Lent: Fried Soft-Shell Crab

Our area’s strong Catholic heritage and coastal traditions shift our attention to certain foods this time of year. Whether or not you observe Lent, you’re sure to notice many local restaurants catering toward those abstaining from meat, not that it’s ever difficult to find great seafood around here. We’ll be sharing these Lenten menus with you, but each week, we’d also like to highlight some tasty alternatives you should keep in mind until Easter.

Shrimp are great, and crawfish is a real treat when you can get some, but crab meat will always be my favorite of the local seafood trio. Nothing beats jumbo lumps of crab or fried claws. It figures that crabs are the biggest pain of the three to peel. If only there was a way to just dig into a crab and enjoy all of the great flavor it has to offer. Too bad it’s shell is so hard….

Sarcasm aside, soft-shell crabs are a delicious local delicacy. Here are some of the best fried soft-shell crabs around.

Leeville Seafood Restaurant | 24203 LA-1, Golden Meadow

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It’s fitting that you have to travel beside several miles of bayou and marsh to arrive at what is possibly the best seafood restaurant in Lafourche Parish. You’re completely surrounded by the unique sights of our humble swampland by the time you arrive at Leeville’s best and only restaurant. Seafood is the specialty at the Leeville Restaurant and the Soft-Shell Crab Special is their masterpiece. A fried soft-shell crab is stuffed with a crab patty and topped with jumbo jump crab meat swimming in their rich and creamy Leeville sauce. It’s the height of decadence made only better by the modest and authentic surroundings of Cajun country.

Crabby Crab | 5726 Louisiana 1, Lockport

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You’ll never guess what Crabby Crab specializes in. If the name didn’t clue you in, the gigantic crab looming over the entrance will. Like the special at the Leeville Restaurant, Crabby Crab’s Crab Trio is an over the top tribute to all things crab and fried. The fried soft-shell crab is the star of course, but he’s accompanied by a meaty crab patty and a rich and cheesy crab au gratin. Hushpuppies and fries also manage to squeeze their way onto the plate finishing off this incredible meal.

Grady V’s | 900 Country Club Blvd, Thibodaux

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Grady V’s has one of the most eclectic menus around, so it shouldn’t surprise you that a fried soft-shell crab pasta is among the entrees. The crab is split in half and separated by a bed of pasta in a delicious cream sauce topped with sauteed, sweet red peppers. The entire dish is packed with flavor from the salty-savory crab to the rich pasta to the cheesy biscuit. Combined with some appetizers from their large menu of Lent specials, it’s not hard to find a great meal at Grady V’s on Friday or any other day.

Mommie Jo’s | 15617 W Main St, Cut Off

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This last dish celebrates the soft-shell crab for what it is. The Basket of Busters at Mommie Jo’s is simply six mini fried soft-shell crabs with some fries and tartar sauce. It sounds simple enough, but there’s something immensely satisfying about being able to tear into six soft-shell crabs in one sitting. It’s especially enjoyable having so many crispy fried legs and claws, my favorite part. And if you can somehow manage to part with a few, the basket is perfect to share with friends and family. It’s perfect for introducing a newcomer to this delicious treat or for an avid lover to indulge in their favorite seafood.

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