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Mar 31, 2012 11:41 AM

I Refuse to Eat Crawfish in a Restaurant

Unless ya'll are paying of course, and dammit, this may be a rant but, two days without a post on the Houston board deserves something. Prices of seven and eight bucks a pound are criminally insane. I just bought six pounds at HEB, plus spices and enough corn and potatos for the wife and I to eat with our lunches through Wednesday. The price was twenty- four dollars, half of a resturant price, plus no tax, twenty percent plus tip, all with less than a dollar a can Modelo Especial from the fridge. Now, it's time to finish my wife's hair highlights, yes?!, and boil the crawfish.

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  1. I hear ya James. Guess everyone is out and about now that the weather is warmer.

    I ate the best fried oysters today at a place called Southern Komfort in LaPorte on Underwood. YUM! They will be my new go-to place for fried oysters. I haven't been overly impressed with the new Captain Benny's. Not bad just nothing to write home about except their jalapeno boudin which is great.

    There is a "Brisket House" opening very close to me in Deer Park. I wonder if it's the related to the Brisket House on the west side that people rave about? I haven't been able to find out..

    Edited to add: I just saw their ad on Craig's List for servers and it says it is their second location so I'm guessing it is related to the other Brisket House across town.

    1. You do highlights? If you only knew how much I pay for those! So I hope you are eating your bugs in the house and not in a workplace kitchen! At my local HEB they were boiling them for you this weekend! And it's a tiny HEB so I was surprised.

      Just to report, I had lunch at Los Dos Amigos on Washington today. The cheese enchiladas are not the best in Houston, at least by my estimation, but they were very good. The carnitas were reportedly tender and moist and the salsas, especially the green one, were outstanding. The servers were friendly and happy and smiling and we will definitely be back again.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Lambowner

        Lambsie, I meant to tell you that I had a great shrimp salad at El Tiempo about a month ago. It was the parilla salad with shrimp. It was a little sweet and a little overdressed but very tasty. I think next time I'll cut the mandarins. Their shrimp are very good and they are generous with them, as least every time we went they were. The shrimp nachos are smothered in whole shrimp.

        Grilled Chicken or Sautéed Shrimp, Tamarind Mole Sauce, Cilantro Citrus, Avocado, Greens, Mango, Mandarins, Jicama & Praline Pecans 12.99

        1. re: texasredtop

          Price is good for all that! Have you been to the grocery next to El Tiempo, I believe owned by the same folks? I need to stop in there some time.

          1. re: Lambowner

            It's a BIG salad. I will tweek it a little next time though to remove some of the sweetness. Maybe dressing on the side.

            Haven't been next door. Keep thinking I'll go and I always leave the restaurant so full I cannot think about any more food. lol

            The Brisket House opened today in Deer Park. It is the same one as on Woodway. Driving by at 1:30 people were parking across the street and walking over there crossing four lanes of traffic on Center Street. It's going to be awhile before we'll go but I'm looking forward to it. Hopefully half the city went today and the crowd will die down soon.

      2. It's that time again! In some prior discussion, I think it was Jaymes that mentioned a place out I-10 in the country known to have outstanding bugs. But I can not find that post. Jaymes?

        24 Replies
        1. re: Lambowner

          Ah yes, Good Ole Boys.

          Would love to do a meetup out there sometime. Especially love their boudin balls.

          1. re: Jaymes

            Yay! After reading this thread and others on crawfish, I went to Orleans Seafood Kitchen for lunch! Crawfish were pouring out of the kitchen by the many pounds! Since I was off to a movie, I didn't want to get all messy so had their catfish which was very good.

            1. re: Lambowner

              I really like Orleans Seafood Kitchen. Had some of their fried shrimp and hushpuppies just last week. Often pick up some gumbo to go. Nice to have it in the fridge waiting for me on these cool evenings.

              1. re: Jaymes

                What else do you like in that center? I like Chang's as I've said before, and I've had Russo's Pizza at a different location. Have you been to the Japanese place or I think there's a pho place? Is restaurant smoking still allowed in Katy? The only time I went to the wing place it was real smokey, not the good kind. I have some smoking friends who frequent The Mason Jar since it still has a smoking section, being located in one of the villages.

