I have to admit, I wasn’t sold on the crawfish craze when I first came to the bayou city in 2014. I argued the age old arguments: “it’s just so much work for such little reward” and “are they actually bugs?” Crawfish were not on Mom’s menu growing up.
Since graduating from Mother’s den and coming to the big city, I’ve been surrounded by friends who chant the crawfish praise each season and it’s taken some time for me to jump on the band wagon. With crawfish season here, I am happy to report, fellow Houstonians, the time has come and I’ve officially got the bug; I’ve got it bad.
To quote the poetic Dr. Seuss, I could eat crawfish here or there. I could eat them anywhere.
My newest crawfish tasting came from a Leader-reader recommendation for Crawfish and Noodles off of Bellaire, right near Chinatown. The crawfish here are a Vietnamese-style, with a hefty coating of sauce and spices on the outside of the crawfish versus the Cajun-style that cooks the spice into the meat with the boil.
The Vietnamese-style crawfish is different from the Cajun and I like it. There is so much sauce and spice in the large tin serving bowl to make for a dipping sauce for just about anything you ordered. And if you’re a spice/heat lover, you can vary the spice level to fit your taste buds. I ate two pounds of Crawfish and Noodles’ saucy bugs. I’d go back today for more.
Since taking a trip down to Chinatown, I’ve visited The Boot and Mels’ Seafood Shack for Cajun-style bugs. Both with their own distinct, but familiar taste. The salt and spice in the Cajun-style bugs are luring, eating them while they are piping hot is what makes them addicting for me.
My favorite equation of the Cajun-style crawfish is the actual family and friend backyard boils. While the cook is seasoning their best boil, family and friends are telling stories, sharing memories, pouring a drink and eagerly waiting for the first boil to be spread across a long table. The fresh and piping hot crawfish are when the eating is good – watching everyone play hot potato with their bugs are where the laughs are guaranteed.
I’m ready for more crawfish this weekend and I’m eager to learn where your go-to spot is. If you’re planning your backyard boil, be sure to put my invitation in the mail.