Food Fight: Washington Avenue Crab Cakes

Categories: Food Fight

Soma's Crab Cakes 4.0
June marks the start of blue crab season in Texas. While Houston has a plethora of restaurants serving up this tasty little crustacean, I decided to delve into just one of its many forms - the crab cake. And to narrow it down further, I focused my battle on Houston's own party corridor - Washington Avenue. It's summer, after all, and people are flocking to Washington for its young atmosphere full of trendy bars, clubs, and restaurants.

Two of my favorite Washington restaurants are the subject of today's battle - Soma Sushi and Benjy's. Let's begin.

Soma Sushi - Crab Cakes 4.0

Served atop a jalapeño emulsion made with lemon juice and pine-smoked olive oil, these jumbo lump crab cakes are perfectly crisped on the outside and decadently creamy on the inside. Garnished with Wood Duck Farms pea shoots and accompanied by some richly flavorful remoulade sauce, these cakes were hearty, savory, and beautifully presented. My only complaint? The price. $19 bucks for two fist-size patties. My fist size, mind you. Not Vin Diesel's.

Benjy's on Washington - Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes

Benjy's Crab Cakes
These cakes were not quite as creamy or hearty as Soma's, but the breading was done just right, and I enjoyed the pickled shallots and arugula that garnished the top. It added a nice peppery, but sweet, taste to the crab, which itself had a citrusy flavor that made for a perfect summer appetizer. However, the tomatillo sauce these three two-inch patties rested on was a little bland. The price was friendlier than Soma's though, at $13.

The Winner:

Soma. Both crab cakes had a similar texture, but Soma's had better flavor overall. That jalapeño emulsion played a big part.

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Location Info

Benjy's on Washington

5922 Washington, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Soma Sushi

4820 Washington Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

My dad and I loved the crab cakes at Pesce. Looking forward to trying them at Samba Grille, thx Kylejack.

I think these crab cakes look decent, though - I'm always willing to take a crab cake for a test drive. My favorite.


Gravitas has my favorite crab cakes, hands down. Made in a ramekin with no breading. Just sweet, plump crab meat with a few other ingredients to hold it together. It's dumped out and served with a poached egg on top. You break the egg and let the yolk run through that delicious crab and it is heaven in your mouth.


I miss Lance Fegan's crabcakes from the heydey of Zula.


Texture looks to be a problem with both of these crab cakes.  More cake than crab.  I recommend the ones at Samba Grille, that are almost entirely crab with some delicious accents to light it up.

Mai Pham
Mai Pham

Haven't had either of these, but I can vouch for the jumbo lump crab cakes at The Glass Wall in The Heights, and at Cafe Laurier on Richmond. The quantity is less at both establishments (those picture here look fairly large) but they are pretty much 100% lump crab and simply scrumptious.


Yeah yeah yeah, it's a few blocks away from where Washington ends.

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