I firmly believe that crawfish lovers can be separated into two basic categories, traditional and “lackadaisical.” The traditional crawfish lover enjoys the repeated pinch, twist and peel action and devouring one crawfish tail at a time. Meanwhile, the “lackadaisical” crawfish lover enjoys the already peeled and prepared crawfish tails in a dish mixed with other flavors. There’s no right or wrong way to eat crawfish, but the Boom or Bust Byway has some of the best hole-in-the-wall stops that caters to the traditional or “lackadaisical” style of crawfish lovers. I consider myself to be both.
Traditional crawfish lovers should take a road trip to Benton, Louisiana to visit B & D Seafood LLC, located at 4721 Palmetto Road, between Bossier City and Plain Dealing. Pulling into the parking lot, I smelled the crawfish boiling from the seat of my car and saw the steam rising from their hefty boilers on the patio. I couldn’t wait to place my order and make a mess! My fellow traditional crawfish lovers understand the mess that takes place after you destroy a pile of crawfish. Cajun seasonings are everywhere, remnants of crawfish are resting under your fingernails, a trail of crawfish scent lingers on everything you touch, and it’s worth the clean-up.
I ordered a crawfish platter that included boiled crawfish, corn, potatoes, sausage and shrimp. The bright red platter sat in front of me with small containers of homemade remoulade, cocktail sauce, extra Cajun seasonings, paper towels, and hand sanitizer in arms reach. The crawfish had a kick of spice and everything nice. I peeled my way through the platter with ease and dipped my crawfish tail into the remoulade. It calmed the spice without overpowering the taste. Gamechanger! Talk about a Cajun party in my mouth! B & D Seafood, I’ll be back before crawfish season is over.
For the ultimate menu catered to the “lackadaisical” crawfish lover, continue along the Boom or Bust Byway trail to Café 180 to Go, located at 308 South Pine Street in Vivian, Louisiana. Café 180 to Go is a cute little joint along Highway 1 that delivers a taste of Louisiana’s Cajun critters without the work. Their menu consists of more than 10 items with fried, boiled and baked crawfish tails. They have everything from crawfish fettuccine to crawfish po’boys, crawfish egg rolls to crawfish cornbread, crawfish enchiladas to crawfish pies, and more!
They have a stuffed crawfish bread, which was easily my favorite because I’ve never had anything like it. It’s a generous portion of toasted French bread filled with creamy cheese sauce, crawfish tails, diced green onions, and Cajun seasonings. It was physically impossible to shove the entire serving of crunchy goodness into my mouth, but I certainly tried. The dish was a “lackadaisical” crawfish lover’s dream entwined with quality bread and tastiness. The crawfish etouffee was runner up. I love a good etouffee, and Café 180 to Go aimed to please. It had the perfect rice to roux ratio, and they weren’t stingy with the crawfish tails. I experienced lasting flavor in every bite. They are always a designated stop when I’m road-tripping the byway.
B & D Seafood LLC and Café 180 to Go are just two of the many places to grab crawfish on the byway. Visit the Boom or Bust Byway website at www.BoomOrBustByway.com for a complete listing of Cajun eats, or jump on the path with friends to discover them yourselves! The Boom or Bust Byway follows Hwy. 2 and is defined by the Louisiana/Texas border and Hwy. 3049 on the west and Lake Claiborne on the east. This crawfish is worth the drive.