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Jan 3, 2012 12:00 PM

White Center Cajun/Creole Find

Had a surprisingly great food experience down in White Center yesterday.
Was just cruising through the neighborhood on the look out for dinner when I saw a sign for crawfish. "Be's Crawfish Grill". I was a little dubious based on location and the lack of people inside (literally no one), but thought I'd give it a chance.

The proprietor, a Vietnamese guy who grew up in the South before moving here, came out and noted that he just upgraded the burger offering from a lame frozen patty deal to a fresh burger cooked with a Southern rub. He was proud of it, it sounded pretty good and worth an eventual try, but I wanted to check out the seafood offerings.

The menu included crab, shrimp and crawfish boils, and even an etouffe over rice that I'll try next time, but I was in the mood for the crawfish Po Boy.

The sandwich didn't disappoint. Solid pieces of well-fried crawfish, with correctly shredded lettuce and sliced tomato. He served it on a Vietnamese banh mi roll, fresh baked just down the street, which worked better than most of the bread offerings that other places use (Bon Ton Roule for example) for the crispy, fluffy texture you look for in a po'boy bun. There was a nice spicy mayo applied, and it came with decent fries (frozen, but not the shitty generic ones). Best part, all of this was only $5.99 for the half sandwich and fries. (I think the whole po'boys ranged from $8.99 to $10.99)

Totally loved this place. For what it is and what it could be. Add it to the list of wonderful little hidden gems in White Center along with Seattle Roll Bakery, El Paisano, and Proletariat Pizza and the recently moved Zippy's. Sad that 90% of the "foodie" population of Seattle who fawn over the latest Maria Hinz/Ethan Stowell/Tom Douglas joints and will never get to these kind of places.

I don't want to get too preachy, but I feel like these are the kind of spots local chowhounders need to support to keep a vibrant food community alive in places like White Center and the Seattle area in general.

Be's Crawfish Grill
9826 16th Ave Sw
Seattle, WA 98106

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  1. GreenYoshi, I agree that the soul of Chowhounding is finding places like Be's Crawfish Grill. (I am definitely heading there soon; thank you for the find.) As to White Center, do not miss White Center Pho. Perhaps the best Pho in Puget Sound. (Also, I have been meaning try try the fried grasshoppers at El Sabor De Oxaca at 452 SW 153rd St. in White Center.)

    10 Replies
    1. re: Leper

      Where is WC Pho? Besides WC, obviously. I can't keep the names straight but rotate between the one between the carniceria and the taqueria on 15th (Thu Thuy?), the one east of there at the southeast corner of the liquor store strip mall near 14th (very fast service), and the one just south of Angkor market on 16th (some number?). So much soup to sample...

      1. re: babette feasts

        @ Leper, I mean to ask is White Center Pho a specific restaurant, or just a generalization that there is good pho in WC?


        1. re: babette feasts

          Babette, White Center Pho is actually "Pho White Center" at 9642 16th Avenue SW. (Apparently Pho makes me dyslexic.)

            1. re: Leper

              I stopped by Pho White Center for lunch the other day and realized I had been there once over a year ago but had not been impressed. I didn't love it this time either. Broth was good but too salty, and I felt they skimped on the meat.

              Better (though not WC) was Pho So 1 in the ID, SE corner of 12th & Jackson. Rich, well rounded broth.

        2. re: Leper

          Totally. So many great places down there. Who's up for a White Center Food Crawl sometime?

          I have to admit the many pho options confound me and I actually have never gone that direction when eating there. If you tell me White Center Pho is worthy, I'm in the next time I'm down there.

          1. re: GreenYoshi

            The pho in white center, I've tried a number...I think the best is restaurant 88...

            1. re: dagoose

              +1, as well as their mixed seafood soup (can't remember the correct name). This is our favorite for most vietnamese dishes in the area.

            2. re: GreenYoshi

              Re: WC food crawl - don't forget about the pupusas at Salvadorean Bakery. They are good eatin'.

            3. re: Leper

              Leper, just to clarify......El Sabor is right in heart of downtown Burien.... Fourth Ave & 153 SW
              is not in White Center.

            4. So last I had checked in on them, they were still doing a diner-type menu during the day (not sure if it's a shared ownership, or if he only got around to changing the dinner menu?)--which is too bad, as I tend to be in WC around lunch time, since so many of the places around there are best at lunch time.

              But I agree that it's sad about the 'foodie' population failing to get out there--case in point, my answer here, noticeably different than everyone else's:

              1. I'm not sure why you make the assumption that people interested in good food in the Seattle area don't visit or know about White Center. I think there are a few misconceptions.

                If you base it on recommendations to out of town visitors staying downtown, suggesting something in White Center is inconvenient, and generally not what they are looking for. If you suggest it to someone north of the Ship Canal, it's just a really long way to go for a quick meal.

                I set up a dinner party at Proletariat Pizza with dessert and games at Full Tilt after for people coming from Edmonds, as well as SW Seattle. They had fun, but that was a long journey.

                Dining at Maria Hines/Tom Douglas/Ethan Stowell restaurants is a completely different experience than eating at hidden gems, be they in White Center, Burien, Rainier Valley, or Lynnwood. Most neighborhoods have inexpensive Mom and Pop spots as well as the mid-priced trying hard to be great spots. Destination restaurants are a different breed. Room for all - the real issue to me is those people who profess to like eating out and then choose California Pizza Kitchen or Cheesecake Factory as reliable and safe.

                1. Green Yoshi! Thanks for the tip! I live in Top Hat, east of White Center, and just LOVE the food options in that neighborhood... as well as the ethnic markets!
                  Will be glad to try out Be's Crawfish Grill...
                  Apparently there is a sizable Viet population in the south (Texas, Louisianna, etc.), and a number of the best crawfish places are owned by Vietnamese - glad to hear they are moving north and branching out:)
                  I love's some boiled crawfish... did you notice if they had just crawfish boil by the pound on the menu?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: gingershelley

                    They do. Can't remember the pricing but I remember thinking it was cheaper than Crawfish king.

                    1. re: GreenYoshi

                      Thanks GreenYoshi for the info:) Happy eating...

                  2. Good find Yoshi. Bravo.