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Soft Shell Crab sandwiches at EVOO and Upstairs on the Square

greenzebra Jun 11, 2010 02:20 PM

I had soft shell crab sandwiches at EVOO (on their new lunch menu) and Upstairs on the Square (Monday Club lunch menu) this week.

The sandwich at EVOO is a crisp fried crab served with a spicy tartar sauce and cole slaw on a soft bun. The crab was lightly battered and clearly cooked by someone who knows their way around a fryer: fried to a delicious golden-brown crunch. The creamy coleslaw provided a nice textual contrast, although I could have used a bit more heat in the habanero tartar sauce. Came with either fries or a side of habanero cornbread coleslaw -- I opted for the slaw, which had a nice kick. The crab was clearly fresh and pretty meaty and juicy. Overall a great sandwich, perfect with a glass of Cisco Brewery's Whale's Tale IPA.

The sandwich at Upstairs on the Square is more gently fried (described as 'corn toasted' on the menu) in a much lighter cornmeal based batter, served with yucca fries and jalapeno jam on a roll with spring greens (arugula and pea tendrils, I think). Crab was also quite fresh, and overall this is a bit more creative preparation than EVOO's version. The jalapeno jam had a very nice sweet/hot flavor that worked quite well with both the crab and the yucca fries (which were otherwise a bit undercooked and dry to my taste) -- too bad there wasn't more of it (should have asked for extra).

EVOO's sandwich is slightly cheaper ($13 vs $15), and EVOO has a much better beer list. But both were very tasty and a fine way to consume some delicious crabs.

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Upstairs On the Square
91 Winthrop Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

EVOO Restaurant
350 Third Street, Cambridge, MA 02143

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  1. ipsofatso Jun 11, 2010 02:51 PM

    I am DROOLING reading this....I did enjoy the SSC at Best Little Rest, served salt-n-pepper style - now I need to head to EVOO and check it out before the SSC season is over.

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    EVOO Restaurant
    350 Third Street, Cambridge, MA 02143

    1. p
      peelmeagrape Jun 12, 2010 03:08 PM

      If you're looking for more awesome softshell crab dishes, try the softshell appetizer at Lumiere. Not a sandwich - one lightly crusted softie, juicy on the inside, on a bed of tangy cilantro-spiked carrot ribbons. I'm not doing it justice with my description but it's really, really good.

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      Lumiere Restaurant
      1293 Washington St., West Newton, MA 02465

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