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Crawfish and Low Country Cooking

I am wondering where the best place to get crawfish and or low country cooking is in New Orleans? Will be staying at the Hilton Riverside for about a week without a car, so somewhere I can get to by either foot or a >$25 cab ride.

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  1. if you go to the Garden District there is this seafood market across from The BullDog on Magazine Street. The BullDog lets you buy boiled crawlfish from the market, and then you can eat them outside and order beer from the bar. they are so of the best crawfish I've had. A quick warning, they sell out quick, so you have to be there when they open!
    Another Chowhounder told me they enclosed the patio at The BullDog; so you may have to find a park or another spot to eat them; i am not sure. Also, CrabbyJacks which is definitely a cab ride away is true cajun food. I suggest the aligator and crawfish cheesecake (quiche type thing)! This place is in the middle of no where; i don't think you will find many tourist there. it's a great little hole in the wall.

    9 Replies
    1. re: strephking

      Sorry, but in no way is Crabby Jack's true cajun food. And, it's almost always loaded with tourists, visitors, and/or "recent" New Orleanians (students, etc).

      1. re: Hungry Celeste

        Tourists support our economy and "recent" new orleanians live here too. Fine - you don't think Crabby's is true cajun - but why insult people who support this area?

        1. re: dtud

          The purpose of Chowhound is to find the best food, right? Strephking stated that CrabbyJack's is "true cajun" and "in the middle of nowhere" and "I don't think you will find many tourists there." All three are factually incorrect. And I think it has awful food and a lousy atmosphere. I don't send anyone there, tourists, locals, or "recent New Orleanians". And I'm happy that people have decided to move to Orleans Parish...but I don't want them or anyone else eating schlocky food that rips off local culture in an appropriative fashion. Hey, DocB, help me out here...

          1. re: Hungry Celeste

            I thought you liked Crabby Jack's, but not Jacque-imo's? I think the previous poster is thinking of JI's, because I don't remember seeing the cheesecake at Crabby Jack's.

            1. re: JGrey

              Yeah, I was thinking of JI's, did the same thing you did...the cheesecake triggered thoughts of JI's. Anyway, Crabby Jack's still is a far cry from "true cajun food." Why is it okay to think that cajun is whatever anyone wants it to be? No one ever says that PF Chang's is "true chinese food,"

      2. re: strephking

        any idea what the seafood market is called, or what its hours are?

        1. re: strephking

          They did include the patio, but it occurs to me that there are still a few tables out on the sidewalk that would be easily accessible.

          Another spot for (imo) good crawfish, if you get them hot, is Frankie and Johnny's. I also like the green pepper rings.

          1. re: strephking

            Too bad I didn't see this posting back in 2007 so that I could have replied sooner but Big Fisherman is HORRIBLE!! They are overpriced and sometimed not cleaned well enough. If you have a car, drive to Louisiana Ave. a few blocks away and turn right, away from the river. Once you cross St. Charles, any of those places are better. It will take you a few minutes out of your way but the crawfish will be better and cheaper. I go to Big F when I'm desperate.

          2. As for "low-country" cooking, that is really more of a S. Carolina menu. For instance, "hopin'-John" has never appeared on any menu, that I have seen in NO, and it is THE staple side-dish of "low-country." Now, some of the "soul food," in NO, probably draw as much from the Deep South cooking, as they draw from Creole and Carribean cooking. Though I think of Dookey Chase' as being New Orleans, there are probably some similarities with "low-country." Seems that they have re-opened post-Katrina. Also, things may well have changed, since I last lived in the city, and most of my vacation-dining has been at the higher-end spots, so I am not all that current.


            1. I suggest the Bon Ton, downtown on Magazine Street. It's what you might term "cajun restaurant" food (as opposed to home cooking). I like the crabmeat au gratin, but most everything on the menu is tasty (though heavy). Don't overlook K-Paul's, which is still delicious after all these years.

              1. If by low-country, you mean southern food like fried green tomato, cheese grit, etc., you are out of luck in this city...for the most part the restaurants that I think you are looking for apply elements of Creole, Southern, Cajun cooking, and the best of these are Cochon (which I think is exactly what you are looking forif by low-country you mean south of new orleans), Jacquesimos, Dick and Jenny's, Bon Ton, K-Paul...crabby jack's is just a little better than a poboy shop, not low country by any definition.

                Cochon is by DOnald Link who actually grew up south of New Orleans, unlike the owner of Crabby Jack's/Jacquesimos.

