NEW: Crab Yard, Berkeley (Cajun-seafood restaurant) - any reports?
- hhc Dec 18, 2012 10:24 PM
Read there's a new place Crab Yard in Downtown Berkeley. Any reports? Cajun-seafood restaurant: shrimps, lobsters, clams, oysters & more
2037 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley
Quite a bit cheaper than Rockin' Crawfish, then, which was selling Dungeness for about $35 a crab a little earlier this week (for roughly a two-pound crab).
That said, while I was initially skeptical about splurging for this kind of prep, it (the Rockin' Crawfish crab, that is) ended up being the best Dungeness I've had so far this season. We got it with the garlic butter sauce, "no spice" (which still has a decent amount of spice).
I passed by today and picked up menus. The lunch specials look good: 1/2 lb of shrimp with two sides, $9.99, same for fish and chips, a little more for crawfish or mussels. I forgot to check the current prices for crab and lobster.
I stopped in for lunch today and got the shrimp lunch special, $9.99 minus a grand-opening 10% discount.
Things started looking good when the first thing they did was to spread the table with butcher paper. The heads-on shrimp were served in a plastic bag, swimming in a very garlicky butter sauce. The bag itself was in a bowl, and the waiter told me to set the bag on the table and use the bowl for shells. Sides were two half-ears of corn and a boiled potato.
It was quite good, with very fresh shrimp, but I've never seen this presentation in the Bay Area before. I asked whether the owners were from a Gulf state, and yes, Louisiana. So, I could imagine eating this in a rustic seafood shack somewhere along the Gulf coast. I'm not sure how well it will go over as a downtown lunch spot--things got very messy very quickly.
The current crab price is $15/pound, whole only. The "starters" menu looked good, with various fried seafoods.
Well, we visited today as well. I really only visit these Boiling Crab-type places for crawfish, so I can't comment on the other seafood. Unfortunately, it was a sad disappointment. Well over half the crawfish were mushy and falling apart, and there were a few complete rotten ones too. The sauce had too much raw-tasting minced garlic (and I never thought I'd ever complain about too much garlic!), making it bitter. Plus, something tasted a bit stale, although it's possible that it was just very strong margarine taste. I gave up trying to eat them about three-quarters of the way into my bag, since they were all teeny and---given the expected ratio of good to bad ones---didn't seem to be worth the trouble.
It's too bad. I was hoping for another East Bay alternative, but I think we're just going to continue hitting Rockin' Crawfish or revisting Red Crawfish in the Tenderloin.
If you're coming to SF for bugs, add Craw Station (dinner only) to your list. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/904941
The crawfish are tiny - fresh not frozen - cooked just right. Sauce and seasonings are so tasty, I could drink it like a spicy soup - Instead, we mopped it up with bread and poured it on bowls of rice.
Shrimp is excellent, too. Mussels, clams, fried okra, fried catfish, fried chicken wings and beignets are delicious.