12.17.2008

crawfish in dec?

is it just me or does crawfish season seem to start earlier and earlier every year? i heard rumors last week that mardi gras grill already had crawfish. a quick phone call over there confirmed the rumor and i quickly organized a lunch there this week.

the chowhounds and i eagerly arrived at mardi gras with visions of mudbugs and getting down and dirty together only to find out that they ran out the day before. i had a hard time accepting the news and talking my belly into picking something off the regular menu. disheartened, i finally settled on the grilled boudin and a side salad. determined that the quest wasn't over yet, i called ragin cajun who confirmed they had boiled crawfish in.

a quick conversation about it led us to scarf down our lunch and head straight for ragin cajun. hey, there's a reason we're called the "chowhounds!" we started with 3 pounds.


the crawfish were of smallish size. of course i knew that this was something we should expect pre-season. we poured the crawfish out onto the red plastic trays set out for us, sprinkled a generous dose of "slap yo mama" on top, and dug in. i sucked my first head. something wasn't right. the smell of crab boil was too overwhelming. the taste? the taste wasn't really there. i realized right away that they were using concentrated liquid crab boil and probably not much of anything else like lemons, onions, garlic that would give it more dimensional flavors. we ordered another 3 pounds and switched to oysters and some pretty heavy drinking as happy hour just started.


year after year, people keep telling me they like ragin cajun the best for crawfish. every season i am talked into going at least once and each time i leave disappointed. it's official this time. if i'm walking into ragin cajun from now on, it's for 25 cent oyster happy hour and cheap drink specials. i'll try to patiently wait for mardi gras to get their next shipment of mudbugs in and i'll head to big woodrow's during prime time crawdad season. i can hang out with friends, throw back some beer, and pretend that i'm watching basketball. but really the yummy crawfish will keep me occupied enough. i also plan on checking out the crawfish spots in chinatown this year.

11 comments:

Jody said...

Awesome...next time you head to Mardi Gras, let me know....would love to join you.
I agree about R.C.
Great to see ya last night!!!
j

Kevin said...

The question is, where are they getting their crawfish? If from China - bad, real bad - but that's not likely, as you only get shelled crawfish from there. We've discovered that if not in-season in Louisiana, then likely it's coming from farms in Mexico. Which, if they're whole & fresh, probably ain't that bad a choice.

Being a Cajun, I'll have to tell you, I haven't been fond of Rajun Cajun, despite all my friends' ravings. Floyd's Cajun Kitchen was the best in town for awhile, but I haven't experienced mardi gras grill enough to have an impression there.

danhole said...

Too bad about Mardi Gras. I've never been to Rajun Cajun and now I won't make an attempt. You know there is a Floyd's Cajun Kitchen in Webster, same Floyd as at the Mardi Gras location. There was another one on 1960 but it's closed now, I think. Surprisingly SRO's at NW Mall has good crawfish, but I always call ahead and ask how they are looking. They have been honest with me so far. The best is at Woodrow's!

mozzie said...

when you make your trek to chinatown you might wanna go try out boiling crab, on beltway and beechnut, in the viet hoa center... get the garlic butter or the whole shebang!

jess said...

I've been to Ragin' Cajun once and was disappointed by the crawfish. Yesterday, I went to Mardi Gras Grill and got a pound of crawfish (I also tried the crab bisque-- yum!). The crawfish were small slighty undercooked, and some weren't firm the way fresh crawfish usually are. The spices were good but I couldn't get over the undercooked part. It wasn't particularily busy that night so I'm not sure why that happened. I'm going to wait until the end of the month to go back.

In any case, my favorite place to get crawfish is in Spring on FM 1960 at Wolfie's (I went to another Wolfie's location but it just wasn't the same)! I ate there probably 6 times last crawfish season and was satisfied each time!

Misha said...

Best cajun in Houston is at Sonny's Happy Cajun. For real.

MIssCellaneous said...

Ragin Cajun is consistently good with their crawfish. I am from Louisiana where the best crawfish comes from Bubba's backyard boil and this place is right up there. Plus, I can also get the Bread Pudding for dessert!

12halfshell said...

As a New Orleanian, I (and my fellow tribe members) have found Houston crawfish horribly, horribly wrong. As you note, the boil is never seasoned properly. It's criminal that this lie has been perpetrated on so many nice Houstonians. Oh and I'm with you, Ragin' Cajun blows.

Anonymous said...

Yuuumm it's definitely crawfish time right now. Sooo good. If you are near it you should check out O'Cajcen Seafood in Pearland. Even if you don't live near there you should check them out. They won best crawfish in houston 07 on citysearch. Sooo good. Cooked N'Awlins style. Seasoning not on the outside! http://www.cajcen-kitchen.com

Anonymous said...

If you are looking for great crawfish - try The Crawfish Connection in Humble. They are right off hwy 59 on 1960. They have the most flavorable seasoning I have found in Houston. Awesome place to eat crawfish and shrimp!

Kris Fulk, Houston Boudoir Photographer said...

I've only ever had crawfish once - in a gumbo when visiting New Orleans. Now that I've moved to Houston with my boudoir photography business, I'm fixin' to start getting better acquainted with em!

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