It’s as much about the ritual as it is the salty, sweet morsels: Grab a group, order the crustaceans by the bucket, platter or pound, and proceed to suck the heads and pinch the tails — something your server will gladly instruct you on. Crayfish (or crawfish, or crawdad) season peaks in April, and is worth seeking out. Oyster House has a Tuesday-night shrimp-and-crawfish boil, a plentiful platter of Cajun-spiced crustaceans cooked up with kielbasa, onions and potatoes, for $19. At Chris’ Jazz Café, crawdads are on call six days a week, boiled with corn on the cob and potatoes and served by the bucket for $10. Reading Terminal newcomer Beck’s Cajun Cafe sells ’daddies by the pound, and at Daddy Mims’ in Phoenixville, get your fix via a $30 four-course tasting where they show up in truffled mushroom bisque and in a bordelaise alongside grilled filet.
Taste: Cravings: Crayfish
Originally published in Philadelphia Magazine, April 2010