                1. re: Lambowner

                  Been to Chang's a couple of times. Tried it once right after we moved here and thought it was just okay and continued the search for "our" Chinese place. Went back to Chang's to try that fried chicken wing app and certainly agree that it's about as good as food gets. However, as a girl that watches her figure (and by that I mean I've watched my figure expand exponentially over the decades), am concerned that eating all that fried chicken, including every scrap of that utterly delicious crunchy, greasy skin, isn't something I should do regularly. And the other things I usually order were, in my view, while just fine, not as much to my taste and liking as several other Katy Chinese restaurants - Hong Kong's Kitchen and T. Jin's China Café come immediately to mind.

                  Pho - did go to that restaurant once. Like Pho Saigon considerably better.

                  Wing Place - I have a theory about wings - primarily a guy food. And I'm a goil. I never go out for wings and can never see myself doing it. Messy and too much work for what you get. It's a standard, of course, in front of TV football games so I have to eat them from time to time but they are never ever my choice and I haven't tried this restaurant.

                  The Mongolian BBQ place - love Mongolian BBQ and we've been to this one and to the one in La Centerra. It's fine, but I had a bad experience. Was with my daughter and her husband and four kids. Their meals arrived fairly promptly but mine did not. Waited and waited and waited. We kept asking the waiter where mine was and they kept saying something like, "it's coming." It never did. Finally I got up and went to investigate. Turned out they had given it to someone else (a boy of about seven who took a bite of my very spicy combination and immediately started crying loudly enough that we had heard him over at our table but had no idea what had happened). By then, our four kids were reaching the end of the time window during which they were capable of behaving in a public place and there was no way I could start over in gathering my barbecue stuff and waiting for it to be cooked, let alone eating it. Haven't been back. I'm sure it's fine, though, although I'm difficult to please when it comes to Mongolian BBQ, having first eaten it at least once a week back during the several years when I lived in Southeast Asia. Thus far, anyway, haven't found anything here that compares (to cooking it outdoors over a wood fire). Although we do enjoy going out for Mongolian BBQ from time to time and am certain we'll do it again. How good it is does basically depend upon which ingredients you yourself put into it, but it's also true that restaurants differ in the variety and quality of ingredients that they offer, and in the cooking method.

                  Haven't been to the other restaurants there.

                  Regarding Mason Jar. Tried it back when we first moved here. I was looking for a traditional "real" Reuben Sandwich and was steered to Mason Jar. I really hate cigarette smoke and unfortunately that smoke permeated the place. Seems to me looking back that the smoking section was in the front of the restaurant, which meant that you had to walk through it to get anywhere else. Probably would have put up with it, though, if their Reubens were like those of my late teens and early twenties when I was living in Omaha and eating the originals at the coffee shop in the Blackstone Hotel, where they were invented. It's a thin sandwich, like a grilled cheese. You put some dressing on the rye bread, then Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and a THIN layer of corned beef, and you grill the WHOLE THING. The sandwich should be thin, a bit greasy, a lot crunchy. At Mason Jar, as I recall it anyway, it was today's typical sandwich - big pile of stuff on grilled toast. So, all in all, wrong sandwich and too much smoke. Haven't been back.

                  1. re: Jaymes

                    Not in "Katyish" but close is North China just inside Highway 6. Never been to this location but I used to go to the one near Memorial City before they moved. It's a bit different than a lot of places, used to see lot's of Asians there eating soup. Here's a Yelp link, my internet security would not let my download the restaurant site.


                    Mason Jar: They do a decent prime rib and a great French onion soup. I used to get the reubens there but they're another thing I quit ordering in restaurants along with steaks, oysters, shrimp, and crawfish, the whole reason for the original rant. I found I can cook all at home as good or better for well less than half the price.

                    The reuben, after all these years I found out I was eating them the wrong way.

                    Looks like the Yelp link is not working.

