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May 29, 2013 06:52 AM

Best place for King crab legs and other seafood options

My brother-in-law has a birthday this coming weekend and he has family coming in town from Lafayette. He loves King crab legs and the rest of the family loves seafood. What are the best options in Austin?

Please tell me there are better options that Joe's Crab Shack!

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  1. Red Lobster is better than Joe's. McCormick & Schmick is good, they're offering $10 off on June 16th (not sure why that day).

    Truluck's is also good

    2 Replies
    1. If you require crab legs or claws, you're going to seriously cut down on your options. I've collected some menus for you to peruse. Good luck!

      Decent Austin seafood places (not including sushi or Chinese, which I doubt is what you're after):
      * Clark's
      * Perla's
      * Quality Seafood http://qualityseafood.files.wordpress...
      * Evangeline Cafe
      * Justine's

      Justine's isn't a seafood place, but fish is the best thing to get there. Actually, a number of other places have solid fish options (Parkside, Wink, Chez Nous, Whole Foods and many more) but they definitely aren't seafood places.

      Decent chains:
      * McCormick & Schmick
      * Pappadeaux
      * Eddie V's

      If I had one non-sushi, non-Chinese seafood meal to eat in Austin, it'd be Clark's.

      1. Might be fun to do a crab boil or steam at home. I've found that Costco has good prices ($19.99/lb last time), the legs/claws are large, and they seem fresh-flash frozen. Just an idea, but you are probably looking for a restaurant. Crab legs will run you about $50 per serving at McCormick and Schmick, steamed, and they just come with potatoes and corn. Pappadeaux has a large and a small portion.

        Not sure if people from Lafayette will want to go to a down-home place or a fancy restaurant. Tom gave you a good list below. To me, Evangeline cafe is great - the people are from Lake Charles, but it is probably similar to what they get in Lafayette.

        One thing about redfish in Austin - for some reason, not many restaurants serve line-caught. They are usually farmed, or the servers do not know. McCormick and Schmick serves Palacios Texas Redfish, which is from a farm near the coast, but supposedly those are the best.

        10 Replies
        1. re: rudeboy

          Most states do not allow line or net caught redfish to be sold to restaurants, thanks to organizations like CCA after Paul Prudhome's blackened redfish craze nearly wiped them out. Redfish and speckled trout have gamefish status in Texas, and most of the coastal states, so farm raised are all you will get.
          If they say the redfish are line caught, I think they are probably wrong.

          1. re: TroyTempest

            Thanks for the information.......I haven't had line caught redfish since I caught one myself and blackened it in a hotel room in Corpus a few years ago. I remember from 1980-85 when "they" limited redfish from 14-16 inches...a real narrow band. My dad and I just fished off a boat, not commercially, and he would gripe about it. Thank god for the organization that you site, because now speckled trout and redfish are plentiful (at least in Baffin Bay). They mentioned "commercial fishing" as being limited.....I wonder if that means you can't sell any line-caught redfish in a restaurant. I'll be on the look.....I have seen "line caught" fresh fish in HEB just recently, but it was steelhead - so that doesn't apply here. Wow, I'm way off the King Crab topic, huh? I'd go to McCormick and Schmick's! Let us know where you do go.

            1. re: rudeboy

              Some places in Port Aransas (and i'm sure other places on the coast) will cook your catch for you, so you can bring your redfish there and have them cook it. That may be the closest you could come.
              I'm a blue crab fan myself, king crab not so much. When i really want crab i buy a pint of the jumbo lump crab meat from Quality Seafood and make my own crab cakes, cold lump crab or in a crab salad with remoulade sauce, or sauteed in butter. Decadent.
              I'm from Galveston, my Dad still lives there. So, I also get my fried soft-shell crab fix when visiting there.

              1. re: TroyTempest

                Speaking of blue crabs - is there any place in Austin that does BBQ crabs? There used to be a place in Sabine Pass that had an all-you-can-eat offering back in the 80s. I think that they were simply sprinkled with BBQ seasoning and then deep fried. But oh man, they were good. And messy. The salt and pepper Dungeness at T&S kinda reminds me of those.

                Which comes to mind - T&S Seafood might be a choice if the family is adventurous and can handle the "rustic" nature of the place. For people that love seafood, it is a great place. Seems like anybody from S Louisiana would love it. I cannot find the menu online for the life of me.

                1. re: rudeboy

                  Some pics - Salt and Pepper Shrimp (or oysters?) and one of their Dungeness Crabs.

                  1. re: rudeboy

                    Those look good. I still haven't tried T&S. Maybe this will spur me to go.

                    1. re: TroyTempest

                      You should. I just LOVE their salt & pepper shrimp. Matter of fact, that made up my mind for lunch!

                      1. re: danny_w

                        T&S makes the best salt and pepper soft shell crab! I prefer their batter to other places. The oysters look awesome. I must try that! The crab looks spectacular, too.

              2. re: rudeboy

                rudeboy, it is illegal to sell fish caught by recreational anglers, and as TroyTempest noted commercial is no more. I had a fishmonger offer to by some speckled trout from me, but I wasn't selling. I had a limit and was getting some shrimp to go with them. He has rich River Oaks Houston folks willing to pay top dollar.

                1. re: James Cristinian

                  Good to know, James......I guess I need to get a damn boat and start making fishing trips myself. I was seafood-spoiled growing up......we always had a large deep freezer full of what we caught. My dad and I even had a shrimp net. I remember once hauling in three large ice chests full of shrimp. There's nothing better than a gulf redfish - I'm glad someone had the foresight to protect the species!

          2. Having heard about Freda's Seafood Cafe for years the lady and I finally tried their sunday brunch buffet for the first time, I think it's 15.95. I too prefer blue to snow crabs. But they had snow crab legs on the line and folks were scarfing them down. I did quite enjoy their steamed spiced peel n eat shrimp, nicely cooked rare prime rib with horseradish sauce, just okay gumbo, very good biscuits, and roll your eyes back in your head white chocolate bread pudding. The fried fish and shrimp I'm certain were from a box, unacceptable. But overall we enjoyed the brunch for its value and standout items. and for that price, heck, all you can eat crab legs and steamed shrimp is almost worth it. 10 bucks extra for all you can drink mimosas.

            1. So.....LewisvilleHounder, what did you decide to do?

              2 Replies
              1. re: rudeboy

                We just decided to make them ourselves and purchased the legs at Costco, a much more cost efficient choice when feeding 10. We also grabbed a few bags of shrimp and mahi mahi filets.

                I appreciate all of your suggestions and have noted them for next year. Looking forward to trying out Clarks. I know they have the same management company as Perla's, which I was not a fan of. Interested to see if there is any difference.

                1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                  Just out of curiosity, how did Bro-in-Law like the crab legs from Costco? I was just there yesterday, so I checked them out. Normally, there's a stand-alone thing with a guy getting crab legs and dungeness off of ice, but yesterday, they only had cry-o-vac packages in the cooler. Hope it worked out okay.