If you live in the DC Metropolitan area, consider yourself a foodie and have not yet heard of Hot N Juicy Crawfish, you might want to rethink your self – proclaimed title. This place is a genuine seafood sensation. Until I visited, I had never tasted crawfish. I always thought they looked like little insects of the sea. Sorry for the creepy image. But, after dining at Hot n Juicy Crawfish, it definitely made me a fan of those little meaty crustaceans. But, surprisingly it isn’t the seafood that is the crown jewel of this dive resembling restaurant. It is their special combination of spices, seasonings and cooking methods that have allowed this place to expand to five locations throughout the United States, building a name for itself one major city at a time.
While there, I enjoyed one “experience” selection – one pound of crawfish, one pound of shrimp and one pound of Andouille sausage with two half corn cobs and two medium potatoes with Hot N Juicy Special seasoning and mild spice; one bag of mussels boiled in their mild Hot N Juicy Special Seasoning, and one bag of shrimp boiled in their mild Hot N Juicy Special seasoning. All of it was amazing. The seasoning is so good that it is almost hard to formulate words that express the level of flavorful excellence they have executed within every bag. The food was so good, it made Bud Light – a beer I am not a fan of – the perfect liquid companion for this culinary quest. The combination of spicy seafood and savory sausage with the bubbly Bud Light was hot and juicy and refreshing all at once. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend my Sunday. In between shucking shells into the tin bucket they give you and devouring morsels of shrimp and crawfish, I enjoyed great conversation and even better aromatics from the kitchen. All while unconsciously keeping my clothes clean thanks to the bibs our server gave us. The only downside to the Hot N Juicy Crawfish experience is that at some point you get full, but you still want to try everything else on the menu.
A few words of advice to the first timer: Be cautious of the spice level! Every level packs a punch. When only boiled with mussels, even the mild spice can cause watering from the eyes. I was glad I did not venture into spicier territory. I would have surely been overwhelmed. Needless to say, if you want a great dining experience with great food and cordial wait staff, Hot N Juicy Crawfish is the way to go. And if you attend on a Sunday afternoon, be sure to order two drinks at a time because the waiters can get pretty busy running around fulfilling every diner’s request. I’m curious about whether the other locations are just as good or better than the DC one. I guess I’ll just have to travel to Vegas, Florida, or California and find out for myself. In the meantime, check out a few other reviews of Hot N Juicy Crawfish here: Yelp!, FourSquare, TripAdvisor, and Zagat. AND check out their Unique Eats special below!