Meet the Winners – Crab Soup
#1 Crazy Crab
Owner Charles Williams has been making his crab soup from the same recipe for some 19 years, since he opened The Crazy Crab waterfront restaurant in Reedville in May 1999. And why not? The old adage of ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it’ holds true, according to our Rivah readers, who voted Crazy Crab’s creamy Chesapeake Bay crab soup tops in the 2017 Best of the Rivah contest. Whether you order it in a cup or bowl, or the restaurant’s signature bread bowl, it comes piping hot with a lump of backfin crab meat floating on top. If you choose to order the latter, it comes served in a crunchy, edible French bread bowl, garnished with parsley and a lemon wedge. It’s hard not to eat the whole thing. “The secret to making good crab soup is you have to put crab in it,” said Williams. So his includes lots of fresh blue crab meat. “Everybody puts their own twist on crab soup,” he said. “We haven’t changed our recipe since we opened.” The Crazy Crab overlooks Cockrells Creek with a view of the historic Reedville stack. The restaurant serves seafood, steak, pasta and chicken entrees, along with nightly specials. It’s open from April through November, Tuesdays through Fridays from 5 to 9 p.m., Saturdays from noon to 9 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 8 p.m. The restaurant seats 60 in its main dining room and 50 on its enclosed patio.
• The Crazy Crab is at 902 Main Street, Reedville. 453-6789.
#2 Virginia Street Cafe
Virginia Street Cafe has been filling up bellies with down-home cooking since 1989. Although the restaurant is known for its soft-shell crabs, oysters and hush puppies, its fried chicken is also a customer favorite. But our readers picked the Middlesex eatery as one of the best places to get she-crab soup. Served in a cup or bowl, the soup is thick, creamy and loaded with lumps of crab. Diners may find it a break from traditional she-crab soup because it contains potatoes. In business for almost three decades, Virginia Street is that special place on the corner in Urbanna, where locals visit several times a week and visitors can enjoy some Southern hospitality. Owner Judy Erskine worked for 15 years at Taylor’s Restaurant in Deltaville before opening Virginia Street. Virginia Street serves breakfast, lunch and dinner Thursdays through Mondays and lunch and dinner on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Hours vary daily.
• Virginia Street Cafe, 201 Virginia Street, Urbanna. 758-3798.
#3 Something Different
Now located in the heart of Urbanna, Something Different bills itself as a restaurant “specializing in fine Neanderthal cuisine,” with foods made from scratch from its homemade buns and subs, to in-house roasted coffees and peanuts and pit smoked meats. There’s even homemade ice cream, including adult ice creams that contain alcohol. A cup of the restaurant’s cream-based she-crab soup comes served, literally, in a Something Different tall coffee mug and is almost too much to eat if you pair it with a salad or sandwich. Served in a cup or heaping-sized bowl, the soup contains crab roe and sherry and as an added bonus is gluten free. Something Different opened in 2001 in an old general store two miles outside of Urbanna. The restaurant outgrew the store, with its butcher block tables and limited seating (on milk crates), and relocated to its current location in 2013. Something Different is open Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and on Sundays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• Something Different, Restaurant and Retail, 213 Virginia Street, Urbanna. 758-8000.