Thursday, February 20, 2014
5 Dallas spots to indulge in crawfish season
'Tis the mudbug season, y'all.
DALLAS It's that season again! Crayfish – also called crawfish, crawdads, freshwater lobsters, or mudbugs – are crustaceans resembling small lobsters, to which they are related. People eat them, including Dallasites.
I personally love to eat the tails, and sometimes the claw meat, of these bug-eyed creatures. I'm not die-hard enough to "suck the head" for juice, but it is the only food in which I am aware, and make full use of, the season. I'm not sure what part of my personality it plays into, but for some reason I enjoy working with my hands when it comes to food. I dig shell fish (crab legs, peel and eat shrimp, oysters).
The challenge of perfectly pulling the tail out in order to be rewarded with the optimal amount of meat, and the least amount of lung matter and soil vein, is gratifying. When I successfully remove the meat of a big bug, I feel like I have won something.
After eight years of living here, and consuming dozens of pounds of crawfish seasonally and year to year, here are my top five favorite spots to get boiled crawfish in Dallas.
1. Nate's Seafood & Steakhouse - Nate's is best on this list, event though it's not in Dallas proper. It was where I first tried crawdaddies in 2001, and my life was forever altered. Get the extra "turbo" spice -- it will ring your bell and literally make you sweat. At this well-established seafood and steak restaurant, you can also get a pound of king crab legs, which, combined with two pounds of crawdaddies, is a meal fit for a Mardi Gras carnival king.
Address: 14951 Midway Rd (Beltline), Addison, TX
2. Dodie's Seafood Cafe (original location, not the Reef) - Along with the obligatory potatoes and corn, Dodie's adds a special helping of garlic cloves to their mix, which can be squeezed out and used like butter on bread (yum!). The smaller, more-homey original location is my preference, but they do have several locations now, including one on the same street (Greenville Avenue).
Address: 2129 Greenville Ave at Richmond Ave., Dallas, TX
3. Big Shucks Oyster Bar - This place is remarkably efficient and clean when it comes to producing boiled bugs. However, the location motif lacks that Southern/Cajun soul. If you're alone or have a date, try one of the other spots. However, for a large group, it's probably your best choice due to the interior space, patio and speed of delivery.
Address: 6232 E Mockingbird Ln btw Alderson St & Norris St, Dallas, TX
4. Aw Shucks - You'll probably have to wait for a seat at the height of crawfish season and the summer at this yet another Greenville Avenue spot, but they do serve it up right. With an "On Your Honor" account of what you ordered, they leave room for you to grab a couple more pounds of crawdaddies or a shrimp cocktail.
Address: 3601 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX
5. Flying Fish - This University Park seafood staple is tasty and does the bugs quite well. However, since they offer lots of other dishes including catfish, grilled fish, shrimp cocktails and oysters, crawfish are not always a priority. Make sure you call before heading over. If it's the season, and they have them, it's totally worth heading over to Preston Center.
Address: 6126 Luther Ln in Preston Center, Dallas, TX
Disclaimer: This is only the beginning of the season, so some of these spots may run out during the week or weekend because of high demand. I have experienced this sadness many times by not taking my own advice. If you have your heart set on crawfish, and nothing else will suffice, make sure you call first. This list is no guarantee that each of these places have a supply at the time you're reading. ILiveInDallas.com is not responsible for your disappointment at lack of crawdaddies.
Pegasus News Content partner - I Live in Dallas
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