Where else can you run into friends and be perfectly excused to not hug or shake hands—all because you’re covered in shellfish juice? Looks like you made it to Tobacco Road’s 11th Annual Crawfish Boil. Last Sunday, families, UM kids, New Orleans transplants, and foodies congregated to indulge in the star of the party: spicy, scalding red crawfish. Long banquet style tables were elevated at the perfect height for some serious chowing down. Food trucks like Latin Burger & Taco, CheeseMe, Dim Ssam a Gogo, Yellow Submarine, and The Fish Box lined the perimeter of the lot. Fire roasted oysters, gumbo and standard Cajun sides were also available. Not to mention beer and plenty of libations. There was even face painting and a drawing contest for the kiddos, giving mom and dad a nice respite.
Being from the Mid-Atlantic, I know my way around a Maryland blue crab. Thinking my expertise would somehow aid in my maiden journey in the world of the crawfish, I foolishly tried to use the same disassembling methods. Talk about a disastrous juice everywhere, “why are the claws so freaking small?” Fail. I needed to find experts, stat. And there they were, at the end of the table donning black and yellow Saints t-shirts. Score.
The young couple was more than obliging and taught me the proper etiquette: First, twist the head from the tail. Suck the juice from the upper part of the body (I lovingly refer to this as the “mustard soup”), discard. Peel the first section from the tail, hold it at the very bottom and squeeze up, like you’re flattening the end of a toothpaste bottle. The tail meat should pop out freely, making the perfect Cajun-spiced bite. Now this was a system I could get down with.
There is nothing better than standing under a tent on a hot sunny day, arm deep in crawfish exoskeleton, sipping on ice cold beer listening to the Piano Bob’s singer crooning “I’m on Facebook” in the background. It’s non-Miami moments like these that make you love living in the 305.
For more information on Tobacco Road’s upcoming events, check out www.tobacco-road.com