Sometimes a food comes along that's so effortlessly tasty that all you have to do it bread it and fry it in olive oil and garlic.
That's the case with the soft-shell blue crab — picked up during the warm months when the crustaceans have shed their regular hard bodies — prepared as such and served whole at Arnaldo Richards' Pico's Mex-Mex for the past 26 years.
Soft-shells are available in season and several other places around town — both Tony's and BB's Cafe recently posted some soft shell specials — but I'll always associate it with Pico's, where my Houston-native freshman year roommate dragged me for my first Gulf seafood taste, guaranteeing I'd never had anything like it because they serve them fresh. (You were right, Alessandra.)
Their soft shell crab seems like an open secret around town — Pico's served over 600 of the salty-sweet crustaceans last week — so it's best to call ahead to check supply.