Best of Houston

The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Crawfish Joints

For the next 20 weeks, we'll be rounding up the runners-up to our 2011 Best of Houston® winners. In many categories, picking each year's winner is no easy task. We'll be spotlighting 20 of those categories, in which the winner had hefty competition from other Houston bars and restaurants.

Along with Texas oyster season, crawfish season is officially upon us. No Label Brewing out of Katy is offering an all-you-can-eat crawfish boil for only $10 at Ashford Pub this Saturday at 1 p.m., while the Heights Chamber of Commerce is busy prepping for its annual crawfish boil at the SSQQ Dance Studio on March 3. Yesterday, when I spoke to Jim Gossen -- hero of the New South and founder of Foodways Texas -- he talked of hosting a crawfish boil soon to promote membership in Foodways Texas and bring people together.

"I don't want to have a clique," he said of the young organization, which promotes Texas food history and culture. "I don't want it to be this small group of people. This is something that everyone can get involved in. I want everyone to feel welcome."

And that's exactly what a crawfish boil does. It's hard not to feel like part of a greater whole when you're eating crawfish with others: You're in the trenches together, battling through a field of mudbugs and emerging dirty yet victorious at the end of the meal.

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Katharine Shilcutt