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Mar 10, 2010 07:40 PM

Soft Shell Crab: Spring 2010

I'm about to make my way back to New Orleans once again.

I always go with a mission whether it be visiting an old restaurant I've been meaning to get around to trying or hitting up a tavern in a far flung corner of the city I've always heard about.

My goal on this trip is to eat as much soft shell as possible.

In the past I've had delicious crabs at Jack Dempsey's [with a side of the city's finest mac and cheese], Mandina's [drenched in a heavenly etouffe with a wop chaser], Rocky and Carlos [good but not otherworldly] Chez Helene [as a lad and the memory is barely hanging on].

Now I'm turning to y'all for advice:

Where are you getting this years soft shell crabs?

Any chance they could make an appearance on the menu at Clancy's?

What are Clancy's strong suits?

Can you dine at the bar there?

I'll be staying on Royal street but will have a vehicle and can travel about anywhere.

Other than a loaf of bread and a brace of cocktails at Coquette I haven't made any firm eating plans.

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  1. You can eat at the bar at Clancy's....I always do. they will certainly have soft shells and, moreover, will probably fix them to your order if you make nice with the gang. Ask Brad if they are fresh or "fresh frozen". He will probably tell you the truth(but the fact is that I have seen many crab snobs fooled on this score). If you have them battered and fried, please have the decency to hide.

    1. My favorite softshell is Brigsten's w/pecan meuniere. Fresh only and not available often. Call ahead and have them save one for you. They usally sell out early in the evening. August does a very nice tempura buster crab.

      1. The softshell at Clancy's is a mainstay, they make it with extra crabmeat as do many places. Its an excellent choice at Galatoire's, and for a softshell po-boy go to the Galley on Metairie Rd. or R&O's out by the lake. There's Charlie's Seafood in Harahan which is run by Frank Brightsen, the TP did a nice write up recently you should read. Charlie's would be a good place to start teh adventure actually. You could even try Impastato's. Looking forward to hearing about your trip, always a treat to read your stuff. Oh, and Sidmar's re opened recently, although its not the same, in the old days that would be your first stop. ch

        6 Replies
        1. re: CharlieH

          Will the classic po boy shops like Domilise's, Parkway or Johnny's be offering soft shell? When does the season hit big?

          1. re: scrumptiouschef

            We've had unusually cold weather this year so it is anyone's guess but we are beginning to get hints of the dreadful doldrums of summer approaching so I would say the natural appearance of soft shells is about four to six weeks away..crawfish are beginning to look decent according to a farmer friend in Acadiana..he told me to call him just after Easter.

            1. re: scrumptiouschef

              Off hand, I am pretty sure no. It really is something of a specialty item, for one reason, they run about twice or more than anything else. The Galley people are the one's that do Jazz Fest, and they also do boiled seafood.

              1. re: scrumptiouschef

                Johnny's has soft shells in season. Don't know about the other two.

                1. re: scrumptiouschef

                  In past years, Parkway has offered them one day a week. I think it was Sunday.

                2. re: CharlieH

                  I was in the new SidMar's last week and told them they need to paint a view of the Lake over the windows so we don;t have to look at the banks and Vets traffic. I am hopeful we can make a "go" of the new place but, like Ye Olde College Inn, it ain't da same...maybe this is as it should be.

                3. Absolutely Dakota on the Norshshore.

                  1. don't overlook the ss parm po oby at R&O's.
                    I also like ss's at sushi places.
                    Jacques Imo's had a ss rightly named godzilla. check to see if it is still on the menu.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: edible complex

                      Jacques ss looks better than it tastes.