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Apr 17, 2012 08:22 AM

Soft Shell Crabs in DC

Does anyone have a favorite place in DC currently serving soft shell crabs?

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  1. It is a little early yet for local softshells, they usually start popping up in mid-to-late May, although with the warm winter the may show up earlier this year.

    I have not seen them on any menus yet.

    2 Replies
    1. re: drewpbalzac

      They are not ready available as of yet since MD crab season just started April 1. I know you can buy them at the DC Wharf and make them yourself its not very difficult

      1. re: drewpbalzac

        Actually, I've already seen them at Mintwood Place and Dino.

        I would check Blacksalt as well.

      2. I have recently had soft shell crabs at Black Salt, Dino, and Fiola. The season started very early this year. They had them at Black Salt fish market in the middle of March!
        Right now, they are still expensive, but the season is so short, it is well worth ordering them.
        Grapeseed in Bethesda had them last week, but unfortunately, they were deep fried, so all I could taste was the batter (a shame to cover up the soft shell taste that way).

        6 Replies
        1. re: scarlettb

          Re: short season for soft shells; Crabs shed periodically all season.

            1. re: dining with doc

              And they can be kept in holding tanks and the shedding controlled by water temperature as well.

          1. re: scarlettb

            Fish Net has them too and they are $16 each. Very good too.

            Dino grills their which is unique. Had 2 last night on the patio. Our table had 6 altogether. They were huge and full of mustard with a tomato sauce and salad on the side. $27 for 2.

            1. re: wineo1957

              A second to Fishnet. Great place.

              1. re: wineo1957

                Last night they were $25 for 2 with fantastic grilled asparagus. But the star of the night was lamb's tongue salad. 5-6 thick slices of lambs tongue, so tender you could cut it with your fork, on a salad of arugula and mustard. Fantastic at $7 a plate!

            2. Hank's has them. None of these places have LOCAL soft shells yet as Maryland softshell crab season is not here yet. I think they come from the southeast usually.

              1 Reply
              1. re: masonuc

                Incorrect. It started three weeks ago. They are available- usually for a heck of a lot less than 16.00 each (retail).

              2. The Cajun Vietnamese place in Eden Center has them, 2 for $16.50 or so. Very nice, slightly spicy, mostly crispy, served on top of hot green peppers and a cold salad, but it works. Rice on the side, extra onjay or mampha (sp?) chili sauce. Had one slightly off piece, the rest was delicious.

                3 Replies
                  1. re: tommyskitchen

                    Seaside Crab House. It is not the most attractive place, but they deliver some pretty good seafood.


                    1. re: Ziv

                      I never noticed that before, thanks!

                1. 2 for $16 appetizer at Pesce with a very good arugula and mango salad.

                  2 for $30 lunch entree at Jerry's Seafood in Lanham, battered, deep-fried, "stuffed" with their crab imperial.