Over Mardi Gras weekend, I went to my first press trip and experienced Lake Charles, Louisiana for the first time. In just three days there, I had crawfish three times. You would think that would satisfy my cravings, but I still have been hankering for them every day since I left my wonderful weekend in Lake Charles. I wanted to share what the three restaurants were that fed me crawfish. After all, tis the season! I also included a few tips and learning moments I’ve had at each place.
3716 Ryan St. Lake Charles, LA 70601
Rikenjak’s reminded me of the house-converted restaurants and bars we have in Austin (particularly on Rainey Street). Their outdoor patio has fun yard games that adds to Rikenjak’s casual and laid-back atmosphere. Known for their burgers and brews, you can have crawfish as your appetizer before getting your hands on their burgers!
2. Steamboat Bill’s
1004 Lakeshore Dr., Lake Charles, LA 70601
Located right off of I-10, Steamboat Bill’s will forever be the place I first discovered the Louisianan dish, pistolette. Pistolettes are fried stuffed bread rolls. I could eat a whole plate of their crawfish Ã©touffÃ©e pistolettes!
3. Seafood Palace
2218 Enterprise Blvd., Lake Charles, LA.
A formidable local purveyor for these delicious critters is Seafood Palace. I could tell it’s a town favorite from walking through the restaurant and seeing how bumping the place was, and how every table had multiple platters of crawfish. They offered rubber gloves if you didn’t want to get your hands dirty, but I recommend getting your hands dirty!
Did you know that many Louisiana natives eat their gumbo with potato salad? I’ve eaten so many bowls of gumbo and potato salads in my lifetime, and never knew they existed as a pairing! It was at Seafood Palace I eagerly tried out gumbo with potato salad. I dipped my potato salad in my gumbo and while I didn’t dislike it, I did’t quite get it. I do however, appreciate discovering quirks and traits of the locals.
How do you feel about crawfish? If you eat them, do you suck the heads? Tell me in the comments!
Many thanks to Visit Lake Charles for the hospitality and Austin Food Magazine for the opportunity.
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