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Continuing the Crab Kick at Zydeco

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Okay, so maybe I'm on a bit of a crab kick lately.

But there's something about summer and crab that go together like summer and peaches, summer and tomatoes, summer and field peas. It's just one of those things you helplessly gobble down in the heat of the year, knowing they won't be as good -- if even available -- in December.

On the lunch steam table at Zydeco (the only time it's open, by the way), you can get any number of daily specials -- fried chicken, smothered porkchops, even some decent po-boys -- but it's the buttery crab patties that I can't get enough of.

Inside the crimson and gold walls of Zydeco Louisiana Diner (1119 Pease), you'll find a warm lunchtime crowd of police officers, bankers, construction workers, lawyers and all manner of downtown denizens. It's sort of oddly located near the Co-Cathedral, with not many office buildings around, but that doesn't stop people from walking blocks and blocks in the summer heat to enjoy a down-home meal there, just like they have been since 1988.

The crab patties here are served with rather uninspiring French fries but they also come with a side of Cajun rice that tastes like jambalaya. It's a sturdy companion to the patties, which can be a little too rich when taken on their own. For $8.50, it's a meal that will likely fill you up for the rest of the day, if you don't split the patties up and take them home like I do. (Splitting it into two meals also leaves you room for Zydeco's wickedly delicious chocolate cake, $2.95 for a slice so big, it would also get you two servings.)

And although Zydeco is only open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays, the restaurant has a sister location in Beaumont (same hours) and also runs a popular catering business.

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