Boiled crawfish is a local rite of spring in Houston and claims for the places serving the biggest and best crawfish are readily bandied about by mudbug enthusiasts. If not always the biggest – given the constraints of this season’s colder temperatures affecting all producers in the region – the crawfish boiled at T-Bones Sports Pub on W. TC Jester near the Timbergrove neighborhood might be the most flavorful crawfish in the area.
My friend Jack has been touting me on the crawfish at T-Bones since last season. A crawfish aficionado with a big appetite who picked up his taste for crawfish while in school in New Orleans many years ago, he has long been a reliable source for information on Louisiana foodstuffs and foodways. He is certainly right about the quality of the crawfish at T-Bones. Their crawfish are full spices – spicy, but with something more than a solo cayenne pepper note. Jack said that the spiciness at T-Bones is something that he has rarely found in his decades eating crawfish in the Houston area. Whatever time he has visited the restaurant, early for lunch or later in the day, the level spiciness has been very consistent, unlike those crawfish boils, or at many places, where the early batches are relatively bland and the later ones very spicy.
The reason for the dependability, he believes, is because T-Bones uses one of Zatarain’s liquid crab boil products in the boil before adding a powdered crawfish boil mix and then boiling the two together for a half-hour before adding the crawfish. Or, at least that was what he was told when he inquired about their cooking methods. Most boils seem to get by with just a crawfish boil mix for flavoring before a dousing of Tony Chachere’s or the like at the end. Whatever they are doing at T-Bones, it works. Theirs was the best boiled crawfish I have had this year, full of flavor with a complementary bit of heat.
A pound of crawfish served with corn on the cob and new potatoes costs $6.75 per pound at T-Bones, which is very much a dumpy, neighborhood sports bar. Décor is mostly faded beer signs and banners, fairly generic local sports team memorabilia, but there are plenty of televisions in addition to some terrific crawfish while the season lasts.
T-Bones Sports Pub
1971 W. TC Jester Boulevard, 77008, (713) 864-3944