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Harbor Crab

I've really only eaten whole crab, cracked from the shell, once. And the
memory is hazy, and the circumstances a little odd now that I think about
it. I tagged along with my best grade school friend and her parents to
Astoria, Oregon where a crab festival in session. Long tables, plastic bibs,
wooden mallets, the works. But I don't actually remember eating crab, just
the surroundings, and how eating crustaceans in this manner must either be a
black or an affluent thing (Ha, not that there were any other black families
there. Really, I figured eating fresh crab must be for rich people. We never
ever ate seafood at home, except maybe fish sticks and canned clam chowder.
This friend's family had a big house, Corvette, and leather couches. They
were classy, though I did find their drinking Pepsi [and eating grits] for
breakfast peculiar—to my knowledge they weren't Southern.)

My crab exposure tends to come via others. James grew up in the D.C.
area and lived in Maryland, so he's a blue crab person. It was his idea to
find a crab shack one Saturday, and I was up for it since I don't have much
experience in the area. It seemed like no biggie, but apparently crab isn't
a hot commodity in the NYC region. We thought Long Island would be the way
to go, but no one specializes in crabs, though there are a few lobster
places. As it turned out, only one place fit the bill, the appropriately
named Maryland Crab House. The clincher was that it's in Sheepshead Bay,
Brooklyn. We didn't want to go to Brooklyn, we're already in Brooklyn.

So, Harbor Crab was a random choice and predictably so-so. Their crabs
were tiny and consequently listed on the appetizer menu. They were also
cheap, but the amount of meat picked out for the energy and time expended to
extract the goodness was no bargain. At least it was fun to sit outdoors on
a floating wooden deck over some body of water, and watch wild ducks and
swans swimming nearby, and drunk locals (or least folks with seemingly local
accents) harass the waitresses and light up cigarettes after being told
there's no smoking on Saturdays (wouldn't it seem like Saturdays would be
prime smoking day?)

The only memorable crab meals I've had have been in Singapore and
Thailand. Maybe I should just steer clear of the American renditions,

Harbor Crab * 116 Division St., Patchogue, NY

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