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Soft Shelled Crabs at Restaurant...

So we're a month away from SS crab season (the start of it that is). What D.C. metro area does it up right? Any recommendations for restaurants that feature the SS in a delicious way?

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  1. p.s. Doesn't matter if it's fancy or roadside shack - as long as it tastes good!

    1. Mmmm, I like the way they prepare it at the Asian restaurants. Nam Viet comes to mind.

      2 Replies
      1. re: jaydreb

        I have never had SS crab and can't wait to try it out this time around. I dont know about the SS at Nam Viet but I did order crabs ther once- too tiny. Won't recommend.

        1. re: xena1441

          Nam Viet is an excellent choice for SS crabs. Not breaded and fried.
          For breaded Asian style, best is Bob's 66 Noodles in Rockville. But best overall is Central, if they are on the menu. (Actually, very best is the Lounge at Citronelle - same preparation as Central- but they aren't on the menu now.)

      2. I know darned well that they use frozen SS, because they're available year-round, but Yoko in Herndon does them in a dusting of batter and a ponzu sauce--just amazing.

        Makoto coats them in crushed rice cracker. Most people swoon about that preparation but my husband and I thought it overwhelmed the crab a bit. We seem to be in the minority. Makoto offers seasonal menus, so you should call in advance to ask whether the softshell crab is part of the kaiseki yet. Kaiseki at Makoto is absolutely something you ought to try; it is a multi-course set menu with intense, yet unobtrusive service.

        1. Central doesn't use MD blue crab but their soft shell crab dish is pretty good. I don't think I know of any place in DC that does real soft shell crab. I always get mine in Baltimore or Annapolis.

          1. My top vote goes to Thompson's Seafood Corner on Rt 5 in MD on the way to PAX NAS. With an order of cook-at-home crab cakes to go.

            1. I agree that Asian styles are the tastiest, but for traditional try Cafe Hon in Baltimore. They're a special so you'd want to call ahead and make sure they have them. If you go make sure to get their salad and bread pudding for desert. I grew up on the eastern shore, and this is the closest cooking to my grandmother's I can find!

              1. Sushi Taro makes a mean SS crab roll... I'm sure that's not what you're looking for, but had to throw it out there! Kind of craving one right now...

                1 Reply
                1. re: epicuriousgal

                  bump for height of season and any new ideas!

                2. Vietnamese preparation for local seafood? Please....

                  Cantlers in Annapolis. Cafe Normandie in Annapolis. Sauteed in lemon butter after dusting with flour. There is no other way.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: mbhebert

                    ^^I love Cantlers - I need something closer though, more D.C. area.....

                    1. re: beauxgoris

                      Breadline apparently is doing the sandwich don't know what day though but you could check their blog?

                      I would call Kinkeads it seems like the type of place that would have them, now that I think about it I doubt Hook would get them since it isn't really sustainable seafood is it?

                  2. Citronelle's soft shell crab is superb. And I think it's on the lounge's bar menu if you don't feel like doing the whole dining room experience.

                    1. I love sushi ko´s preparation and I hear they are back on the menu. I know they use Maryland ss crab for the tempura preparation but for the roll they use frozen, FYI

                      1. Not in DC but Tio Pepes in Baltimore is a good option. Was served 3 HUGE softshells covered in an almond butter sauce. They were so good that i'm still thinking about them, a week later.

                        1. Crisfield in Silver Spring - In business since 1945

                          Soft shell platters and sandwiches - Maryland style, old fashioned seafood.

                          Very fine...