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One of the subjects in this mini-documentary on Louisiana crawfish claims that, at some point, 95 percent of the mud bugs were consumed right there in the Pelican State.
“My first reaction was,” the subject tells the camera crew, “‘How are we letting the other 5 percent get away?'”
Well, they certainly aren’t sneaking their way to D.C., at least not in the droves that I’d like to see. I mean, it’s Lent, for chrissakes (sorry). We’re supposed to be tearing apart mud bugs right now and devouring their seasoned sweet meat along with links of smoked sausages and fresh corn on the cob.
But where are the crawfish boils around here? Where are the full head-on Louisiana crawfish? Here are the results of my quick survey of the local landscape:
- Acadiana will start up its crawfish boils in April, weather permitting. They run from 4 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays on the patio.
- Johnny’s Half Shell has no crawfish on the menu, although chef Ann Cashion occasionally runs it on special.
- Bardia’s New Orleans Cafe gets crawfish meat from Argentina and serves it in jambalaya and etouffee. The owner swears you won’t be able to tell the difference from the Louisiana crawfish.
- Louisiana Kitchen buys frozen tail meat and uses it in bisque and etouffee and the like.
- Sea Side Crab House buys whole crawfish from Louisiana, but they’re frozen. Still, this is my favorite place to eat crawfish, although you have to drive all the way to the Eden Center to do it.
- Social in Columbia Heights has shown considerable improvement with its “mud bug” beignets (which now taste like crawfish although the croquette’s interior too closely resembles uncooked batter for my palate). The place also serves up a fine “crawfish Monica,” a big bowl of rotini pasta studded with mud bugs and veggies and heavily sauced in a creamy, spicy Creole concoction. Both dishes feature small, presumably frozen pieces of tail meat.
Help me out, Y&H Nation. Where can you get some real Louisiana crawfish during the time of year when you’re supposed to eat them? We gotta hurry. There are only a few weeks left of Lent.