I haven't given much love to the crawfish in the '09. Not because they haven't been on my mind, believe me they have, but the opportunity to get biz with several pounds hadn't presented itself . That all changed a couple of weeks ago. I posted about the crawfish boil at Flatbush Farm in Brooklyn and that got me out of my funk. The idea of seasoned crawfish with a cold pint outdoors on a beautiful spring day is close to perfection. So to Brooklyn I went.
Real cool, cause Brooklyn's cool...True indeed. Does every restaurant/bar have a garden in the back? That is the buttahs. I fucking love Brooklyn. If only it was in the Bronx. So we headed out to BK to satiate the crawfish jones. Place was dope- dark wood bar in the front with a huge patio/garden in the back. And the boil was boiling. I saw the huge pile of the rich red critters and I was open. The menu offered 3 items- jambalaya for $6, gumbo for $8 and crawfish for $10. I noticed that the crawfish platters were served with jambalaya and that was a red flag. All I wanted was the crawfish, nothing else. I asked the chef and he obliged.
The boil wasn't as spicy as usual, letting the true sweet, butteriness of the meat shine. These were some real plump suckers and as good as I expected. But a dilemma unfolded. What would a HowFresh event be without a dilemma? At 10 beans per plate, probably 3/4 of a pound per serving, a lot of loot would have to be dropped in order to fully quench the crave. So a decision was made- my time was up, peace out to Brooklyn- and we were off to Mara's. It wasn't a question. Yeah, it was great being outdoors and being part of the boil, but this was not a game and business had to be finished.
So the spaceship took us from the Planet of BK and dropped us in the galaxy better known as the East Village at a nebula named Mara's. In these parts the crawfish are in abundance and amiably coexist amongst the weirdos and hipsters.
Shit was simple. Crawfish, oysters and Abita. A dozen Louisiana oysters for $6. Probably the best oyster deal in NYC. Large, fresh, sweet, and slightly briny. Horseradish and hot sauce. H squared. Delicious. Another dozen could have easily been handled, but the crawfish were on deck.
If you look in the bucket, you will notice there is no corn, potato or mushroom. As stated earlier, this was strictly business and we wanted no distractions. We dove right in. 3 lbs for $20. The best (and only) deal in NYC. The boil was spicy. Way more intense than at Flatbush Farm. But like the seasoned vets we are, we adapted to the circumstances. Just needed to sip from the pint glass a little more often. That's what pitchers are for. I think we were drinking Abita Andy Gator. Shit was like champagne.
This was near prime season so the crawfish were of ample size. Tails measuring close to 2 inches. Hardly any straight or uncoiled. This was a live and healthy bunch. The 3 lbs went down quick. I forgot how much I loved this. A shame it took me so long to partake.
I don't know many people that eat crawfish, so the numbers are skewed when we talk about preferences. Everybody eats the tail. Of course. But what about the head? I suck the head, pause, to get whatever boil is chilling in there. But more than that, I dig my finger up in there to dig out the yellowish innards. The freshwater foie gras? I might be onto something. Most people think it's disgusting, but they're scared. Man up suckas.
Unlike a lobster, there isn't much meat in the dwarf cousin. I have a hard time seeing all that good shit go to waste. Since my boy doesn't fuck with the head, I take the carcasses and work at my own pace. It's a very therapeutic endeavor.
There's a little more than a month left in crawfish season, so don't feel bad, you can still enjoy. Just like the happy camper above. The idea of a HowfreshEats crawfish boil is in the works- possibly late June, so stay tuned. Throw in some Heiny kegs, hot dogs, and hip hop and we got a H-oliday. Shit will be serious.
Crawfish NY presents Crawfish Boil for Nola 2009
May 23-24, 2009
342 East 6th St Between 1st & 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003
6 Train to Astor Place, R,W Trains to 8th St., F,V Trains to Houston and 2nd Ave., L Train to 14th St. and 1st Ave.
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