A soft spot for crab on bread

TAKEOUT

July 16, 2008|By ROB KASPER

It is time to enjoy the soft side of summer - eating soft-shell crab sandwiches. This fare is not for the faint of heart. Some diners are put off by the sight of crab legs and claws dangling over the edge of a sandwich. But for the rest of us, the bodies of these blue crabs are luscious stuff. Caught as they shed their hard shells, these crabs are battered, fried and served in a sandwich with tomato and lettuce. They are rich, delectable and a regional tradition.

On a recent ride around the Beltway, I found three good soft-crab sandwiches, on rye.

Best Bite

Kibby's Restaurant

Address: 3450 Wilkens Ave.

Phone: 410-644-8716

Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday

The soft crab in this $11.61 sandwich measured 6 inches, point to point. It was so plump that it looked like a fat chicken breast. It tasted like crab, not chicken, and had excellent moisture, almost as much as the juicy slice of tomato that accompanied it. It was lightly breaded and pan-fried, I was told, in vegetable oil.

Best Bargain

Gibby's Seafood Market

Address: 2322 York Road, Timonium

Phone: 410-561-5225

Hours: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday

Small but flavorful, this $9.53 deep-fried soft crab, measuring 5 inches point to point, had a moist middle but somewhat chewy claws.

Also Tasted

Seaside Restaurant

Address: 224 N. Crain Highway, Glen Burnie

Phone: 410-760-2200

Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday

This large, 6 1/2 -inch point-to-point soft crab looked almost alive as it perched on the rye bread. But it was thoroughly deep-fried, a little too much for me. The $11.61 sandwich came with a fistful of fries.

Know of a good carryout? Write to rob.kasper@baltsun.com.

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