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Choice Crabs
Two weeks ago, in my restaurant review column, I tried to sell readers on driving to Marrero for the boiled blue crabs at Perino's Boiling Pot. This week's crab pick is Leah Chase's mind-bendingly good Mamere's Crab Soup, a thick, brown, roux-based pottage whose delicate but persistent crab flavor manages to hold sway over bracing jolts of pepper. It may be the best $10.95 bowl of soup money can buy. Dooky Chase Restaurant is at 2301 Orleans Ave., 821-0660.

Good Cause,
Part I The Summer Cure Chefs Wine Dinner 2004, an exclusive evening benefiting the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, will begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday at the Windsor Court Hotel (300 Gravier St.). Participating local chefs are Bob Iacovone of Cuvee, Donald Link of Herbsaint, Shane Pritchett of Emeril's Delmonico and Jonathan Wright of the New Orleans Grill. Tickets are $200. Call 561-0888. Visit www.komennewworleans.com for information on the foundation's local affiliate.

Good Cause,
Part II All of the proceeds earned on ticket sales to this Sunday's Share Our Strength Taste of the Nation fundraiser will go directly towards fighting hunger; 70 percent will stay in New Orleans, benefiting organizations such as Bread for the World and Second Harvesters Food Bank. Twenty-five of the city's most renowned chefs (too many to mention by name in this column) will prepare food for the event, to be held from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel (739 Canal St.). Guests will also enjoy wine and cocktails, and the entertainment of a NOCCA student jazz ensemble. Tickets are $50 in advance, $60 at the door. Call 525-0211 or visit www.tasteofthenation.org for more information on the nationwide fundraiser.

Summer Vacation
Diners may tour the Mediterranean this summer at Vega Tapas Cafe (2051 Metairie Road, 836-2007), where Chef Michael Hampton's $25, five-course tasting menus highlight a different Mediterranean country each week. Greece is the chef's muse this week, followed by Italy (beginning Monday, July 26), France (Aug. 2) and Spain (Aug. 9). Wine pairings are available for an additional $15.

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