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Crawfish Price Check (and quality)

Didn't want to hijack the other posts because I want this to be very specific. What are the various prices in town for crawfish, served in a restaurant? I will do a boil later in April, so I'm not interested in live prices right now. I just need crawfish in my belly within the next three days.

I'll post as I find out prices as well. I'm especially interested in happy hour prices, Sunday deals, or wherever one can get them cheap and decent. We eat alot and are on a budget. Razoo's is no more, and while I wouldn't normally set foot in there, the crawfish were good, $3/lb HH cheap, and they had $2 mugs of lone star. That's sort of what I'm looking for. Perhaps that's why they went out of business in the first place, and I'm just dreaming.

I'm only eating crawfish, so I'm not interested in the relative merit of any place with regard to cajun food, the politics of cajun food in general, or who's gumbo sucked the last time they went there. And yes, I will go to a chain when some of the local places (think Sambets) tries to get away with highway robbery! I really did have the absolute worst boiled crawfish of my life at that place, and they were charging $7 per pound. I've heard that they even charge a cover now just to get in because they have some band outside.

Of course, if the crawfish are flavorless, dead before they hit the water, or cooked way in advance, it isn't worth eating for free even.

Is the $3 happy hour at Pappadeax real, are they good? I''ll call today once they open.

Any word on Sam's boat, recent Sambet's, Pac Star, Alligator, Longhorn, or others?

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  1. I don't consider myself an expert on boiled crawfish, but I know what I like and don't like. Pappadeaux - last Monday - were $4.95 for 1-1/4# - These were awful. They were very oily and had chili powder on the outside seasoning. Their special is for Monday and Tuesday only.

    Sambet's - I agree - the worst I have ever had. Don't really get the excitement about this place.

    Sam's Boat - Pretty good - Kind of hard to peel, but still good. Waiter said the crawfish were hard to peel this year?? They were still $5.95 a couple of weeks ago.

    LA Longhorn Cafe - I've had some of the best ones I have ever had there. They were still pretty high - 3 lbs for around $18 or $19 - can't remember - but very good size. Supposedly, supplier has not come down on price due to transportation costs. I get mine regular spice which is pretty spicy and they did not have the seasoning on the outside.

    Hope this helps.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Meshelle

      I guess the transportation costs are one key factor, especially if they are already $1.85 per pound from suppliers in SE Texas!

      Sounds like crawfish for two people will be in the $50-$70 range, with tax and tip.

      I can't believe that Alligator Grill is charging $8!

      I just called Shoal Creek - Fri and Sat only 5-10 PM. $6 per pound on a sliding scale, he "thinks," and "he believes" that you can get a 5 lb platter for $25. I might check that out and report back.

      1. re: rudeboy

        I was going to do Shoal Creek tomorrow (Friday) night but the UT-Stanford game is on FYI. It will probably be a zoo.

        I'm thinking Roux instead but it probably won't be cheap.

    2. Cool. Cypress Grill did 3lbs for $15.99 - so, $5 and change per pound. As reported, very nice, meaty, spicy, fresh and enjoyable. Pappadeaux is $4.95/lb on Mondays and Tuesdays - only OK...won't return. I called Alligator Grill and they said they had them for $8.00/lb! Passed. Shoal Creek does boils Friday and Saturday but I haven't gotten the price. And Saturday 4/5 is the Louisiana Swamp Thing festival that touts serving 3 tons of crawfish - steep entry fee, no idea what they are changing for crawfish...anyone been before? I will be anxiously following this thread, and will report back as I make the rounds.

      1. I am off topic here, but I have never had good crawfish from a restaurant, even though I grew up where many crawfish come from in Texas, and close enough to Louisiana to drive over and get crawfish there.

        It isn't hard to boil crawfish. Go somehwere and see if they have a partial sack (about 20 lbs) and boil them. Eat all you want and tail the rest. Then make crawfish etoufee with the fresh tails, or eat the cold tails the next day (a lot of people swear they are better cold).

        You will feel better about it than if you had bought 3 lbs of crappy crawfish for the price of a steak.

