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Soft Shell Crabs


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After reading the thread on Ceiba and noticing on a recent trip, someone had "Crabs Two Ways...crabcakes and soft-shells" I have decided to ask everyone where they've seen soft-shells recently. They are one of my very favorite items and I aim to have them often often often!

Personally, had some at Majestic Cafe over the weekend. They were OK...a bit dry (which seems odd), but still soft-shells so not totally disappointing.

Tell me where else you've seen 'em! Please, oh please!

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If you are looking for places that serve them -- I saw someone eating something at the bar that just looked weird at Zaytinya's the other day. When I asked the bartender, he told me it (or they) were deep fried softshells. Perhaps it was the way the batter had adhered, but you'd never have guessed... Anyway I'd already had enough of a snack, so I didn't personally try one. Everything else at Zaytinya is pretty darned good, so next time I'll give these a whirl.

Oh, J[esus]. You may be omnipotent, but you are SO naive!

- From the South Park Mexican Starring Frog from South Sri Lanka episode

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They were $5 a pop at the Dupont Market on Sunday and well worth it even if they were tiny.

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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I personally find fried softshells, like the kind I had at Cashions last year, totally worthless. It's pan-sauteed or nothin' for me. That said I've been getting them wherever they've been on the menu lately. Only that's not been in DC, but in Philly at Chloe, NY at Barbuto, VT at Trattoria Delia..I suspect Johnny's may have them??

Food is a convenient way for ordinary people to experience extraordinary pleasure, to live it up a bit.

-- William Grimes

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We have soft shell crabs on our menu at Mendocino right now, (I ate them tonight.)

Also, I had the Crab Two Ways at Ceiba and I thought it was very nice, the crabcake and softshell crab combo is hard to beat.

I believe this is a weekly thing, Breadline has crabcake sandwiches on Thursdays and Fridays. (Can anyone confirm that?) Two Fridays ago they had them, but after a night of too much drinking, I couldn't quite get in the mood. But I might head over this week and try one if it is a weekly special, they looked awesome.

(They were definitely fried, sorry Sara...)

Now that I think of it, I'm pretty sure that I had soft shell crabs at Citronelle, and if I recall correctly, they stuffed the crabs with additional crabmeat. Those were pretty amazing as well. (Lot of drinking that weekend, so Mark by all means, correct me if I'm mistaken in this.)

Edited to account for my not being in town last week...

Edited by JRage (log)

Mendocino Grille and Wine Bar

Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar

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Hi there,

If you're looking for a place that serves'em -- I had some very tasty fried soft shell crabs at Full Kee in Chinatown, DC. While I don't usually go for the deep fried kind myself, I followed the waiter's recommendation and got the deep fried vs. pan-sauteed -- it was served with green onions and chilis (and maybe some cilantro? I don't quite remember.) They were incredibly delicious - not deep fried to a burnt crisp in the very least, and easy to eat with chopsticks (something I had feared after ordering) as they were cut into manageable pieces.

On the other hand, I had some, nay make that one, terribly disappointing soft shell crab at The Tabard Inn. For one, I think it was precooked and the warmed up - and I didn't care for the sweetness of the sauce it was served with...plus it was ONE crab for $24. For that price, I'd like to return to Corduroy - they do a mean soft shell. (I don't think it's a lot to expect more than one crab for that price, is it?)

Hope this helps!

"Big media today wants to own the faucet, pipeline, water, and the reservoir. The rain clouds come next." - Ted Turner
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Now that I think of it, I'm pretty sure that I had soft shell crabs at Citronelle, and if I recall correctly, they stuffed the crabs with additional crabmeat. Those were pretty amazing as well.

Oh, yes. Tempura soft-shell stuffed with extra crabmeat - crunchy on the outside, crabvana on the inside. I can't remember if they were on the bar menu as well, or just the regular dinner menu.

"Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cookbook! Little Red Cookbook!" --Eddie Izzard
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This weekend Wegman's had a station set up that was selling what appeared to be sauteed softshells in a sandwich as well as crabcakes. Looked pretty good and smelled very good, but I just can't/won't do softshells personally.

