Real Simple picked up the phone and dialed for mail-order crabs and lobsters. Here are the results of the taste test.
Linton's Seafood Inc. (Crisfield, Maryland)
Linton's ships Maryland blue crabs overnight by the dozen. The male jumbo crabs ($55 for a dozen) were meaty and tasty. Meticulously packed, the soft-shells ($53 for a dozen) were delicate and delicious. In season April through October (otherwise, shipped frozen); 877-546-8667 or lintonsseafood.com.
City Fish Co. in Pike Place Market (Seattle)
The enormous cooked Alaskan king crab legs are shipped overnight. Three pounds easily satisfy two people (a good thing, at $23 a pound). Available year-round (usually frozen); 800-334-2669.
Ipswich Shellfish Fish Market (Ipswich, Massachusetts)
Ipswich will ship fresh lobsters, live or cooked, overnight (call for market prices). The impressive clambake ($145 to serve two, shipping included) comes with Maine lobsters, blue mussels, clams, clam chowder, instructions, and bibs; 888-711-3060, or ipswichshellfish.com.
Joe's Stone Crab (Miami Beach)
When the season for most other crabs is over, the fresh stone-crab season (October 15 to May 15) kicks in. For an in-season splurge, consider the delicious cooked "selects" ($132 to serve two, shipping included); 800-780-2722, or joesstonecrab.com.