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May 10, 2008 02:56 PM

Soft Shells in Baltimore

It's that time, and I need my fix. Any good soft shells in Baltimore now?

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  1. That is my question as well. A few years back there was a place called Grab a Crab in Martin Plaza on Martin Blvd that had good soft shell crab sandwiches that were reasonably priced (sort of a dingy little place) but they have since closed. I miss my soft shell crab sandwiches and I also miss good, inexpensive fried clams.

    There's a place called Ann Arundel Seafood that has lots of different varieties of steamed and fried seafood but it's all the way in Glenn Burnie - over 30 minutes from me.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Whitemarshjohn

      Maybe it's different in Whitemarsh, but soft crabs are easily found in restaurants in Baltimore (in season).

      1. re: Hal Laurent

        What I have in mind for softshell crab sandwiches would be a takeout, unfancy place where you could just grab something on the go if necessary.

        1. re: Whitemarshjohn

          I'm sure you could get tasty softshell crab sandwiches at that scary Lexington Market.

          1. re: Hal Laurent

            Hal -- it takes a lot more than L.M. to scare me! Before I head over there for lunch next week, can you confirm that it's Faidleys or a different purveyor for tasty s-s-s?

            1. re: bordeauxfan

              I can't help you there...I usually buy mine at Broadway Market and cook them myself at home.

              I'd be surprised if Faidley's didn't have them, though.

    2. Haven't had them this year yet, but last May I did a little tour of softie sandwiches around town in search of a favorite. Among the ones I tried:

      Gibby's Seafood Market -- takeout (Cockeysville)
      Captain Trey's Seafood Market -- takeout
      Nick's Seafood in Cross Street Market -- eat in (Fed Hill)
      A random booth at the Fells Point Fest (late summer) -- probably the worst sandwich of the ones I tried

      All of these 3 were quite good even if the size varied a bit and all were under $10. I recall Nick's had a little more breading and I think had been pre-breaded, while the 2 seafood market ones were pulled out the seafood case for sale that day so size depended on what was available that day. I look forward to trying a few more places this season - Ocean Pride in Timonium and Mama's in Canton both have them on the menu but I haven't had either.

      6 Replies
      1. re: bluepig1

        Thanks for the recomendations. I use to go to Ocean Pride now and again about 10 years ago and thought it was a pretty cool place. I use to go to the same gym as the owner - I hear Ocean Pride has changed owners a bunch of times.

        Gibby's is still around? They use to have a nice restaurant on Padonia Road - didn't Christopher Daniel's or someone take their place?

        What is the Cross Street Market? Is it worth a trip?

        1. re: Whitemarshjohn

          The Red Star (in Fells Point) is currently offering a "Surf n Turf" special that is a soft shell crab over filet mignon medallions. It is really good -- I was just there on Wed. and highly recommend!.

          1. re: Whitemarshjohn

            "What is the Cross Street Market? Is it worth a trip?" Huh? It is the city market in Federal Hill on Cross Street. Smaller than the Lex Mkt, but the neighborhood is not as "rough". Nick's Seafood was very good before the renovations, kinda of blah now. It is open in the evenings and becomes sort of a bar scene. There's also a sushi bar that stays open late.

            1. re: ko1

              But comparing the food quality in Lexington Market to Cross Street is like comparing black to white. I shop at Cross Street frequently since it's a couple of blocks away, but Lexington is far superior.

            2. re: Whitemarshjohn

              Gibby's restaurant (on Padonia Rd) is indeed closed. Gibby's Seafood Market (I think they're affiliated?) is still open (on York Rd, a mile or two away from the restaurant), but it's literally just a market with a take out food counter. No eat-in option.

              1. re: Whitemarshjohn

                Whitemarshjohn: Gibby's is indeed closed, but has been replaced by Rib 'n Reef. It's an excellent restaurant with a varied menu offering seafood and meats/duck/lamb, etc. The lamb martini appetizer is quite good as well as the baked oysters with crab imperial. The lobster bake is huge, featuring lobster, shrimp, scallops, corn, etc. A lot of value for the money. Entrees include a house or Caesar salad and choice of two vegetables.

                Christopher Daniel restaurant is located in the strip mall next to Rib 'n Reef's location and is also an excellent restaurant.

                As far as soft shell crabs--I had a sandwich last night at Sunset Restaurant in Glen Burnie--it was $8.95. It was small be very tasty. But, as you mentioned, Glen Burnie is off the beaten path for you.

                I as wondering if you cook at all. If you do, have you ever tried buying soft shell crabs and grilling them, instead of frying/sauteeing? Grilling adds a different dimension to the taste.---Foigras

            3. Try Bill's Seafood in Perry Hall (at Belair Rd and Joppa). This also good place to get cold steamed crabs in the summer season for only $10 -$12 per dozen. They are yesterday's leftovers, but they are tasty fat little guys; and who says steamed crabs need to be hot? Great for a pleasant Saturday evening at home with the loved ones after cutting the grass, and without the guilt of spending the kids' college savings.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Montebello

                yep, the $1 crab nights are usually Tuesdays (and maybe Thursdays right now too)

              2. try Conrads on Joppa Road near Loch Raven Blvd., they have them when in season but call first.

                1. I had a softe sandwich at Nick's in the Cross Street Market last week. Nice sized crab, fried crisp, not greasy, with a mound of good fries. Nice treat but pricy at $12 or $13.