Bill Russell

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I had the softshell crab sandwich at RFD a few weeks ago. It sucked. Bad.

Yeah, it's a pity the food at RFD doesn't stack up any where near the quality of the beers. I don't think I'll ever eat there again.

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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We have soft shell crabs on our menu at Mendocino right now, (I ate them tonight.)

Yum, looking forward to hopefully trying those (if they're still on the menu!) on my upcoming Sunday outing to Mendocino.

If we're talking crabcakes, not only softshells, I had a very nice cc sandwich at David Greggory's for lunch yesterday. Plenty of jumbo lump crabmeat, nice coleslaw and tons of fries on the side, $14.

Food is a convenient way for ordinary people to experience extraordinary pleasure, to live it up a bit.

-- William Grimes

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I recommend any soft shell at Equinox, particularly their current prep (which will probably continue for another few weeks):

Sautéed Virginia soft shell crab w/

braised kale, sweet onion, and cashew butter sauce

(In the end, nicely balanced)

...and the soft shell with ponzu sauce at Sushi-Ko (a recurring special). It's zesty, tender, barely fried.

Both are delish and have coveted crunch crunch like cicada.

...

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having neither money nor time for lunch outside the office today, I resigned myself to 10 minutes of tunafish-and-yogurt while reading through the day's posts and news...read this thread, however, and suddenly found myself in a bright patio with a crunchy-munchy-multi-legged-beastie grinning up at me from atop his skordalic platform, courtesy of zaytina.

he was scrumptious.

a bit greasy, but scrumptious.

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having neither money nor time for lunch outside the office today, I resigned myself to 10 minutes of tunafish-and-yogurt while reading through the day's posts and news...read this thread, however, and suddenly found myself in a bright patio with a crunchy-munchy-multi-legged-beastie grinning up at me from atop his skordalic platform, courtesy of zaytina.

he was scrumptious.

a bit greasy, but scrumptious.

Now I want your job!!!!

Last year Tako Grill in Bethesda had them as tempura. They were delicious.

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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You are all marvelous. Sara, I, too, prefer the sauteed but if faced with no soft-shell or a deep-fried soft-shell, I'll take the deep fried.

They actually have a soft-shell sandwich on the menu at Ebbitt Express. Had one last week and it was tasty.

Keep the soft-shell sightings (at restaurants) coming! The DH doesn't like them too much so I wouldn't purchase them to make at home (I guess I could just buy them for me and make something else for him but that is a pain in my estimation!)

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Unsurprisingly, McCormick & Schmick's has them as well. One of my co-workers was in town to day and as he hails from Minneapolis, we wanted to get him a softshell before his 2:30 flight from Dulles. He opted for M&S (Reston Town Center location) over my suggestion of Yoko in Herndon, which does them with what I believe is a ponzu sauce and a breading even lighter than tempura.

The sandwiches were about $15, and the single crab was large. Bless them, M&S doesn't put anything else on the sandwich, but does put red onion, tartar sauce, lemon, lettuce, and tomato on the side, so you can build it the way you like it. The accompanying fries were oversalted. If you have to do your softshell in a corporate dining setting, this was a pretty good take on them.

I had softshells at Clyde's in Reston for dinner earlier this week. The two small to medium-sized crabs were about $19, and served meuniere style (meaning pan-fried with LOTS of clarified butter.) The accompanying baby potatoes were very tasty with the butter as were the snow peas. A pleasant dish, but the butter may have slightly overpowered the crab.

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Buck's has them (fried) on the menu tonite.

Food is a convenient way for ordinary people to experience extraordinary pleasure, to live it up a bit.

-- William Grimes

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They're on the bar menu, and probably also the regular restaurant menu, at Poste in the Hotel Monaco. I didn't try them, but I recall they were sauteed or pan-fried, but not deep-fried.

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So far the Equinox preparation sounds the yummiest to me.

Edited by liamdc (log)

Liam

Eat it, eat it

If it's gettin' cold, reheat it

Have a big dinner, have a light snack

If you don't like it, you can't send it back

Just eat it -- Weird Al Yankovic

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