4 Places To Find Decent Crawfish In Dallas

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Nick Rallo

When I was a kid, the best eating of the year was crawfish season. My people are from Louisiana, so at least once a year, someone was buying several cases of beer and a few hundred pounds of crawfish for a big-ass party. The crawfish of my childhood were cooked in huge boiling of pots of water by my grandfather and most recently my uncle, spiced with so much Louisiana Crab Boil that the steam burned your eyes. And they were the best damn crawfish I've ever had, every single time.

In Dallas, I haven't fared so well. Every seafood restaurant in town posts a big sign in front of their doors announcing "WE HAVE CRAWFISH," but it usually ends up being overpriced and overcooked and bland, just poor imitations of the slap-yo-mama spicy and juicy 'bugs I remember.

Now that the crawfish season is just starting, a blogger at ILiveInDallas put together his list of best crawfish in town, but my Louisianan sensibilities scoff at his selections -- Dodie's, Big Shucks, and Aw Shucks (these two are basically the same place!) in Dallas, Nate's Seafood in Addison and Flying Fish in University Park.

None of these joints are worthy of the title "best crawfish in Dallas," and only one cracks my top five. In fact, I've been to all of these joints, and I couldn't even come up with five places I would recommend to people. Especially not displaced Louisianans. If you're looking for the real deal, these four crawfish spots may not be just like they are at home, but they'll satisfy your cravings until you can finally make that trip back to New Orleans.

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Courtesy of TJ'S Seafood Market Facebook Page

#1: TJ's Seafood Market & Grill

It should come as no surprise that the Oak Lawn location of Dallas' best seafood market is also the best place in town to get crawfish. Every Sunday, TJ's hosts a crawfish boil that is pretty comparable to home-boiled 'bugs, just in a fancier setting than the beer flats on a tailgate that I'm used to. The crawfish here could be a little spicier, but the tails are always pretty big and they're perfectly cooked.


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54 comments
josh573
josh573

Nate's is the best.  He does them a little different so its a love hate thing and they can send out some that arent the best but all in all if you want a dirty little crawfish spot its the best.  Plus they are only 4.25 a lbs right now.


The boiling crab is good too!

tlewis186
tlewis186

How about prices? That would be a help?

jeff688
jeff688

Well, You stated..(I like that Nate's only uses Louisiana crawfish, which is special considering that most places probably import theirs from China, and there's no telling what kind of waters they've been fished from) I would bet that is exactly where "The boiling crab" gets theirs,or maybe even poop filled mud patties in Nam.

You also state..(The Boiling Crab's namesake is an inferior crustacean) ?

If you think crab is inferior to crawfish, your crazy. You must think filet-mignon is inferior to chopped steak.

CitizenKane
CitizenKane

The real aficionado knows to ask:  which bayou/tributary does your crawfish come from.....like Salmon, water and mud qualities dictate flavor.  It varies widely across Louisiana! 


BTW, I am not an aficionado, but this little bit of information was passed on to me by someone in the know...........I can't recall the exact river system, but he swore it had the best tasting bugs ever !


Truth or rumor ?


Cajun
Cajun

Cajun Tailgators is blocking off the parking lot and are throwing a BIG crawfish boil (500 lbs) on March 1st (12-6)  Live band, cajun food, crawfish & beer! 1112 E. 15th Street Plano, TX www.cajuntailgators.com 469-304-0313 Owners are from Lake Charles & the crawfish are driven in from Louisiana. They season the boil and are made RIGHT!

AdamsonScott
AdamsonScott

"4 Places To Find Decent Crawfish In Dallas"

Well, the article only gives us two places in Dallas.  The other two are in Grand Prairie and Addison.  Care to try again?

ooozooo
ooozooo

I love the Boiling Crab over Nate's but the hassle is not worth it.  If you show up at the Boiling Crab 30 minutes early you are probably going to encounter a line of about 30-50 people already waiting.  (weekends)  I usually only get to go when I randomly have a week day off and happen to be in the area.  