                    The wings, the wifeacita and I both love 'em. I ate wings in Buffalo in the late 70's when they were only available there, not even 70 miles down the road in Rochester. This is about the time fajitas were only available in a few places in Texas and in Houston if you wanted to cook them yourself they were only available in east side carnicerias. Fortunately I was living on the east side at the time.

                    1. re: James Cristinian

                      Dang, JC. You're right - Yelp link doesn't work. But I'll for sure try out North China, based on your recommendation.

                      RE Reubens, since you like making them at home (and it sounds like you've never had the thin, grilled version), try this: Brush your rye bread with whichever dressing you prefer - Thousand Island or Russian. Squeeze some sauerkraut as dry as you can between two paper towels, making a "bread-shaped" patty while you're squeezing. Don't make it too thick. This sandwich depends upon having the "right" (ie, not too much) of each ingredient for the exact balance. Now add a slice or two of good Swiss, and several slices (but just a few - definitely not a big pile) of thinly-sliced corned beef. Now put it all together. Butter the outside of the top piece of bread and put the entire sandwich into a hot skillet or grill, with the buttered side down. Now, butter the outside of the other piece of bread. When the bottom piece of bread is nicely grilled, turn it over. Get something heavy and put it on the sandwich to compress it while it finishes cooking. If you've done this right, and it's thin enough, the cheese will melt beautifully and all the ingredients will achieve perfect and beautiful harmony.

                      I've been told that a George Foreman Grill, or a panini maker works well for this.

                      You might still prefer the "big pile of meat" sandwich.

                      But you might not.

                      And PS - as a "wing-lovin'" guy, I think you're blessed to have a wifeacita that loves them as well. Sounds like you're a lucky guy. Of course, she's pretty lucky too, no?

                      1. re: Jaymes

                        Here's a link to a menu page for Chicago Pizza and Italian Beef on Airline down from Canino's and Houston Dairymaids. The City has finally redone Airline by the way, and you can drive down it without using your four wheel drive vehicle.


                        Note under "Sandwiches" the Pastrami which although they're not calling it a Reuben, certainly appears to be one. Might be worth a looksie the next time that you, (or we!), are down that way.

                        Also, Chicago Dog, Fried Ravioli, Italian Beef, etc.

                        I've never been there, but I've heard things...

                        1. re: DoobieWah

                          Thanks, Doobs. Both the "pastrami" and the "corned beef" sandwiches have essentially the same ingredients as a Reuben. Interesting that they don't call it that. And, insofar as I can tell, anyway, they don't say anything about grilling the entire sandwich after it's assembled, which is usually the main difference between the Reubens I see most often, and the original.

                          I wonder if they'd grill the entire sandwich on request if asked. Of course, if they are of the "how high can we pile the meat" variety, it's next to impossible to properly grill the entire thing. I could ask them, though, to please make me a thinner sandwich and grill it after it's made. I have asked that on several occasions. Sometimes it works but, more often, they say they can't, for one reason or another. Frequently, surprisingly enough (to me anyway), they say it's because they don't have a grill. Which is why they just make the sandwich on toasted bread and call it a day. Or, in this case, a Reuben.

                          I do sometimes just take the sandwich home, remove about 2/3 of the corned beef, and make myself a couple of Reubens the way I like them.

                          1. re: Jaymes

                            I grill my Reuben in a cast iron skillet and get it hot all the way through. It's thick, but not freakishly so.

                            1. re: James Cristinian

                              Sounds pretty good. I'll have to show up around lunchtime some day.

              2. re: Lambowner

                You could have got the crawfish to go and eaten them at the movie chucking the shells and heads on the floor. I do it all the time along with blue crabs and oysters on the half shell, I shuck 'em in my seat!!

                1. re: James Cristinian

                  That's pretty.damn disgusting. You do it "all the time"?

                  1. re: grampart

                    Did you really think he was shucking oysters in a movie theater?!?

                    No. I refuse to believe that. Nobody's funny bone is that numb.

                  2. re: James Cristinian

                    Do you also wipe off the crap on your boots on the seatback in front of you?

