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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Saturday, December 2

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Random Thu May 10 2007

Get Softy

Although May is barely the beginning of soft shell crab season, these tender crustaceans are making their way onto menus across Chicagoland...pictured here is a beauty served up at Shaw's tempura style (they were offering a tasty sauteed version as well). As delicious as they are, soft shells can pose a struggle to even the savviest home cook (unless you don't have an aversion to removing a creatures lungs and face). If are looking for soft shells around town (whether from your upscale grocery options, seafood specialists, or Asian groceries) triple check to make sure they look and smell fresh, and ask the person behind the counter to dress them for you. Personally, this is one treat that I am happy to leave in the hands of experts. You'll find soft shells appearing on menus all spring and summer long, their season stretches into September.

However, if you do want to enjoy them at home, just dust with a little flour and Old Bay or other seasoning, pan fry in butter, and serve on a crusty roll with a lemon wedge and a side of coleslaw - simple is better!

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Gino / May 12, 2007 9:40 AM

I have to say that the spicy salt and pepper fried soft shell crabs at Lee Wing Wah in Chinatown Square -- they're not on the menu and you have to order them in advance -- are probably among the best eating I have had in the last five years. And the spider roll at Tampopo on Lincoln, also the Sea Ranch up in Wilmette are simply superb.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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