Saturday, May 8, 2010

Pershing Square Outdoor Cafe

 Rick called me Thusday after work to see if I was interested in an apres work cocktail alfresco. He saw that there were tables open at Pershing Square where the street is blocked on the southbound side of Park between 42nd and 41st. It's right across from Grand Central Terminal, with lots of space.

I put my clothes back on since I had already changed in to my cozies, and took a stroll over to find Rick and the table he was saving for us. When I arrived the waiter quickly brought drinks and let us peruse the menus. They have a bar menu and a dinner menu. Lots of great snacks to choose from, Rick decided on the chicken tenders, and I was going to have the shrimpcargo (essentially a scampi minus the pasta I believe), but the waiter sold me on trying the soft-shelled crabs. Now, despite spending many summers on a lobster boat where we caught many blue crabs as well, I'd never had this delicacy. So I figured as a seafood goddess, I should at LEAST try them.

Now, soft shell crabs are crabs which have recently molted. I remember seeing lobsters with paper thin shells, but not any crabs. That doesn't mean there weren't any, just that I didn't see them from my perch in front of the windshield where my parents could be sure that little feet didn't get caught in the ropes and pulled overboard.

My crabs came looking something like this photo. I pulled them apart a bit - the legs stay attached to the body sections that are filled with crab meat, and you just pop the whole thing in your mouth. It was nice - essentially I think the draw to these little buggers is that you can deep fry them. Crab meat is too delicate to fry normally - it would just fall apart. So the papery skin that would eventually be a shell contains the sweet meat so it can be rolled around in egg, flour and/or bread crumbs. People do eat the crabs whole in sandwiches, but frankly I didn't really see the purpose of eating the top shell as mine were sitting on my plate with a small hearts of palm salad next to it (I don't care for hearts of palm). I would have these again sometime, perhaps at a chinese food place as they can have some interesting preparations.

I imagine we will definitely hit the outdoor seating at Pershing Square again too.