                    1. re: kagemusha49

                      It was a joke and I don't own any boots or a cowboy hat. I also rarely go to movies, most of what is on now don't suit my tastes. Give me a good film noir any day.

                      1. re: James Cristinian

                        A "joke"? It sure didn't sound like a joke.

                        1. re: grampart

                          C'mon. You might smuggle in a pack of Sweetarts or even a beer, but a couple of dozen oysters, a shucking knife and leather glove, cut lemons and cocktail sauce?


                          1. re: DoobieWah

                            I use a cotton garden glove for my shucking so I can wash it afterward. Leather shrinks when wet. "If the glove don't fit, you must acquit."

                            1. re: DoobieWah

                              It begs the question, what exactly have you smuggled into a movie theater? In my youth, definitely beer, but my youthful movie purchase was that pickle. Seriously, keep it clean, no need for the tiresome double entendre, I just like pickles. Lots of people do.

                            2. re: grampart

                              It was in response to Lambowner's post where she went to Orlean's Seafood ordering catfish instead of crawfish not wanting to be messy before a MOVIE.

                              Now, after buying boiled crawfish at MY HEB I've been known to eat them in the car as long as the wifeacita isn't in tow. Last time they were so hot I temporarily lost control almost taking out a fire hydrant and probably a squirrel's tail.

                              If you're driving down the I-10 feeder, Witte, Long Point, or Hollister and see crawfish heads and shells flying out the window, it's me.

                            3. re: James Cristinian

                              I was hoping you were joking but I have seen some pretty disgusting things in my time. Figured the boot thing would fit right in.

                  3. Coach's bar used to have a Wednesday happy hour crawfish special - was something like $5 for a big plate of the little fellers. Pretty good deal. Don't know if they still do it.

                    1. i would totally agree with your post, but amend it to say I refuse to eat boiled crawfish ...
                      I happily will eat etoufee at the right place, which we have a real shortage of here in Austin.
                      BTW, this discussion has a bad case of thread drift :)

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: TroyTempest

                        Yeah, we have a hard time staying on topic around he...

                        Oh look! A squirrel.

                        1. re: DoobieWah

                          I shot a few squirrels in my youth. My Grandmother would pan fry the headless critters but they were too much for me being a very picky eater when I was young. My OBMark scarfed them down picking out an occasional shot gun pellet.

                        2. re: TroyTempest

                          We'll take any post anyway we can get it. This is a friendly but sleepy board, despite Lambowners fresh flurry of welcome posts. Keep 'em coming Troy.

                          1. re: James Cristinian

                            Yeah, I thought the Austin board was dead. This one is sleepy. I'm from Galveston, so occasionally i peruse the Houston board looking for Galveston stuff

                            1. re: TroyTempest

                              Looking at cities of similar size and Austin is quite active, I'm envious. You want dead check Atlanta. Houston had a group split off.

                              Galveston, I worked there once every one or two weeks there for a sales job for 5 years in the 80's, plus commuted from Houston for a year in '95. The upside in '95 was that I could wade fish the surf 4 of 5 days a week. I caught 45 sand trout and specks my second day there.

                              Did you ever eat at the Seafood Depot on 61'st and Stewart? The cantankerous Sonny Martini made a mean fish basket, the same Martini as the theater.

                              1. re: James Cristinian

                                Yeah, I've been there. It was a pretty good place as I recall. Didn't he have 2 restaurants for a while, one on each side of 61st?
                                I'm going down this weekend. My friend wants to go to Sonny's place and have a coney island. Haven't been there (Sonny's) since before Ike.
                                I used to do a lot of wade fishing in the surf, and also Pelican Island and the bay. Never had a day like that, though.

                                I guess when i said the Austin board was dead, i was more comparing it to yelp, which is incredibly busy compared to chowhound. Can't figure out why.

                                1. re: TroyTempest

                                  i just re-read my post. I meant sonny's place the bar/ burger /coney island place on 19th st. Not to be confused with sonny Martini's Seafood Depot