Pot Luck

The Crawfish Secret Is Out at Daily Seafood

Daily Seafood (12950 South Post Oak) is located in a shabby Westbury strip mall right next to a salon that offers $30, hour-long foot massages. In an ideal world, I'd have had time to enjoy both this afternoon: foot massages and crawfish. Instead, I spent a couple of hours getting to know the bare-bones seafood joint and catching up with the men who directed me there to begin with, Joshua Martinez and Lyle Bento of The Modular.

Bento was recently a contender in Eater Houston's "Hottest Chef" contest, a contest which he attempted to win by promising to reveal his and Martinez's secret spot for crawfish. Bento lost (although the contest itself is still running) but was a gracious loser, and posted the name and location of the crawfish joint anyway. It's one that he and Martinez discovered while making trips with their food truck to the nearby commissary, a daily necessity that led them to Daily Seafood. It's been serving fish, seafood and various other crustaceans for seven years.

The supplier for the joint, says Martinez, is a Vietnamese crawfish farm based in Louisiana. The crawfish still aren't very big this year and it's very early into the season, but we managed to snag a few big ones in our bags.

As big or little as they come, though, it's the boil at Daily Seafood that makes the crawfish worth a visit. It's almost entirely garlic, as you can see from the photo above. So much garlic, in fact, that 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.

It's not the kind of garlic overload that leaves your tongue puffy and your throat coated for the rest of the day, though. And I can't quite figure out how Daily Seafood has accomplished this. I came back to the office terrified that the garlic would begin seeping out of my pores and wafting odorously over the cubicles, or that my mouth would taste like the inside of a Carabba's for days. Yet my palate feels oddly clean, the garlic leaving little to no aftertaste.

Perhaps it's because you don't actually eat the lobes of garlic in the boil (although you certainly can if you want to), but rather just get the pungent flavor of it throughout the crawfish, somehow leaving all the stubborn odor behind in the process. It's mystifying, and bears many return visits to fully understand.

At least at only $5.99 a pound (two pound minimum) for the crawfish, it won't be an expensive experiment to undertake.

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Katharine Shilcutt