Crawfish & Noodles

Off Bellaire Blvd, Crawfish & Noodles sits in a parking lot with a Vietnam War memorial and a public art project called Open the Door that strives for intercultural understanding. On a Saturday night in the height of crawfish season, there was a 45 minute wait, but grab some beers and friends and it will go by quickly.

Highlighted in Netflix’s Ugly Delicious, by Alison Cook in the Houston Chronicle, and by many others, Crawfish & Noodles is one of the most famous spots in Houston, but it is by no means the only Viet-Cajun spot in town.

‘What’s all this hype about Viet-Cajun,’ you may ask?

Viet-Cajun is a fusion food born out of the mixing of Vietnamese refugees with Cajuns and Gulf Coast communities. It’s a quintessentially Houston thing. “What barbecue is to Central Texas, Viet-Cajun cuisine is to Houston.” I’ve never been much for crawfish boils myself, but there’s no denying it’s prevalence in the Gulf Coast area. The ‘Viet’ aspect of this dish kicks the mudbugs up a notch, adding chiles, spices and seasonings.

What to get?

  • Hu Thieu
    • Vermicelli soup with shrimp, quail egg and beef
    • The broth was really the star, marinated in garlic and green onion.
  • Viet-Cajun crawfish – medium to spicy
    • This is what you came for. This is what people have proselytized about. So, do not miss it.
    • They come out in a plastic bag – steaming and covered in spices. Dump in a bowl and get to town.
  • Quail
    • The crawfish is great, of course, but the quail deserves some more hype.
    • The sauce is addicting. I wanted to keep licking the bones and keep getting another order of this dish.
  • Salt and pepper blue crab
    • I hear this is also good, but did not have the opportunity to try it.

Tips? Be patient, and block off plenty of time. This is an event.

Update: Crawfish & Noodles is opening a new location in the Houston Farmer’s Market by the end of 2021! I for one cannot wait to be closer to this place.

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