Nate's is solid but their sausage is sub par and sometime's they'll over season with their Turbo seasoning.  If that's the case it feels like you are eating Atomic Buffalo Wings and your taste buds just give up after a while.  


Interested in trying out the Hut and TJ's.  FYI, Denton has a mudbug boil (behind lucky lous and riprocks) around the first week in April or May.  Usually $20 for all you can eat and live music. Definitely not the best crawfish , but you can't beat the price and atmosphere.  

juanmayeaux
juanmayeaux

I am from Louisiana and have eaten badly cooked Crawfish and Cajun/Creole food all over the D/FW area. Nate's Seafood "Turbo Style" is the best of the lot and always cooked to perfection. They till cook their crawfish Louisiana style and do not cut corners like other joints in this area.

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

Hi folks!  It's Kerg's, the Voice of Reason here.  Save yerselves, and eat other great Cajun dishes other than crawfish.....my suggestions:


-Red Beans and Rice (make sure you consume with a sweet jalapeno cornbread!)

-Jambalaya (make sure you consume with a hefty helping of Hank)

-Cajun Crab Cakes (always use real crab, mayo base, and top with a pepper creme sauce!)


#mudbugaregross



Junebug
Junebug

Shuck-n-jive on Greenville. Not the one in Richardson. That is all

JustSaying
JustSaying

I have always had pretty good luck with crawfish from the Bayou Market in Lewisville. It appears to be run by some real Cajuns. I can't say how this years product is because its too damn early in the season. I tend to get mine closer to Easter when the crawfish actually have some size to them.

oakcliffcajun
oakcliffcajun

It would be nice to find a place in Dallas which puts the crab boil IN the water and not on top of the Crawfish after the fact.  Any chance this is the case at any of these places?

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

Crawfish=f*cking gross!  Look, southern things are COMPLETELY foreign to me, but this shite is just disgusting. This is why people think the south is a backwoods dump, and personally why I am scared of the south. 

NightSand
NightSand

Anyone know of a good mobile crawfish boil company?   The last one I tried the guy was awful and kept pushing plane rides...  

acmesencillo
acmesencillo

You shall try Cajun tailgators, the owners are from Lake Charles and they're having a big crawfish boil on March 1st, the restaurant it's located in downtown plano 1112 e 15th st. They're also having live music and teaming up with another restaurant that is gonna have drinks.

CheeryBitch
CheeryBitch

Is The Alligator Café not selling crawfish? Surely, if so, they've got some good ones??

juanmayeaux
juanmayeaux

@CitizenKane The person was talking about the Louisiana Crawfish caught in the Atchafalaya River System. These are the best crawfish in the world.

Rooster0620
Rooster0620

Agreed. I'm from Louisiana, also, and my search for bugs begins and ends at Nates. In this town, he's the undisputed world heavyweight crawfish champion.

On a related note, I've been to the Boiling Crab, too. Decent bugs, but the wait was too much of a beating for me.

Peacock214
Peacock214

Agreed. I'd never seen that until I moved here. I mean, what's the point?

Willie
Willie

@kergo1spaceship Yer a pussy.  I grew up in the Midwest and the food here is light years better than meat, potatoes, and jello salad.  Cripes, my daughters eat crawfish.  What you need to fix yer problem is a beautiful bowl of crawfish etoufee and some French bread.  Before long you'll be popping tails and sucking heads.

Peacock214
Peacock214

Then don't eat them. Problem solved.

AmyM7
AmyM7

@NightSand  I'm pretty sure TJ's does that kind of thing during the season. They can provide pretty much everything you need, I think. 

AmyM7
AmyM7

@CheeryBitch  Definitely not in my top 5 for boiled crawfish. Their fried crawfish tails are the jam, though. 

CitizenKane
CitizenKane

@juanmayeaux @CitizenKane  I think he was more specific (geographically) than the 137- mile  long Atchafalaya River system;  a tributary within that system ????


