Crab Pot at Lexington Market

400 W. Lexington St., Ste. A-14, (410) 752-7686

It's easy to be the best when you're the only. This happens to be the case here, since the Crab Pot is the only place we know west of the bay that, although it is a rare occasion indeed, ever has soft-shell clams on the menu. Soft-shell clams aren't actually soft-shelled, like crabs can be, but are a species that has a small, fragile shell and elongated body that, when cooked properly, is tender, moist, and amazingly sweet. But even compared to restaurants on the Eastern Shore that serve this delicacy, Crab Pot's clams come out on top due to an incredibly delicate but crunchy batter and expert frying. Why are they so hard to find? Apparently, even though they're common in the bay near the Bay Bridge, most of the catch is exported north to Boston, where they are billed as "Maryland soft-shell clams." What gives y'all? Oh, and if you want to be alerted when they do get soft shells, make sure to stop by the stand and put your name on the clam list. Seriously, how cool is that?

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