Enough With Deep Fried Soft Shells

I love soft shell crabs. I love them best lightly coated in flour and gently sautéed in butter that's just starting to brown.

But almost every soft shell I've stuck a fork into this season in a restaurant has been hiding in a cocoon of deep fried coating. Why do so many chefs batter the hell out of the poor, delicate creatures and toss them in a deep fryer?

Don't get me wrong — I love fried food. I just think the flavor of the crab gets lost under all that coating. And it can't be easier to deep fry them, right? Maybe for the squeamish it hides the fact that you're eating the whole crab? To be honest, I'm baffled by all that batter.

How do you like your soft shells? Seen any restaurants simply sautéeing them?