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Crawfish season

So, It's almost crafwish boil season, and I was wondering if anyone knows where to get the best price/lb on live crawfish in the Austin area. I've searched past posts, but there wasnt alot of info on buying the buggers live. I hear Quality Seafood usually has reasonable prices but I'm sure there are some other places I haven't heard of.

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  1. If you are a true coonass (I'm from Baton Rouge), Quality Seafood is the only one you will consider based on size and number of dead in the sack.
    Other options are:
    HEB-they are getting better
    MT Market-hit or miss, but sometimes they let you fill your own bag so can go for selects
    Fiesta-haven't tried in years, but they have them when others don't; small I'm told

    2 Replies
    1. re: amykragan

      I went to a crawfish boil recently that had initially picked up a 5lb sack from Fiesta, got them home and well over half were dead. Pretty bad. They were however able to take the dead ones back and exchange (with a little coaxing) them for blue point crabs, so it all worked out just fine.

      1. re: amykragan

        You may have to purge the ones from Fiesta, and they don't advertise them as unpurged.

      2. Shoal Creek is doing a special on Fri and Sat nights, however my true NOLA (New Orleans,LA) friends said to wait 'til later in the season to go.

        1 Reply
        1. re: gulch

          Gulch, time of season is a personal preference. I grew up on crawfish (in Lafayette, and later in New Orleans) and came to appreciate the critters at all points of the season.

          I have to agree that they have the least flavor in late Feb, early March, but that's often the best time to introduce someone who hasn't tried crawfish before. The distinctive flavor is easier to appreciate for a first-timer when it's not so strong.

          As we get into March and April, the crawfish get bigger and tastier. My favorite time is right after Easter. I know, that changes every year, but my Catholic family would have a big crawfish boil the first weekend after Easter every year, so it may not have as much to do with flavor as memories :)

          By May, the shells get much harder, but you'll often find crawfish with huge deposits of fat in their heads. That's the best time to suck the heads and the best time to make etouffee.

          When I was little, my grandparents would make the grandkids peel all the blue crabs while the adults ate crawfish. We couldn't have any crawfish until we had finished peeling all the crabs. I still can't stand to eat blue crabs ;)

        2. Hong Kong Market usually has good supplies of crawfish and blue crabs.

          1. Quality Seafood is definitely the way to go.
            My second choice is Sambet's - www.sambets.com

            1. I've bought from both Fiesta and Quality Seafood.

              Quality Seafood has much larger crawfish and significantly higher prices. There are also very few dead crawfish in their sacks.

              However, I usually buy from Fiesta. At the height of the season they will have sacks of medium and large crawfish so you can pay more or less for them. If you're not buying an entire sack you can see them load the crawfish into a smaller bag and see if there are a lot of dead crawfish or not.

              It's a matter of whether you're willing to pay $2.50+ a pound at Quality Seafood for quality or take your chances at Fiesta for $1.00 to $1.80 a pound.

              2 Replies
              1. re: The Tres Leches

                Correct - Fiesta's are half dead, but cheap, and Quality is pretty pricey. About 18 years, ago, there were some people named DuPree that had a seafood shop on Barton Springs where Romeo's is now. Does anyone remember that?

                Better than buying from Quality, find someone who is making a run and get a sack or three or four from them. I tried searching on craigslist for someone who is doing that and couldn't find anyone. But I did notice this:

                NOW HIRING FOR SERVER POSITIONS

                Apply Anytime:
                Crawfish Shack & Oyster Bar
                2013 Wells Branch Pkwy # 106
                Austin TX 78728

                1. re: rudeboy

                  Yup... When I don't want to make the trip, I'll usually go to Fiesta. They won't let you pick through the crawfish, but they don't usually have a problem with returns.

                  I just buy twice as much as I plan to eat, then return the half that's dead.

                  Quality has always had larger and healthier crawfish. If I'm having friends over and I don't want to make the trip, I just buy them there.

                  If I've planned ahead and am having a lot of people over, I'll drive to Beaumont. (http://www.texascrawfish.com/)