On Saturday, March 19, 2022, everyone’s favorite seasonal crustaceans — soft shell crabs — crawled into kitchens across the Lowcountry as sacrifices to spring menus. A quick glance at weekend offerings showed the softies at the Grocery, FIG, and Pier 41. Professional tip: when counting down the days to soft shell crab season, these are the big three to watch for the first supplies coming into Charleston. Though, last year, Home Team BBQ shocked us all with the first softie to pop up on social media (a lunch-service advantage over the other three restaurants).
This year, the Grocery offers a single soft shell crab with a citrus-herb sabayon and spring salad or as its famous trio of “Old School, Old South, and Old World” (Old School is sauteed in lemon butter sauce, Old South is dusted in cornmeal and deep fried, and Old World is roasted in the wood-burning oven). FIG is going with a duo of softies plated with curried carrot puree, spring peas, and asparagus. And Pier 41 has a fried soft shell with beer tartare as a sandwich served with Old Bay fries.
Charleston residents and visitors go absolutely mad for softies each year, whether they be fried, pan seared, or on a sandwich with bacon, lettuce, and tomato. As the short-season delicacy makes it to local restaurant menus, we’ll put together an extensive map, along with a description of the dish. If you see a softie, send a note to email@example.com.