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Welcome Edhead707!

Maybe this deserves to be a new topic, but what is the fascination with softshell crabs?  To me it seems that people go a bit crazy to get them.  Is is the limited availability?  Are they really so good that people?

I have to say, though I love hardshell crab, I don't care a bit for the softshell variety. It's mostly a texture thing. The not quite soft shell and the somewhat mushy interior is really off-putting to me.

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I think it's very difficult to find a good soft shell crab. Too often you end up with a greasy flabby uninspiring mess. The last time I remember having a good one was at Cafe Marianna in north Old Town about 3 or 4 years ago. It was deep fried in a light batter and the crab itself was nice and meaty.

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I think it's very difficult to find a good soft shell crab. Too often you end up with a greasy flabby uninspiring mess. The last time I remember having a good one was at Cafe Marianna in north Old Town about 3 or 4 years ago. It was deep fried in a light batter and the crab itself was nice and meaty.

I don't like anything to come between me and my soft shell - no bread, no tempura batter - the flavor and texture are too perfect to mess with.

The best I've had at a restaurant recently was at the Boatyard Bar and Grill in Eastport, without the roll.

Edited by crackers

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I have to say, though I love hardshell crab, I don't care a bit for the softshell variety.  It's mostly a texture thing. The not quite soft shell and the somewhat mushy interior is really off-putting to me.

Citronelle serves "primes" stuffed with blue crab in light tempura batter. No gook!

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Baltimore boy talking.

The soft shell crabs at Angelina's in Parkville (north of Baltimore) are amazing. Heck, the restaurant is just fantastic in general. My personal favorite seafood place in Baltimore. Of course, I'm a bit biased, but thats what happens when you grow up near such a great place.

Hmm... going up for dinner with the folks soon... reservations must be made...

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I had my first fried softshell at Mendocino the other week, and I liked it well enough. The texture was kind of suprising, as was the goo in the middle. Not in a bad way, now, just sort of "Hey check it out...GOO!!". I can see eating more of these things!

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Baltimore boy talking.

The soft shell crabs at Angelina's in Parkville (north of Baltimore) are amazing. Heck, the restaurant is just fantastic in general. My personal favorite seafood place in Baltimore. Of course, I'm a bit biased, but thats what happens when you grow up near such a great place.

Hmm... going up for dinner with the folks soon... reservations must be made...

Angelina's was sold at auction last week. Don't know who bought it or what they're planning for it, but I hope they don't change the crabcakes.

Update: The person who picked up the phone today says that it will be at least two or three months before the new owners take over. They are planning "some changes" but she couldn't elaborate. She did say she doesn't think they're going to change the crabcakes, which has me thinking that things might not be so bad as all that.

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I had one of the first of the season at Sushi-Ko a couple of weeks ago...

Their signature softshell, just barely fried, served with ponzu sauce. It was a big meaty guy with a light crunch and not a lot of goo. The ponzu sort of cancels out gook and goo anywho...

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Citronelle serves "primes" stuffed with blue crab in light tempura batter. No gook!

This available on the lounge menu?

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Angelina's was sold at auction last week. Don't know who bought it or what they're planning for it, but I hope they don't change the crabcakes.

REALLY?

This has me so upset... thanks for letting me know. If changes are made, I'll be very, very sad. Good memories, and the crabcakes were the best in the known universe.

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I find it amusing when I encounter people ordering soft shell crabs without having the slightest clue what it is. :lol: Some people actually think it’s some kind of crab cake dish or the hard shell type. REALLY—I’ve seen people ask for it to be boiled (do they really know how awful it would taste plainly boiled?) or try to pick on the meat inside with their bare hands as if it were hard shell crabs. I love soft shell crabs and for me, the only 2 best ways to prepare these crispy crustaceans is to lightly batter it and deep-fry or to simply sauté in butter. Soft shell crabs are only at its best when in season. Beware and I’ve seen it in menus, too, when restaurants offer it or in supermarkets in the dead of winter! It’s gotta be frozen.

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Has any one tried the soft shells from the gent at Dupont Farmer's Market that sells oysters and fish? Mr. B and I engaged in a conversation with him once and learned that he has a softshell farm in Virginia that is 5 miles or so away from the water.

His Rappahannock oysters are quite tasty, though a bit large for me.

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The best source in the area that I know of comes from Crisfield, MD. Wish I could drive there and sample those that come "fresh from the boat".

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I've always been partial to the softies at Bucks - lightly battered and oh so tasty

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C.F. Folks does a lightly-battered deep-fried softshell crab sandwich (in-season only) that I've enjoyed.

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As a Louisiana boy, I prefer my softshells fried on a dressed po' boy.

I remember the sandwich at CF Folks to be pretty good - will have to get down there once the season really hits. Been several years.

I've always been a little nervous cooking softshells myself and so I've never tried. They need to be prepped a certain way, right? I've never taken the time to learn what needs to go and what can stay in there.

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As a Louisiana boy, I prefer my softshells fried on a dressed po' boy.

I remember the sandwich at CF Folks to be pretty good - will have to get down there once the season really hits. Been several years.

I've always been a little nervous cooking softshells myself and so I've never tried. They need to be prepped a certain way, right? I've never taken the time to learn what needs to go and what can stay in there.

You have to remove their gills and smiling faces :lol:

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As a Louisiana boy, I prefer my softshells fried on a dressed po' boy.

I remember the sandwich at CF Folks to be pretty good - will have to get down there once the season really hits. Been several years.

I've always been a little nervous cooking softshells myself and so I've never tried. They need to be prepped a certain way, right? I've never taken the time to learn what needs to go and what can stay in there.

Prepping them is easy. If you're a Louisiana boy, you've picked a crab before right? So you should be familiar with crab anatomy. All you have to do is cut or rip out their lungs (aka dead man's fingers). To get to the lungs just lift up either side of the carapace to reveal the innards. You should also cut off their "face" so to speak-- the antennae and eyes can be kind of tough.

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Woohoo! (Unless that really was an mdt-only offer :lol: )

Right now they are offered as a special in the lounge and terrace.

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One of the few perks of living in Southern Maryland is the availability of soft shells from many of the seafood markets -- fresh, just hours from the river. Be sure you get a true soft shell - I think they're also called 'paper shells'. Once they begin to harden the least bit, they lose the delicacy that makes them so special.

I'm spoiled because when they're plentiful, it's easy to pick them up and do them many ways - sauteed in butter, tempura, deep-fried po-boys, etc.

Just don't drown them in sauces or condiments or bury them in bread - the delicate taste deserves to shine. :lol:

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