Forget Mudbugs; Crawfish & Noodles' Crab Shines Through the Off-Season

Get your crackers ready, these crab dishes are here to play.
Get your crackers ready, these crab dishes are here to play.
Photo by Brooke Viggiano

It may not be crawfish season, but that doesn't mean you should discount Crawfish & Noodles. The Asiatown eatery's crab dishes are just as good as the tiny critters...if not better.

We can't decide what we love more; the King legs or whole-fried Dungeness and Blue. Maybe you should come with friends so you don't have to decide either.

We'll start with the bigger-than-your-biceps King crab legs. Order by the pound and receive a pile of flavor-packed legs alongside a bowl of hot and spicy garlic butter that is practically begging you to dunk your hand into. If you don't want to scar your skin, dip each chunk of plump, wonderfully succulent lobster meat in the melted butter instead. Pro tip: get a few orders of bahn mi (hunks of fresh bread, not sandwiches) to sop up every last bit of juice.

The stir-fried salt and pepper crab is a must-have.
The stir-fried salt and pepper crab is a must-have.
Photo by Mai Pham

Next, we have the cua rang muoi -- or stir-fried blue crabs, which come stacked high and utterly bursting with intensity. The crustaceans get a dry salt and pepper crust before being stir fried to a golden crisp. That means each bite is briny, rich, buttery, and slightly sweet thanks to the natural essence of the crab. Don't forget to suck and munch on the soft, crunchy shells for the full euphoric experience.

Order the Dungeness crab with extra spice.
Order the Dungeness crab with extra spice.
Photo by Mai Pham

Finally, Dungeness crab gets one of two treatments. The dry-salt version is a worthy contender, but we adore the cua rang me, or tamarind crab. The huge, meaty crab comes swimming in a garlicky, sweet and sour tamarind sauce that you can (and should) order spicy.

We have a feeling that bahn mi we mentioned earlier is going to come in quite handy. So is that roll of paper towels on the table.

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