Maryland has the blue crab, an aggressive bugger that will throw a pinch at anything moving on land or sea. Getting them to stay in the pot long enough to send them to a steamy death is a task for a seasoned vet, but the mustardy guts and sweet meat are worth the carnage. Here in the Sunshine State, our crustacean of choice is the stone crab — a Lilliputian dude with the claws of a monster and a SpongeBob-like ability to regenerate its coveted limbs. Harvesters remove the claws and return the little guys to the ocean, giving us the meat to make crabby patties, and the creatures a chance to live another day.
You already know how good the tender meat is dipped into a vat of butter, and now you can scarf the usually pricey goody with wild abandon at the Stone Crab and Seafood Happy Hour at Nikki Beach. Each Friday and Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m., claws are just 10 bucks, and mojitos are half-price. Call 305-538-1111 or visit www.mynikkibeach.net for reservations.
Fridays, Saturdays, 4 p.m. Starts: Jan. 2. Continues through April 1, 2009