Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Sunday Afternoon Crawfish Adventure

So it’s crawfish season here in southwest Louisiana. It’s an exciting time of year, each spring and fall. Similar to the mom and pop donut shops so popular in these parts (read that post here), small drive through crawfish stands can be found on most every major Lake Charles roadway.

Today was a lovely sunny day – perfect for a Sunday drive. Bob and I decided to go on a crawfish adventure, just to see how many different places we could find crawfish.

In Moss Bluff, there’s the Hot Spot.



In Westlake, Crawfish 2 Go.



On Ryan St., there’s Tails to Geaux. I’ve seen this place sell snow balls (snow cones, for my northern readers) and BBQ. Now crawfish. Guess they roll with the seasons.



Country Club Crawfish is so named because it’s on Country Club Rd. But Country Cabin Crawfish would be more descriptive.



Also on Country Club Road is The Crawfish Stop. I love all the different cartoonish crawfish depictions.



Naturally, all these mom and pop joints are closed on Sundays, so to actually eat crawfish and not simply look at signs, we had to go to an established restaurant, and it’s not always easy to find one open on Sunday in Lake Charles. But we knew for certain Steamboat Bill’s along I-10 would come through.

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There should be a bit of preparation before one digs into a platter of crawfish. First, push your sleeves up securely. You don’t want them getting messy or in the way. Then pull your hair back snug, because you are not going to want to touch it once you get started. Then make sure you have plenty of paper towels nearby.

Steamboat Bill’s crawfish were quite small (I thought maybe it was because it’s early in the season or maybe the weather had something to do with it, until later in the afternoon, when we found larger crawfish elsewhere). And they were super spicy, which I don’t mind so much. But my husband has an odd allergy to hot pepper spice and was red-faced and sweating buckets by the time we got to the last crawdad. (We’re used to it.) We also thought the crawfish there were a tad overcooked. No worries. We love Steamboat Bill’s, as does everyone in town, and I know this one negative review won’t hurt their business one bit. Anyway, I saw something at this restaurant I’d never seen anywhere else before. A wash-up station outside the rest rooms. How cool is that! Because it is absolutely essential to wash your hands ASAP after eating crawfish. Even after a dozen washes, your hands still smell like crawfish for a least a day or two.



Bob and I shared a small platter at Steamboat Bill’s because we were hoping to find another establishment selling crawfish, so we could sort of compare and contrast, you know, things like size, taste, spiciness, price. We drove from Steamboat Bill’s to Mr. Bill’s on McNeese Street. Closed. We went to Seafood Palace on Enterprise. Closed. We were just about ready to give up when, as we drove north on Highway 14, we saw another Crawfish Stop. Open. Score!




These crawfish were significantly larger, less spicy yet very tasty, cooked perfectly, and less expensive than Steamboat Bill’s.



So there you have it. Our Sunday afternoon crawfish adventure. Where do you like to get crawfish? Never eaten crawfish? Come visit us some spring or fall. We’ll show you how it’s done.

2 comments:

Common Household Mom said...

The crawfish in the artwork/advertisements look downright happy to be providing you with dinner.

The crawfish-eating procedure sounds similar to eating crab in Baltimore. You have to get very involved with your dinner, using your hands. It's very messy.

Thanks for the crawfish tour!

Angie said...

Indeed, it is very messy, CHM. Some people wear disposable gloves, not only to stay cleaner but to keep the hot spice off their hands. It burns after awhile, especially if there are any cuts on the skin. And don't even think about touching your eyes, even after several hand washings.