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Crazy for Crawfish

The Seafood Shoppe does mudbugs the right way.

The astutely named Rich Man's Platter comes with fried oysters, crawfish and alligator, but only the fried oysters on the overpriced plate are any good. Interestingly, the seafood and fish that The Seafood Shoppe sells at its adjoining market — a very tiny space that's open during the week — is of a higher quality.

The menu also encourages you to try its "crawfish sauce" with any entrée or appetizer; I will encourage you not to. The crawfish sauce appears to be the boil the crawfish were cooked in, with extra butter added. It's a salt bomb of the highest grade, a nuclear blast of saline that obliterates the taste of anything you put it on. Stick with the tartar sauce or the sweetly spicy cocktail sauce, and you'll be much happier.

The rest of the menu at The Seafood Shoppe, in fact, doesn't do much for me either. Jambalaya is woefully underseasoned (maybe a dash of that crawfish sauce while cooking would liven it up) despite the presence of some thick, peppery coins of andouille sausage. Shrimp étouffée is bland and oddly goopy, as if it had been thickened with cornstarch. The equally bland white rice underneath does nothing to jazz it up. French fries are mostly mushy, but at least The Seafood Shoppe livens them up with a sprinkle of Tony Chachere's while they're still hot.

These crawfish are boiled in well-seasoned water.
Troy Fields
These crawfish are boiled in well-seasoned water.

Location Info

Map

Seafood Shoppe

10555 Westheimer Road
Houston, TX 77042-3521

Category: Restaurant > Cajun

Region: Memorial

Details

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, noon to 9 p.m. Sundays.
Crawfish: $7.50/pound
Fried calamari: $8.95
Fried trio: $9.95
Jambalaya: $9.95
Shrimp étouffée: $12.95
Rich Man's Platter: $18.95


READ MORE
SLIDESHOW: Crazy for Crawfish at The Seafood Shoppe
BLOG POST: How to Eat Crawfish (with Video)


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But those crawfish...The crawfish alone are enough of a draw for The Seafood Shoppe to do a brisk business — even out of season — and one of the main reasons to go.

The other reason is simple: No lines; no two-hour waits. Just buckets of beer and bowls of crawfish and plenty of spots in which to enjoy them both. It's one of the best ways to spend a spring afternoon in Houston.

katharine.shilcutt@houstonpress.com

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15 comments
ostiones
ostiones

There's a place in town called My Place. At My Place, crawfish are 2.99 a pound or less, not 7 or 8 bucks. There is a small 2 dollar or so surcharge for seasoning, but no tax and twenty percent tips. Corn and potatos are cheap. Modelo Especials are less than a dollar each, not three or four bucks. The music and or movies are great. The only downside is you have to bus your on table and do the dishes. Recreational drugs optional.

ALG
ALG

Love the first sentence. So true.

Fejsplace
Fejsplace

" and for God's sake don't touch your eyes for a few hours after eating.That is the least of your problems,just be careful and don't touch yourself when you have to go pee!

Woodlands Mama
Woodlands Mama

Come Crawfish Season, I miss my hometown so much!! Houston cannot compare to crawfish in Louisiana with size or seasoning. We've had a friend from Lafayette bring in "select" crawfish that are huge. I think that all of the smaller crawfish are shipped to Houston and other places out of state. : (

SirRon
SirRon

Don't know if you had it, but their gumbo is notable. Expensive, but different enough from most places to be worth the order.

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard

I'm trying to figure out why a place like this would be so expensive? Places like this tend to be pretty cheap.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

I should have tried it, as I saw several people around me order it, but I never got a chance. Will make a trip out there again to get some!

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard

Alright, pick a weekend afternoon and I'll join you.

SirRon
SirRon

Yeah. Done that. Love Treebeards, but if you haven't done Seafood Shoppe's gumbo, just do it. I'm just saying that it is different in a good way and notable. Especially if $5-$7 is OK with you. I usually get the $8+ 16 oz gumbo and make split it two ways or make it a full meal.

Nothing against Floyd's, but I never find myself in Pearland.

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard

Or the Seafood Gumbo at Treebeards. Only served on Thursday & Friday. Get it with Red beans & rice.

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard

My favorite gumbo in Houston is Floyd's, and theirs in $5-7 per cup/bowl. Ever tried it?

SirRon
SirRon

I used to live in Louisiana, and higher prices generally reflect high quality seafood. Cheap in, cheap out. Ya know?

 
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