita chips to be a let down. It's like they couldn't decide if they wanted to be soft like pita bread or crispy like pita chips, and they landed somewhere in the middle. Some parts were chewy and tough to bite through. Of course, I got them in the bottom of the sixth inning, perhaps when the day began they were fresher.
One note about this is that I happened to be drinking a Flying Dog Dead Rise while eating this, and the Old Bay beer goes really well with crab dip. Give it a try.
I wouldn't spend my money on the dip and pita chips again. If you want something with crab dip, I again have to suggest going for the waffle fries, although they don't appear to be available on the club level. Club level does offer crab dip over kettle chips, though.
Finally, a word of advice: do not eat two crab dip themed concessions in one day, even if you are sharing both with a friend. It's just too much. You're a smart person, so you probably realize that. I'm going to blame my poor judgement on the Orioles. The team on the field was getting beaten so badly that I was forced from my seat to look for a distraction. And then the nacho stand had run out of cheese! Really, I was forced into it.