Hot N Juicy Crawfish (Woodley Park)
Hmmmm.... this could be good!
Hot N Juicy Crawfish Cracks Open in Woodley Park
Courtesy of Hot N Juicy Crawfish
Eatin’ is a messy, hands-on business at Hot N Juicy Crawfish (diners twist the heads off the little critters and slurp up the succulent meat), which explains why the tables in this rustic Woodley Park saloon are covered with plastic and guests are outfitted with bibs and paper towels; its namesake specialty comes with an assortment of spicy, garlicky sauces (you can also opt for head-on shrimp), and accompaniments include french fries and beer.
2651 Connecticut Ave.; 202-299-9448
I went in shortly after they opened. I had already eaten, unfortunately. The people seemed very nice, and the ambiance, is, indeed, South Louisiana seafood shack. That's not a bad thing!
I asked about the source of the crayfish, since they are typically seasonal (once the weather in Louisiana gets really hot the season is over) and they just said vaguely "the south." Um, south of what? In New Orleans, where I grew up, crayfish were never served in restaurants out of season.
Some people are really adamantly against Chinese crayfish, which seem to be more predictably available and used frequently outside of the deep south. I wouldn't necessarily hold it against them to serve them, unless they were getting frozen product. The texture really suffers then.
I can't wait to go back and try it!
I used to live in NOLA and have always been very disappointed by crawfish up here - even those that claimed to get them live and straight from Lousiana. They always seem to have a fishy taste and odd texture to them. And yes, although you can get them year-round - I'm also a little skeptical about having them out of season.
I do love making finger puppets out of the heads though, it's probably worth going just for that.
This place is definitely not NOLA. I went there shortly after it opened. The crawfish were clearly not all that fresh,somewhat soggy in texture, and the seasoning is generic cajun pepper that blasts the tastebuds to cover any other flavor. It isn't expensive, so there is a saving grace, but better to just cook them at home.