Crawfish

Crawfish at Swamp Shack on Feb. 1 were coming out a bit smaller than they will in the next few weeks, owner Drew Ryder said.

There are two groups of crawfish lovers, according to local expert Drew Ryder.

The first group comes out as soon as crawfish are available, he said. The other group waits patiently until the weather gets warmer, which means the shells are harder and the crawfish are bigger.

The latter group should start enjoying their preferred kind of mud bugs this week or next, Ryder said, and they’ll be available at his restaurants.

Swamp Shack at 111 Abner Jackson Parkway in Lake Jackson has crawfish Wednesday through Saturday. On The River at 919 W. Second St. in Freeport has crawfish on Friday and Saturday nights.

“We use an authentic, old-fashioned, Cajun-style boil,” Ryder said.

Some places only season the crawfish after they are boiled, he said.

“You can’t just cook it and throw the seasoning on top,” Ryder said.

His restaurants season the water and sprinkle some on top as well, plus there is an extra shaker of seasoning at every table, he said.

“At my restaurants, we buy crawfish that are strictly from Louisiana,” Ryder said.

Later in the season, they also use some trusted vendors from Texas, he said.

The most popular order is just for crawfish, but the second-most demanded plate is the super platter, Ryder said. This comes with crawfish, corn, potatoes, shrimp, crab and sausage, he said.

They also have mushrooms as an add-on.

Poly Pop at 104 This Way in Lake Jackson serves its Viet-Cajun crawfish from 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday.

Poly Pop’s crawfish recipe mirrors the Polynesian flair of the restaurant, owner Audra Robinson previously said.

This is a huge hit, Manager Becky Escobedo said. The crawfish is cooked with cajun seasoning in a butter sauce and put into a bag to marinate for 20 minutes, she said.

She recommends coming early on the two days a week that they serve crawfish.

Poly Pop has a small kitchen, so it limits the menu to select appetizers and crawfish platters. The restaurant also offers corn, potatoes, shrimp, sausage and mushrooms, Escobedo said.

The Lounge at 416 Plantation Drive in Lake Jackson has a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday crawfish special that includes margaritas.

Guadalajara Grill #2 at 107 West Way in Lake Jackson brands its “the best in town” and serves crawfish daily starting at 11 a.m., the restaurant posted online. The Angleton Guadalajara Grill is at 1243 N. Velasco St.

Southern Brazoria County has no shortage of restaurants serving crawfish. Driving around and looking for banners hanging on buildings or buying them live or cooked from a grocery store are other trusty ways to satisfy that annual craving.

But hurry, because crawfish season generally lasts through May, Ryder said.

Maddy McCarty is a reporter for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0151.

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