Surely some parts of the Atchafalaya River consistently producer superior bugs than others ???


Like grapes; very specific local conditions influence quality and characteristics.





TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@Rooster0620  

We have transcended the world of snark and are now into the realm of pedantry.

Behold! Your King, AdamsonScott!

AdamsonScott
AdamsonScott

@Rooster0620 Proofreading and pointing out errors is "snark"?  You must have crumbled into a ball of tears after you submitted your first term paper.

juanmayeaux
juanmayeaux

@Rooster0620  I am from Louisiana, but I lived in Dallas for 20 years.  Yes IMO Nate's has the best boiled crawfish and Nathan Peck made sure they got the best live crawfish available in Louisiana. You can tell Nate's is the best by all of the native Louisianans  that drink and dine at the restaurant.

AmyM7
AmyM7

@Peacock214  My assumption is that they do both, just that their boil is super-weak. I hate the "dirt" on top, all it does is burn your fingers. 

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

@Willie @kergo1spaceship  


Thank for calling me a vagina, sir.  Yer right, the Midwest cuisine of meat and potatoes is bland, which leads to bland people. By the way, this (Dallas) is not the south, it is the west, or part of the Southwest proper.  I love Cajun food, just not "popping tails and sucking heads".....that is for people that have nothing to do-and all day to do it; like people that eat chicken wings.

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

@Peacock214  


Wow, you are a world class problem solver sir!!!  Do you have any sagely advice on removing boils? 


ps-Somebody has to be the voice of reason up in this sonnofabitch, sir. 

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

@ChrisYu @kergo1spaceship  


nothing better than a clambake!  Let's see......


-sitting on the beach in Cape Cod with beers, lobster, clams, cod; looking out over that beautiful ocean.


(or)


-sitting in a backyard in Garland with nasty crawfish and Pearl Light; looking through a tattered chain link fence?


hmmmmmm?

CheeryBitch
CheeryBitch

@AmyM7 Good to know. Shame. Now, let's hope the crawfish at these places are legit and not the imported ones. Those are terrible!

juanmayeaux
juanmayeaux

@CitizenKane The Atchafalaya River Basin is famous for their thick shelled, La. Red crawfish...I don't know enough to give a specific slice of all the water that is down there....Just give me a 40lb sack of some La. Select Crawfish from the Atchafalaya River Basin and I will season, add red potatoes, onions, garlic heads, Andouille Sausage and corn on the cobb.   

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

@xmantx @kergo1spaceship @Peacock214  


because I never give up, AND because "iff'n" it weren't  for people like me ya'll would still be living in plywood shotgun shacks, and asking what air conditioning is!? 



#dagnabbit

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

@xmantx @kergo1spaceship @Peacock214  


because I never give up, AND because "iff'n" it weren't  for people like me ya'll would still be living in plywood shotgun shacks, and asking what air conditioning is!? 


AND because I know good stuff!  I'm like a food seer. 


#dagnabbit

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

@Peacock214  


WOW, I need more breakdown of my rational thoughts!!  That way I can save $250, and NOT go to my shrink this week.  Yay.



My thoughts and prevailing notions regarding the south are well known, well documented, and I feel, rational.......if we gave the south (and it sh+tty contents, foods, etc.) to Mexico today, the USA would improve tenfold, sir. 






Peacock214
Peacock214

You know, there are plenty of cuisines that I don't care for, but the difference between you and me is that I don't rail against those who do enjoy them.

"This is why people think the south is a backwoods dump, and personally why I am scared of the south."

Of all the social problems in the Deep South, this is what you attribute its negative public image to? Sadly, this "voice of reason" seems to be lacking in critical thinking skills.

juanmayeaux
juanmayeaux

@ColonelAngus @Twinwillow@CheeryBitch@AmyM7 I couldn't have said it any better than Christopher Walken, ColonelAngus.

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