Had my first N. Charleston (Charlie Brown's) Garlic Crabs!
Talk about impressive, when the fry cook brings those bad boys to the counter to be bagged, but I was ill prepared for this adventure.I had four crabs, a 24oz beer from a gas station and a plastic fork.Luckily we were staying at the old Airport Sheraton that was right around the corner.
Okay, they were fresh, delicious and messy! but why batter and fry something you can't eat whole.I had hoped this to be a poor mans soft shell, but that wasn't the case.
I did sure as hell like Charlie Brown's, sort of an uptown Fishnet.I don't know what "garlic Conchs" are but I will find out next time.I'll revisit CB's when the weather gets cooler.
Other weekend highlights were the SNOB lunch special, still the best deal in town."Salt" at Station 22 out on Sullivan's was fun with a new upscale menu.I was not impressed by Royal American, a new burger joint that the daughter drug us too,but I'm a good two decades past their target audience.
No, you cant really eat the outer shell, or the legs for that matter,but the shell is much more brittle and all the cartilage separating the lump meat is edible and quite good.I was surprised that the deep frying had no negative effect on the crab meat.
One of our folks, "JayL" I think knows this method an says they just don't cook them long enough to make the outer shell edible.
The ones I have eaten, or cooked myself, at home in NC are probably 75% completely edible. I think we fry them longer than what you see around Charleston.
In CHS you still have to crack and pick the meat from all the legs just like you would steamed crabs. I'm used to being able to eat the smaller legs shell and all. The body cavity should be completely "crunchable".
I like frying crabs that are barely legal...as small as possible. That way I can eat every thing but the claw legs (those always have to be picked).
I still don't understand the concept of fried hard shell crabs. I grew up in NC and have spent a lot of time on the coast and have never seen or heard of this in this region until reading about recently on CH.
What exactly do you eat? Not the actual shell? All the "inner" shell material and the meat? From your comments it doesn't sound as if you found it very appealing? Thanks!