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Anybody been to Boat House (Cajun seafood) in Brooklyn?

Miss Needle Apr 15, 2012 01:46 PM

I was walking through Sunset Park when I came across a new restaurant called Boat House on 8th Ave in the 40s. Picked up a menu and it was identical to The Boiling Crab in California and Texas! Boiling Crab is a Vietnamese-run Cajun seafood restaurant that is really popular in California. Lines are huge and the food is fantastic. I've always hoped for something like that to pop up in NYC, so I'm thrilled that this is here. Just wondering if anybody here has tried it yet.

Here's the website for The Boiling Crab.


  1. Chandavkl Apr 15, 2012 07:13 PM

    Boiling Crab spawned a slew of copycat restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley, including one called Boat House which currently has two locations. I'm curious if there's a connection. As I recall, the Boat House in Alhambra serves cajun fried rice, which is something that the other Asian Cajuns don't have on their menu.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Chandavkl
      Miss Needle Apr 15, 2012 07:37 PM

      Interesting. I don't know if it's related, but Brooklyn's Boat House has no cajun fried rice. The menu (including prices) is identical to Boiling Crab with no items like grilled short ribs or edamame (that are on Alhambra's Boat House menu).

    2. DaveCook May 2, 2012 07:54 AM

      I came at the menu sideways; neither the fried calamari nor the gumbo did much for me. This was in a nearly empty restaurant; closer to dinnertime, when I passed by, I observed seafood bibs and metal buckets at more than one table. Those mix-and-match seafood boils are formulaic, but folks seemed to be having fun.

      Dave Cook

      3 Replies
      1. re: DaveCook
        Miss Needle May 2, 2012 09:44 AM

        Never had the fried calamari or gumbo at Boiling Crab. Seems like the seafood boils are what people do as virtually all of the patrons ordered that in California. Yelp reviews reveal that people who have had Boiling Crab before seem to be disappointed with Boat House. I'll want to try it at some point though not sure when I'll find the time to get out there. Guess I should aim for sooner as you say it was nearly empty.

        1. re: Miss Needle
          DaveCook May 3, 2012 07:50 AM

          Boat House opens only at 3:00 on weekdays, when I went, and at noon on weekends. Seafood boils aren't a big attraction for the after-school crowd, not compared with the snack carts farther south on Eighth Ave. My impression is that business picks up during the beer-drinking hours.

          Dave Cook

          1. re: DaveCook
            Chandavkl May 3, 2012 10:43 AM

            Those seem to be standard hours for Asian Cajun restaurants. Wasn't sure why, but perhaps you hit onto the reason with the beer.

      2. Miss Needle May 7, 2012 07:05 AM

        Wanted to report my on my experience. Finally did get out there and ordered some lobster, shrimp and clams in the rajun cajun sauce along with some fries. Cooking was a bit uneven -- shrimp was a bit overcooked and the lobster tail was a bit under. But it was still fine. Rajun cajun sauce is different than Boiling Crab -- less butter and less of a rounded taste. I prefer the sauce at Boiling Crab. I'll probably try to order a mix of different sauces next time as they also offer lemon pepper, garlic butter and the "whole sha-bang!" which is a mixture of rajun cajun, lemon pepper and garlic butter mixed together. Their "cajun fries" are just plain shoestrings. The one at Boiling Crab is coated with a cajun spice mix. I actually prefer plain fries as I think they're a better foil for the boiled seafood.

        Service is well-intentioned but a little bit green. The girls they hire are very young and inexperienced. It was a bit difficult getting my order across because of the language barrier. But they do mean well, especially as I was asked over 10 times (not exaggerating) if I wanted my water refilled. The water came in an opaque soda fast food style cup so the waitresses could not see when it was gone. Note to soda lovers -- they have a $2 cup with unlimited refills.

        It was pretty empty when I was there as well. Hope they stick around for a while as this type of restaurant isn't common in NYC. It may be hard to draw many people as the nearest subway station is about 1/2 mile away.

        1. o
          offtheeatenpath Feb 18, 2013 02:17 PM

          I went for the first time yesterday and was surprised to find they are bucking the trend in that it was Chinese owned and not Vietnamese as were the previous places I've been in Portland and Atlanta. Anyhow, my friend and I got the special buy 2lbs. of crawfish get one free, which came to $30 total. We ordered the whole Sha-bang because for $1 extra it had corn (two pieces) and a some slivers of sausage. If I understood correctly, the whole Sha-bang was the garlic butter flavor and not an amalgamation of all the flavors but actually referred to the inclusion of the above mentioned corn and sausage. Weird that we couldn't order that in Ragin Cajun flavor but nonetheless I found the crawfish to be very fresh and pretty darn good. Def. not the best I ever had but certainly good enough that I would like to return and order again (ragin cajun flavor this time) and maybe explore the menu a bit more. We were there at about 3 on a Sunday and not many people there. Service was friendly and beers are reasonable at $5/import $4/domestic. Also had the calamari app., nice breading but maybe slightly overcooked and chewy. I went to school in New Orleans so I have pretty high standards when it comes to a crawfish boil and this was certainly the best I've had in crawfish deprived NYC. Plus I like any excuse to head to the Bklyn Chinatown, cool Chinese New Year's related activities going on in the street to boot.

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