This is one of my go-to places to eat on any given day. If there was a location closer to Baltimore, I would definitely visit there more frequently. The fact that they are located in DC makes it a bit more challenging for me with all the traffic, and maybe that is a good thing anyway. You always remember your first time! A friend of my mine from college got a recommendation for this place and we headed there for lunch after attending an event in DC one afternoon. The restaurant had a sign that it has free parking but my friend parked in the wrong lot and that ended up being a problem later but we worked it out. When we arrived, we got a table outside under the covered seating area and started looking at what to eat. It should be noted that the DC location requires that you walk up an about 5 steps to enter the restaurant to dine inside. Also, when you enter, the strong scent of garlic is lingers in the dining room and will probably follow you home.
How this place works is that you order all the seafood you want and it comes steamed in a bag. They have different seasoning, the most popular being the Hot and Juicy special, and then you choose a spice level. The first time I attended, I got the spicy, but that was a mistake! It was so hot to me. I now exclusively order the mild spice level and nothing more. Even medium is too much for me.
After you place your order, the waiter comes to the table with a bib and a bucket for your shells. They used to put the bibs on your but overtime, they just hand it to you. My friend and her mother ordered from the experiences section and both the Get your Feet Wet and the Droll respectively because they wanted crawfish. The Get your Feet Wet includes 1lb of crawfish, 1lb of shrimp, a dozen of Andouille sausages, 2 corn, and 2 potatoes. The Droll is everything in the Get your Feet Wet and ½ a pound of snow crab legs and an order of the fried calamari appetizer. I think one of them got the hot and juicy special and the other got the Garlic Butter both with seasoning level Hot! They were enjoying the food and heat but they definitely could feel the heat. I ordered the Garlic Butter seasoning spicy of shrimp, mussels, 12 Andouille sausage, and potatoes and corn. Everything good! The food came out quickly in the plastic bags. But once I tried the Hot and Juicy special sauce, my obsession began! That sauce is garlicky and delicious. Its spicy and just an experience that I cannot describe. But the seasoning is amazing.
Fast forward to costless visits in both DC and Los Angeles with family, friends, and dates, I take you to my most recent visit in June 2016 with a coworker who lives in the area. She lives not too far away and says that it is always busy with people waiting a long time for a good seafood meal. I met up with her for 6pm but I was running late due to DC traffic. The fact that they have a covered garage underground that is FREE is a super plus for a DC restaurant. When I got to the restaurant, I met up with my friend who had been waiting a little bit and we were seated outside right away.
One of my new favorite appetizers is the Fried 10 piece Shrimp appetizer ($11.99). The shrimp are fried perfectly and are a large plump size. It is absolutely wonderful. My friend is a light eater and felt strange about ordering a shrimp appetizer and a shrimp entrée. I do not share her same sentiment. I enjoy my appetizer every time. What turned my coworker off was the amount of money for some of the seafood options. I remember getting frustrated about this before and I just stick with my shrimp and mussels options. Hypnotically, let’s say you want lobster. Well lobster is $18.99 a pound. But there are not very many 1lb lobsters. That day, their lobsters were 1.7lbs. So you have to pay $18.99 times 1.7 which was $32.28. That is a bit amount of money for just lobster and nothing else. And when we went, the prices were higher and almost cost about $50 for a lobster. That is a bit much. And things like the crabs legs are the same way. And that really annoys me and is a bit overpriced.
I ordered 1lb of shrimp ($12.99), 1lb of black mussels ($8.99), and 12 Andouille sausage ($4.99), and 2 corns ($0.75 per piece) with hot and juicy mild seasoning. My friend ended up ordering a ½ pound of shrimp ($6.99 which is the only half-pound order for seafood available), 6 sausages ($2.99), and 2 corns ($0.75×2). Unlike my many other visits before my blog, this order left more to be desired. A lot of the shrimp in the order were overcooked and mushy, the mussels were really small and not as flavorful as they have been in the past and the seasoning had not integrated with the mussels. The corn was overcooked and was also very mushy. I know that it is probably frozen corn that is defrosted and put in the bag but fresh corn is relatively cheap. The sausages tasted a bit different at first but I started to enjoy them after a while. But I was a little disappointed in my visit because I had not been in a while and I was looking forward to my usual amazing meal.
Overall, I had a pretty decent visit. Since my friend finished eating so quickly after getting full, I tied my bag up and took it to go for later so I would not keep her waiting. She was willing to go back and try and different sauce which was promising but for me, I will be going back to give it another try. After all, I could get that sauce and make my own seafood at home. After ordering another 1lb of shrimp and 12 Andouille sausage to go, my total was $68.75 and the final bill came to $78.75 after the tip. My leftovers were enjoyed the next day during the Game 7 of the NBA finals game. I should have gotten some fresh corn to eat with it because I could not get the corn to reheat properly and it was still very mushy and not all the way warm. But they are a good mechanism for sopping up the sauce nonetheless.
When I am in LA, I definitely visit with my family and friends. However, one downfall is that the sausages served in Los Angeles is not the same as DC and is not my favorite. I still order it though because isn’t horrible but I like DC’s taste better. I recently found out that there is a location in Orlando, Florida that I will visit during my family’s trip in July. But I definitely hope that they can improve some of those issues from my visit. You give it a whirl and let me know what you think, I sure you will not be disappointed. Just don’t wear your best clothes and go with someone you would be comfortable eating with your hands with. The following is my Seven Mac Score for the restaurant:
Hot and Juicy Crawfish in DC
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Please look out for my next post as I share my week in Jackson, Mississippi! Also, you can find me on Instagram @finediningdiva and twitter @moderndaybeauty. Also, if you would like to follow my blog to receive notification when a new blog is posted, please send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And remember: It’s a BIG world and we are going to eat our way through it!