                1. Wow thank you all this has been super helpful please keep those recommendations coming. I think I misspoke in my first post due to my own ignorance yes what I am really looking for is good Cajun/ Soul food.
                  Also I read in this month’s Savuer about shrimp BBQ but the only place it mentions as is Commander's Palace. Any other recommendations?
                  Again thank you all I am salivating all over my keyboard in anticipation.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Charles

                    Now, IIRC, Pascale Manale's "invented" BBQ Shrimp. At least they are known for it, though many others have probably done their "take" on the dish. Heck, even in AZ, I do a version!

                    For "soul," I'd recommend Dookey Chase, which has reopened, though I do not know the hours of operation. For "Cajun," I second the Bon Ton, though it has been too many years, since I last dined there. I'd go with the local's recs. on this, as they know what is open, and who is doing what post-Katrina.


                  2. I took a trip to New Orleans to try the gumbos a few months before katrina. Dookey Chase had the most incredible broth, rich and deep in flavor. It was one of the highlights of my trip, along with Drago's oysters, and Liuzza's by the Track's gumbo and oyster po boy.

                    1. That recipe in Savuer was strange in that they took the heads off and shelled them. The fat (and stuff) in the heads is what gives the juice such a rich flavor, like crawfish fat in crawfish dishes. And the recipe didn't look too impressive. I make a dynamite b-b-q shrimp until I tasted Pascale Manale's--man, is it good. For a home made recipe go to "The New Orleans Cookbook" by Richard and Rima Collins. Does anyone know what happened to the Collins.

                      10 Replies
                      1. re: Panama Hat

                        Yeah, and the Saveur/adapted Commander's recipe is a skillet, stovetop version. Many renditions of the recipe are baked and not sauteed.

                        1. re: Panama Hat

                          The Collins recipe is good and the one in the new Tom Fitzmorris cookbook is really good too. Two fine cookbooks!!!
                          I think Saveur used the adaptation of Commander's recipe since most of their readers can't get head-on shrimp. Damn shame. The heads and the shells are what give that dish, especially the sauce, the flavor. To me, Pascal Manale's is THE version they will serve in Heaven.

                          1. re: MakingSense

                            I recently read (I'm pretty sure on Tom Fitzmorris' site in a review of Manale's in the past two or three months) that the BBQ shrimp sauce at Manale's is margarine-based. Maybe that's why it's impossible to replicate...it never would have occured to me to use margarine.

                            1. re: uptownlibrarian

                              Fitzmorris' new New Orleans Cookbook has a great recipe for Barbeque Shrimp that he says is just like Pascal's Manale's version. Three sticks of butter. Maybe the restaurant uses margarine. Who knows?
                              I'm not using margarine in my house. If I go to the trouble of finding head-on fresh shrimp, I'm going for the best.

                              1. re: MakingSense

                                Just checked the book. Fitzmorris doesn't say that's his recipe is just like Pascal's Manale's version. I'm pretty sure I've heard Fitzmorris say that barbecue shrimp is not his favorite dish as Manale's.

                                Last time I was there, it certainly tasted like margarine.

                                1. re: Frolic

                                  On good authority from one of the deFelices, it's margarine.

                                  1. re: Hungry Celeste

                                    Excellent. Thanks for the confirmation, Celeste.

                                    1. re: Frolic

                                      We can always count on our Celeste!!!! Thanks!
                                      Me? I'll keep making it with butter. Wonder if Manale's always used margarine? Sort of disillusioning...
                                      Still a great dish.

                                      1. re: MakingSense

                                        At home, I use half butter and half olive oil.

                                        1. re: Hungry Celeste

                                          That sounds even better! I'm going with your way next time. No to oleo!

                        2. btw, how do the crawfish look right now? still small?

                          1. I think big fisherman is a really good place to get seafood, but as a tourist...I would want to sit down and take in the experience...Frankie and Johnny's.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: N_bodie

                              frankie and johnny's is definitely more local; i think we were the only tourists in the entire place yesterday for lunch. big fisherman/bulldog seemed more...for lack of a better word, yuppie. not necessarily touristy, but just more young and scene-y

                              oh btw, big fisherman's crawfish are currently 3.29/lb. at frankie and johnny's crawfish were 9.95 an order, i think probably the order was about 1.5-2 lbs?

                            2. I do like Celeste, butter + Olive oil, but first I chop and rend 1/4 slice of bacon in teh pan (I do it stove top rather than bake - also works with squid steaks have tried it with frozen scallops - would not bother with fresh ones)

                              1. Big Fisherman has some great crawfish, no doubt, and if you are uptown they are about the most consistent. For a real New Orleans experience, get your boiled crawfish and take them to The Fly, which is a park on the river behind the Audubon Zoo. Stop at the Daquiri shop at river bend on your way there, because there may be nothing better than a sweet daquiri, hot spicy crawfish, and the muddy Missisippi! This will also save you some $$ so you can spend it on a really nice dinner later on.