        3 Replies
        1. re: El General

          I've done that many, many, times, and I know. I was raised on the TX/LA border right on IH-10, and my dad worked on developing crawfish baits for farms. We had boils practically every weekend because we got free sacks on crawfish. And my mom's family is from New Iberia/Jennings/Crowley. We'd parboil live crawfish for 5 min, peel them, save all the fat in a bowl, and make etouffee that didn't have overcooked crawfish in it like most people's. But now I live in Austin and don't get free sacks! I will be doing all of this later in the season, as I said up there.

          Your premise is that you can never get good crawfish from a restaurant. I have had anything from horrible to very good crawfish at restaurants and festivals. So I'm looking at getting decent to good crawfish now. If I start off at $3 per pound at home, that's $60 for 20 lbs. I have to buy a fifty cent newspaper to lay down in my trunk. Six lemons are $2. A bag of zatarain's is about $2 each, two links of sausage are about $7, and a sack of potatoes is $4. I've got cayenne and peppers in the freezer already. So that's $77.50 for 20 lbs. or about $3.75 per pound and my wife gripes about the mess I made for just 20 lbs of crawfish. I'm holding out to do 80 lbs later in the season hoping prices are cheaper.

          1. re: rudeboy

            Sounds like we are from the same area more or less. I know it is a PITA. My friends ask me to cook crawfish for parties alot and I tell them the best way to ruin a crawfish party is by having to cook crawfish. But, it is nice when you are craving to know that they will be good. I am headed down to bolivar this weekend and will be partaking on Friday night, so my cravings will satisfied.

            I have friend that does party's as a side job. He said that there was a big price drop at the end of February instead of the usual post Easter drop, so he does not know what is going to happen price wise.

            Good luck, and if you find anything worth eating around here, please post it for the rest of us.

            1. re: El General

              I'd love to have a boil down by the coast right now - have a great time. Last time I was invited to a boil, the guy had 10 sacks and a band. There were a lot left over, so we stayed at the table peeling them all for etouffee. He gave me a big ziploc bagfull of tails! Wish I had those now....

        2. Sam's Boat has them for $5.95 a pound and they are small to medium.
          They are doing a special April 5-6 with 3 pounds for $12.95 and drink specials.

          1. I agree - there simply isn't any good 'restaurant' crawfish to be had.
            With that said, the best publicly boiled that I've had was at Nutty Brown - and they're having their once a year boil this Saturday.

            Has anyone tried Shoal Creek?

            3 Replies
            1. re: cibodivino

              Cibodivino, I have been to Shoal Creek only because I grew up in Baton Rouge and was in serious need of some boiled crawfish. I do not recommend trying their crawfish at all. They were small, bland and overcooked and highly underseasoned. We actually just bought our own boiling materials and started having our own crawfish boils because we couldn't find anything that had enough flavor or heat here in town.

              1. re: cibodivino

                Wound up going to Roux on 6th st. last night. Crawfish were selling for $7.99/lb. We had "all you can eat" for $35.99/pp. They bring them out on 3lb. platters with corn on the cob and potatoes. We did 5 of these platters for a total of 15lbs, which works out to about $4.80/lb. They were medium to big in size, fresh and definitely satisfied the yearly craving. One of the managers stopped by the table and said "man, you guys like crawfish, huh?" He couldn't believe it when we told him that we were NY natives. "Tear it up, guys!" he said as he walked away.

                If you decide to go, call first to make sure they have them.

                1. re: nypb

                  NYPB, I havent' been able to eat crawfish like that since my 20s. I usually do about 5 lbs. Thanks for the info!

                  Too bad about Shoal Creek, groovinpinky, but thanks. We've changed plans now and are going to make green curry at home!

              2. 6 of us guys and 1 girl went to Shoal Creek Saloon this Sat. and had over 27 lbs of crawfish, 4 pitchers of beer, and two bowls of red beans and rice to fill us up at the end. Our bill was total, including gratuity (which they added for us), was $233. We thought it was very reasonable, and the crawfish was excellent. Cooked, spiced, and sized to perfection. They were even the perfect temperature, ready to eat, but not to hot or cold when we got them. Served with potatoes and corn. Way better then Pappadeaux, and better than most backyard boils i have been too.

                1. I've been wondering about this too since my stomach is telling me it's crawfish time. I've seen the ads around here, but I can't believe they'll be as good as what I ate growing up- uncles bringing in sacks fresh from the boat down the bayou. All the crawfish I've seen around here are tiny and mealy looking for the price.

