Crawfish Season Is Off to a Slow Start

But here's where to get your mudbugs.

4. BB's Cafe

Like Ragin Cajun, BB's Cafe has become something of a local institution for Cajun food, and the crawfish are no exception. The bugs are a good size, and the seasoning, as one Facebook fan said, "will have you willing to sell your soul to the devil to get more." I'm not sure I'd go quite that far, but it is super-spicy and super-addictive. BB's is also great about using social media to let customers know how long the waits are and if (God forbid) it's sold out. One pound of crawfish with corn and potatoes is currently priced at $7.95, but the owners are assuring customers on social media that as soon as they're able to sell the critters for less, they will.

3. Wild Cajun

I'll take ten pounds, please. Yes, all for me.
Courtesy of LA Crawfish
I'll take ten pounds, please. Yes, all for me.
Lent never tasted so good.
Troy Fields
Lent never tasted so good.

This Viet-Cajun hybrid restaurant will have your taste buds tingling from all the spice in the signature Wild Cajun boil. There's also a garlic butter boil, which is more like what one might expect to find on lobster — slightly garlicky and very rich. Wild Cajun gets in lots of live crawfish, but the small space does tend to run out, so call ahead to make sure you'll get your bugs before you go. If you are able to get in, it's totally worth the $7.99 per pound for fresh crawfish that are some of the spiciest around.

2. Daily Seafood

Like the Crawfish Shack, Daily Seafood will sell you live crawfish to go to take home for your own boil. At $4.39 a pound for the raw, live mudbugs, the price can't be beat. Should you want to let Daily Seafood do the work for you, the current price is $6.99 a pound. The boil is essentially just garlic and spices. Like, a lot of garlic. A few years ago, Katharine Shilcutt wrote of the boil, "The spicy heat on your lips isn't from cayenne or any other kind of pepper: It's just from the lobes of garlic that infuse every nook and cranny of the bugs." As of now, this is the cheapest pound of crawfish we can find in the city!

1. Crawfish & Noodles

There's perhaps nothing that says Houston more than a Vietnamese crawfish restaurant. And while there are plenty of places that serve them, Crawfish & Noodles's Cajun-spiced, garlic-­butter-soaked critters take the cake. The mudbugs don't soak in their own juices for too long, allowing you to experience the true crawfish flavor of the fresh, tender meat inside the spice-dusted shells. We're not kidding when we say the giant roll of paper towels on each table will come in handy. Oh, and you'll want to suck those mudbug heads. Trust us. Right now, these glorious bugs are $8.99 per pound.

Season's Eating

7 Awesome Seafood Sandwiches
To help you survive Lent.

Brooke Viggiano

Two Fridays down, six more to go. Two weeks ago, the 40 days of Lent began. For many, it's a time of prayer, atonement and — most important for the purposes of this article — meat-free Fridays. This can be quite difficult in a city where fantastic burgers, juicy fried chicken and pork-stuffed everything are tempting you at every turn.

But have no fear, Houston! These seven drool-worthy seafood sandwiches will have even the most meat-centric of us forgetting that this is a time of sacrifice.

1. Lobster Roll

Where to get it: Maine-ly Sandwiches

Maine-ly Sandwiches's owner, Buddy Charity, hails from Biddleford, Maine, so right off the bat, you know the shop's lobster rolls are legit. Another reason? Charity has the fresh lobster shipped in straight from Maine every week. Stop by one of two locations for a taste of the buttery-crisp, griddled buns filled with hunks of plump, tender lobster ($9.50 for a big-enough half-sandwich). The lobster is dressed simply in lemon mayo and salt and pepper, allowing the fresh-out-of-the-sea flavor of the meat to shine.

2. Fried Fish Sandwich

Where to get it: Fountain View Fish Market

For a classic fried-fish sandwich that will kick any fast-food version's sorry behind, look no further than Fountain View Fish Market. Choose from hot and crisp shrimp, oyster, cod or catfish served simply on an old-fashioned hamburger bun with bright tartar sauce, lettuce and onion. The meal is just $4.99 with a choice of side (onion rings, coleslaw or french fries) and a drink.

3. Po-Boy Combo

Where to get it: Goode Co. Seafood

Goode Co. Seafood's mesquite-grilled shrimp po-boys trump nearly every other version in town, but that's not to say the crunchy version isn't just as awesome. Adding catfish and oysters to the sandwich only makes things that much better. Stuff your po-boy with two of the three and choose either fried or grilled for $11.95 and $12.95, respectively. Or head to the seafood joint during lunch hours for a half-po-boy and shrimp, crab or seafood gumbo combo that can't be beat ($12.95).

4. Bagel w/ Lox

Where to get it: New York Bagel & Coffee Shop

Ask any bagel aficionado where to find the best bagel in Houston, and he or she will send you straight to Meyerland's New York Bagel Shop (with River Oaks's Hot Bagel Shop a close second). The authentic East Coast-style joint pumps out all the lox, bagels and cream cheese you can dream of...and like any good bagel shop, does it on the cheap. Get a bagel with lox spread for around $2, or add a full slice of the smoked salmon for another $2.85. If you want the "works," go for the Lox or Nova Fish Box. It'll run you around $10, but it comes packed with thick, meaty slices of lox; lettuce; tomatoes; red onions; olives; cucumbers; and a heap of cream cheese.

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