Good Taste: Crabtown
A sumptuous seafood boil
It’s mighty warm outside, which is fine news for lovers of seafood-based deliciousness. They’re not thinking about 100 degrees, but 212 – and there’s no better time than steamy weather to dig into a Cajun Crab and Shrimp Boil at Crabtown.
Operated by Pearl’s Restaurant Group, the huge restaurant at 303 E Sheridan in Bricktown is legitimately one of my favorite dining atmospheres in the whole metro; Crabtown has been here since 1996, but the building dates back a century. Its brick walls and ornate lighting and especially the creaky wooden floors combine for a vintage vibe that can’t be faked, and those components also form a perfect backdrop for the cheerful, Zydeco-laced conviviality that fills its 20,000-plus square feet, night after night. I also consider it a great sign anytime you see a can of Old Bay seasoning on a table next to the salt.
The menu is filled with Cajun and southern favorites, from fried catfish to shrimp po’ boys, and I’ve made several excellent lunches over the years out of their gumbo with a Tabasco Caesar salad. But at some point, you really should make a point of trying their house specialty: a big ol’ mess (meant as a compliment, and true in multiple senses) of crab legs, boiled shrimp, corn on the cob, red potatoes and Andouille sausage, served as a simple, savory heap. Add drawn butter and lemon wedges and you’re good to go, or try a few dashes of house-brand “Bricktown Blast: A Lot Hot Sauce” for a little extra tang. Silverware isn’t really a factor, and it’s not for the fastidious, but the rewards are great for diners willing to put aside their finest company manners. The heat is on this month, but if you’re doing it right, that’s a good thing.