                  Perhaps I'll just go buy some and boil them myself, since no uncles live too far from the swamp.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: tokyomonamour

                    May 1 - anyone have recent reports? Fiesta still selling?

                    1. re: RoundSparrow

                      I bought a sack of Mediums last Saturday. High quality, very few dead.

                      $1.29 per pound.

                      They had sacks of large crawfish for $2.99 a pound.

                  2. went to sam's boat a last week. they were small to med in size and not very well seasoned, like most restaurants. mostly just seasoning on the outside and that was very salty. and i like salty food so that is sayin something. i couldn't suck the heads because i would get the salty seasoning from the outside and it was just too salty.

                    plan on tryin shoal creek sometime soon

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: innominate

                      Early 2009, any reports? I notice Shoal Creek has crawfish on their sign.

                      1. re: RoundSparrow

                        I had crawdads at Fish City Grill in The Triangle last Thursday. I believe they were $6.95/lb. Not cheap, but I believe they are the only place in town that is currently serving them and I was desperate. I called around and most places said early to mid-February. The crawdads were pretty good. The waitress asked if I wanted them regular or spicy (a nice touch); I opted for spicy. Moderate level of heat - not so bad that your lips become numb. Just right. Out of three pounds, I only had one with a straight tail (dead before it hit the boiling pot - do not eat these). It is annoying to order crawfish and have several that you cannot eat., so I appreciated their quality control.

                    2. Tried both Sam's Boat and Hot Boiled for crawfish last night.

                      Sam's Boat had 3lb/$15. Small by that's par for this early in the season. Sam's Boat uses the shake on spice after boiling so you end up with lots of salt but it still takes care of my fix.

                      Hot Boiled is the new place next to Odaku Sushi (where Lemongrass used to be). They feature Pho year round and hope to do the same with Crawfish. They are Asian owned, but Daniel, the manager, is from New Orleans. Right now they are getting the crawfish from Beaumont. They add the spices to water so it boils in and then measure them up in plastic bags (keeps the scale clean). They put butcher paper down and then bring you the bag and some silver bowls for the shells. They cook theirs with TONS of minced garlic, butter and onions. While the butter makes them easy to peel, it's a little different from what I'm used to. They also add sausage slices with the corn and potatoes. The menu lists them as seasonal with no price listed, but we paid $5.99/lb. Right now they are BYOB but are working on a liquor license, so call before you go. I'll definitely be going back.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: amykragan

                        Went Friday to Pho/Crawfish lunch around noon. I wish they stayed BYOB, as a lot cheaper to go to HEB and get a six-pack so split ;)

                        Your description of the crawfish is spot on. We personally enjoyed them, and found the size respectable (mid size). A few were very soft (too soft), not sure if overcooked or what. But enjoyed it.

                        We split some bun, it was aweful. Nowhere near Lulu B's and other Austin places more expensive. It was fatty, fully of gristle, veggies not very nice looking.

                        I support this place, hope they focus on quality control.

                        1. re: amykragan

                          this was exactly the information i was looking for!
                          thanks so much for posting an update.

                        2. Just ate at Sea Dragon. $5.99/lb or $4.99/lb if you buy 10lbs or more.

                          Quality was good, flavoring was somewhat different than typical cajun but nonetheless tasty. May have noted a hint of curry?? Spice was ok, I asked for spicy, should have opted for "very spicy." They had corn, sausage and potatoes in the mix. The bugs were small to medium but cooked pretty well.

                          Sam's Boat a few weeks ago. I find their crawfish to be inconsistent. This last time was better than I've had on previous visits. I believe they were $4.99/lb. Small to medium sized bugs.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: joshw

                            Here are some prices from places that I called on this past weekend:

                            Quality Seafood $5.95 per pound.
                            Hot Boiled $6.75/lb
                            Razoo's $5.50/lb ($1 off during happy hour M-F 5-7)
                            Some place on Wells Branch that I can't remember $8.75/lb

                            We went to quality seafood cause it's close. The crawfish were pretty darn good, reasonable spicy, ranged in size from very large to medium, and served hot. Don't get the gumbo or the etouffee - they are both marginal.

                          2. What, precisely, is crawfish season? Seems to start in MArch and run to ???????

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Bababooey

                              Right about now. Get the last of em while you can....

                              Typically "when it gets hot" is when they run out.