A little after 3 p.m. on weekdays, the parking lot outside The Boiling Crab begins to fill. If the overflowing crowd doesn’t testify to the quality of the food inside, the aroma will.
Two neon signs in the front window flick on. One announces “OPEN.” The other reads “Louisiana Crawfish,” just one of the many items for sale.
The tables near me were covered with food. It looked like seafood, and it smelled like seafood, so I had to taste it.
My mom ordered a fried shrimp basket with Cajun fries ($10) and my grandma chose half a dozen oysters with Tabasco, saltines and horseradish ($8)
I ordered two pounds of crawfish with corn and potatoes ($5 a pound because it’s Mardi Gras season). The waitress asked how I wanted my food seasoned — Rajun Cajun, lemon pepper or garlic butter. I chose Rajun Cajun XXX. Unlike Wing Stop’s atomic wing sauce, The Boiling Crab’s XXX seasoning isn’t so hot it kills the flavor; it’s just right. You only live once, so why not try something on the fiery side?
After I took my first bite, I knew the place was legit. I traded my mom a couple crawfish for a shrimp. When our waitress came to ask if we needed refills, my mom asked for a pound of crawfish. She and my grandma split it with the Whole-Shabang seasoning, which is a mix of all three spices they use. They also offer King, Snow, Blue and Dungeness crab legs (market price).
Later, I went to The Boiling Crab alone and surprised my grandma with a to-go cup of gumbo. When she saw the gumbo in the fridge, she said, “You went by yourself?” I explained that sometimes after a stressful day at school, I need somewhere to go to get my thoughts together, and The Boiling Crab is one of my havens.
Maybe I like The Boiling Crab because I fit in with the atmosphere, but then again, maybe it’s just the crawfish talking.