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Jun 29, 2007 08:12 AM

Is there anywhere in Denver to buy softshell crab?

I'm craving it and have not seen it on any restaurant menus. Since it's the season, I was hoping I could buy them at a market somewhere and cook them myself.

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  1. The Flagstaff House in Boulder is one of my favorites for softshells. Light but crunchy crust and served in a corn chowder sauce. We usually get the starter size which works as a main course, sitting at the bar.

    Also had them last week at Restaurant 4580. Dynamite, also.

    2 Replies
    1. re: IslayMan

      Thanks for the suggestions! I was actually looking for stores to buy them to cook at home.

      1. re: Megiac

        Oops. Didn't read your entire post. Not lately, but from time to time, I've been able to get them at Whole Foods.

    2. Since I read the thread, down a bit, I have one suggestion: Sir Loin, a meat market on Havana, at the corner of Jewell Ave. They have a seafood department and used to get almost anything that we asked for, o`paka`paka, ono, several grades of ahi, whatever we wanted. Another place would be Tony's on what, County Line (been too long, since I lived there and the memory ain't so good anymore).

      As a side, the best soft-shelled crab that I have ever had was at Tante Louise, when Chef Michael Dagenhart was there. We had him reprise the dish, for my wife's 50th birthday, when she flew back up from AZ. Since we are both from the New Orleans Area, we have had soft-shells about every way imaginable, and these were the #1, bar none!


      4 Replies
      1. re: Bill Hunt

        Bill, how did you like Sir Loin for meats? Better than Tony's, you think? Just curious...never been there...driven by it so many times - so, just wondering.

        1. re: THenderson

          This goes back some years, so YMMV. I loved their beef and their seafood. When they opened, they were actually two businesses in one, separated by meat/seafood. Cannot recall the official name of the seafood outlet (same store, same cash register) then. For pork, we never could get good cuts, no matter how hard they tried. It was the pork, that introduced us to Tony's, back when they were tiny, and one store. We'd pass by Sir Loin for the beef and seafood, and then drive down to Tony's for our pork and other items of produce. Back in those days, we also shopped extensively at Toddy's in Greenwood Plaza. I have no idea of who might be in that spot. Toddy's also had good meat, and we'd fill our "general larder" from there, with special cuts from SL, or Tony's.

          Back to SL. If they still have a lot of "Cajun" spices and New Orleans items, you can thank my wife. She worked with the owner to bring in Zatarans's, a bunch of Tabasco (before it was "hot," in a Brittney Spears sort of way) and "Uncle" Tony Chachere products. Because they were within walking distance from our house, we loved them. If they could only have found good pork, I doubt that we'd have gone elsewhere.

          For what it's worth, in PHX, we have yet to find a really good market, like SL, Tony's or the old, long gone, Toddy's. We have something called AJ's, that does try to come close, but we still remember!

          We now have most of our meat delivered, but SL & Tony's blows them away. However, it's a bit of a treck to go to Denver for our beef, pork and seafood. Besides, b-i-l does send care-packages of fresh Gulf seafood from south of New Orleans, so life is not all bad. Previous batch had a bunch of soft-shells, and a few were still "kickin" even with the dry ice. AZ does have a soft-shell "farm," and they are not bad.


          1. re: Bill Hunt

            thanks for the info - we will definitely have to go check out SirLoin's - I thought it might be a neat little place - and it looks like it's been there forever - which I like. I figure if a business can stand the test of time, it's gotta be doing something right! Well.....usually! Thanks again!

            1. re: THenderson

              It goes back at least 20 years. We were just up the street from them, and I cannot recall when we first discovered them (there were two shops in the same location - meat/seafood), but they were great. We've been gone for nearly 10 years now, so things might have changed.

              Also, if the little British shop is still in the same shopping center, they are great, as well. I always got my clotted creme and my Robinson's Orange Barley Water, about Wimbledon time. Since my strawberries came in in early July, the clotted creme was something that we had to have. Who can do "breakfast at Wimbledon," without strawberries and clotted creme.


      2. my husband just called around a week ago for hardshell, blue crabs, which I understand isn't what you are looking for, but I just asked him what places he spoke to that said they could get them in. He said he spoke to Oliver's meat and seafood market on 6th ave, 303-733-4629. He said he also spoke to Cherry Crest Seafood Market too, but they couldn't get them - nor could Tony's. Although we were looking for the hard's ....i'm just thinking you might give them a shot on the softshells and they should be able to order them for you from their suppliers...might take a couple days for you to get them, though.
        Good luck...i know how those cravings are....I seriously am needing some hardshell blue crabs in that same way.

        Edit: just to add...he also spoke with Pacific Ocean Int'l market off Alameda...she said that she could get crabs in for us as well.

        4 Replies
        1. re: THenderson

          Thanks, I will try Oliver's and, if that fails, Pacific Ocean Mart. I am pregnant, so my usual food cravings, which are pretty strong, are magnified by about 100 right now.

          1. re: Megiac

            well, congratulations to ya.... I'll bet that "little megiac" will be a great little chowbaby!

            1. re: Megiac

              Dang, there goes my chance to mention wine pairings with soft-shells!


            2. re: THenderson

              Try a call to Sir Loin too. They got Gulf Blues for us, all of the time. Since my wife did her rendition of New Orleans seafood gumbo, they got us sheepshead, sausages of all sorts, and whatever else she needed. No problem. Hope that it is still the same.


            3. You seem to have found several sources now, but in case it's more conventient, you might also try Marczuk Fine Foods. I too would have recommended Oliver's, perhaps Whole Foods and one of the big Asian supermarkets.

              As for restaurants, did you check McCormick's or Jax? They specialize in seafood. A new place called Oceanaire is opening soon - like next week. These present other possibilities.

              1. id like to get some live ones any one know where i can thanks