Saturday, May 11, 2013

What’s a Crawfish Lover to Do…

when two of her favorite restaurants serving crawfish seem to be closed?

Lucky for me (and I am the aforementioned crawfish lover), we were introduced to the Crawfish Hut last year by Jim and Lynn, who were at that time the “grand poobahs” of the RV park where we stay when in Cajun Country. Jim and Lynn are no longer at Frog City RV and have moved on to manage a park in Yuma, AZ; it is strange being here without them.

“In 1993, the Crawfish Hut opened as a drive-thru crawfish stand serving steaming hot, bright red boiled crawfish. Open only during the South Louisiana crawfish season during its first decade, the Hut quickly became known for its perfectly seasoned and prepared mudbugs. Only select-grade crawfish were chosen for the Hut's boiling pots! It was this attention to detail that made the Crawfish Hut famous” (

As you might expect from a place with the word “hut” in the name, this place is not fancy. The exterior resembles a Cajun cabin with weathered wood, slopped roof, and covered porch. This latter has a small bar area off to one side and is set with tables for al fresco
dining—although I am not sure that Cajuns would use the term al fresco. “Outdoor” would probably work just as well.

In back is another building housing a retail/wholesale crawfish outlet.
Inside, the predominate decorative item is the bank of hand washing sinks off in one corner—a necessary item after one has plowed through a mess of crawfish.
One wall is decorated with old photos like this one of the South Seas Conchological Co. about which I could learn nothing other than there
are many web sites where one can purchase copies of this photo on a stereograph card and that was created/published in Des Moines, Iowa, sometime between 1868 and 1883. It shows two men at a booth selling conch shells, and I suspect that these two men comprise the totality of the South Seas Conchological Co.

The menu is certainly more than just boiled crawfish and includes Crawfish Pasta, Crawfish Enchiladas, Crawfish Étouffée, and Crawfish Duo (half fried crawfish and half crawfish étouffée). And if crawfish aren’t your thing, you can order Chicken Pasta, Red Beans and Rice with Sausage, Fried Catfish, Fried Shrimp, Fried Oysters, Ribeye Steak, or Hamburger Steak.

A chalkboard just inside the door outlines the crawfish pricing—three pounds for $13.99, five pounds for $25.00, and on Tuesday, “all you can eat” for $33.99.
We calculated that you would need to eat about seven pounds to break-even on the latter.

I considered the boiled crawfish and shrimp combo, but doubted that I could eat three pounds of crawfish plus a half pound of shrimp. So I stayed with the three pound order to be served medium spicy.
As MJB at said: “If you're looking for a local spot for good boiled crawfish, this one will do very nicely…. Like most crawfish houses in the region, it's nothing fancy inside or out, but it's clean and comfortable, and the staff is friendly and efficient. Choose mild, medium or hot (i.e., ‘local’) when you order—we like the medium, which is spicy enough to make your lips go numb and served with a mayo-and-ketchup based house dipping sauce that's almost as good as what I'd mix myself… They serve consistently high quality boils—good-sized, tender and juicy, with no muddy flavors from poor purging and no limp, crumbly dead-before-they-hit-the-pot disappointments—and nobody rushes the enthusiastic but slow-eating Yankees who come back again and again each season…” (Are you talking about me?)

Chuck, not being a crawfish fan (unless they are already peeled and then battered and fried and preferably served in a poor boy), opted for the fried catfish plate that came with a side—a very large side—of red beans and rice and a roll. To this he added (not photographed) another side of grilled veggies (carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower).
The catfish were two good-size filets that had been coated Louisiana-style with a seasoned corn meal mixture. The fresh as opposed to “muddy” flavor was a sign that they were farm raised as opposed to wild-caught and the coating had just enough Cajun seasoning to enhance this freshness and not obscure it.

The red beans and rice were quite good. Not quite as good as mine, but still quite good. The beans contained a goodly amount of smoky, but not overly spicy, sausage and had that creamy consistency that is hard to achieve.
The Crawfish Hut is by no means the best restaurant in the Lafayette area, but it more that adequately satisfied my hunger for crawfish and earns a 4.0 Addie rating.

To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.

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