Readers, you have been heard. After asking yesterday if y’all are still craving a definitive list of where to find soft-shell crabs, the answer came back as a resounding “Yes!” So, here it is, our 2018 guide to this year’s softie season.
One note: Soft-shell crab season is just getting started and while many restaurants are serving them, a host of factors can slow down or stop the flow. As The Grocery’s Kevin Johnson explained, “I don’t see them being a constant yet. This cold snap will slow them. It’ll probably take a little warmer weather and the full moon at the end of the month to get them consistent.” With that in mind, we’ll update this list as more soft-shell dishes arrive in restaurants, including The Grocery’s which we’ll have in here tomorrow.
Check back for updates.
Shem Creek’s newest restaurant is hot on the softie trail delivering a soft-shell crab sandwich with creamy coleslaw and lemon dill tarter sauce.
Both Wasabi Mount Pleasant and Wasabi of Daniel Island have a local soft-shell crab tempura. The dish is served with shiitake mushroom, Japanese eggplant, and shishito peppers along with garlic butter ponzu sauce.
Chef Emily Hahn has masa dusty softie on the menu right now.
Pancito & Lefty
Masa fried soft-shell in a red chile crema is on the menu now at Pancito & Lefty.
Tavern & Table
Tavern & Table’s new chef Ray England is serving his softies on a house-made brioche with pickled green tomato, mayo, and romaine lettuce.
[embed-20] [location-28] Zero Restaurant + Bar
Chef Vinson Petrillo is going Mexican style with his softies. His masa tempura soft-shell crab dish to the menu, with Ambrose Farms strawberry “soffrito” tostada, avocado, and koji mayo.
[image-9] [location-27] Bacco
East of Cooper, you can get your softie fix at Bacco who is doing a traditional soft-shell crab sandwich.
[embed-19] [location-26] Cru Cafe
Cru Cafe’s soft-shell rendition comes with fried rice, Asian slaw, and an orange chili glaze.
[embed-18] [location-25] Five Loaves
It’s not all soup and sandwiches at this local chain. Fives Loaves has its own soft-shell crab entree served atop a fresh salad.
Nana’s Seafood and Soul
Nana’s has a softie sandwich with fries available now.
Félix Cocktails et Cuisine
Félix has not only soft-shells, but arguably the best Instagram post on the dish to date. Chef Elizabeth Schultenover is serving them up in a grit crust with Aïoli Provençal, on a Brown’s Court bun.
[embed-15] [location-22] Basic Kitchen
Basic Kitchen’s softie interpretation is no so basic. It comes tempura fried with snap pea slaw.
[embed-14] [location-21] Hominy Grill
Softies come po’ boy style at Hominy.
Home Team BBQ
Home Team is not playing with this bonkers big soft-shell crab sandwich. It comes topped with kimchi mayo and is smashed between brioche.
[embed-12] [location-18] 2Nixons
Chef Jeffrey Stoneberger is doubling down on the crab and giving eaters a chance to add a softie when they order his blue crab ramen.
[embed-11] Edmund’s Oast
Edmund’s Oast has a soft spot for Gochujang spaghetti with fermented black bean, sesame, and garlic chives.
Chef Kevin Johnson has not one, not two, but three softie interpretations on the menu — “old school, old south, old world.” And, as a bonus, Johnson has added a cornmeal-dusted softie with butterbean chow chow and green garlic sauce as an appetizer.
Chef Jacob Huder is serving a fried soft shell with grilled asparagus and a yuzu vinaigrette.
Up in Mt. Pleasant, Pier 41 has a tempura fried, green curry coconut sauce, charred shishito peppers, sugar snap peas, baby bok choy, boiled peanuts, radish softie on the menu.
Chef Brannon Florie’s other Mt. P restaurant (he also owns Pier 41) is big in the soft-shell game as well. Here the crabs get a Geechie Boy Mill cornmeal coating and then are fried and served with asparagus, preserved lemon, orange, proscuitto, and butter sauce.
Chef Josh Keeler’s soft-shell take is only available while supplies last and features a fried soft-shell crab with rocoto chili and sweet corn mayonnaise.
Sing hallelujah for softie season at 5Church where the crabs come plated on a bed of frisée, snap peas, avocado, cured egg yolk, strawberry, and orange emulsion.
Coast Bar & Grill
The classic soft-shell sandwich gets its due at Coast where they’re serving it up with spicy mayo, an heirloom tomato, and pickled red onion.
A soft-shell crab and truffle fries? All this can be yours at Pawpaw.
Prohibition’s soft-shell offerings sound more like a dare. On Insta, the restaurant says it has two softie choices: a brunch soft-shell benedict and for dinner “find out what a Softshell “Egg Roll” is all about!” Hmm. We’re intrigued.
[embed-6] [location-8] FIG
This may be what Chef Jason Stanhope served last year at FIG, but it’s a good indication of what’s on the menu tonight. As always, beautiful vegetables are bound to make a cameo in FIG’s softie presentation.[image-1] [location-9] The Ordinary
Mike Lata’s team at The Ordinary just got soft-shells in too. This is how they served them up last year to whet your appetite.
[image-4] [location-10]Screen Door
Have your softie sushi style at Screen Door.
[embed-7] [location-11] Purlieu
New Westside spot Purlieu is on the soft-shell beat too. They have a roasted local soft-shell crab tossed in lemon/chervil vin, served with sweet potato fingerling salad, herbs and watercress right now. [image-7] [location-12]
Head to the waterfront spot for lunch and grab a soft shell BLT sammie.
Poe’s is keeping things simple with a softie sandwich.
[embed-9] [location-16] Coleman Public House
Soft shell crabs join the seafood platter at Coleman Public House.