3/28/2013 11:48:00 AM

Where to Kick Off the Crawfish Season Around DC

A zesty harbinger of spring is on the horizon: the gloriously messy, spicy crawfish-eating experience. Several Southern-accented hot spots are kicking off the crawfish season with special ‘boils.’ Folks who hail from Louisiana or Texas know what that entails. Pick up a ‘mudbug,’ pull off the head and suck out the succulent meat; take a swig of beer or iced tea; repeat. It’s even more fun in good company.

April 6: Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, on 14 St. NW, will bring in the crawfish from Louisiana, season them with Cajun spices and serve them with the traditional accompaniments of potatoes and corn. It will also offer a roasted pig, peel-and-eat shrimp, housemade andouille sausage and Southern sides.  The all-you-can-eat deal includes all-you-can-drink Abita Amber beer (two seatings: noon-2 PM; 2:30-4:30 PM; $65; 202-319-1612).

April 12: Acadiana, the Big Easy outpost near the Convention Center, will inaugurate its new patio with a party benefiting Tipitina’s Foundation’s support for Louisiana musicians. It’s an all-you-can-eat meal of crawfish, gumbo, sausage, potato salad, corn on the cob, potatoes and pie. Live music by a New Orleans band, beer and mint julep specials, and pie-, corn- and crawfish-eating contests will liven things up (5:30-8:30 PM; $40, $45 at the door; 202-408-8848).

April 20: Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar and Eatery will kick off its seasonal boils on this Saturday, or on the following one that coincides with the weekend of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Fest. Owner chef David Guas will bring in mudbugs from his native Louisiana, spice them up and serve them with corn and potatoes - and, of course, Abita beer. Live music will also help make Arlington feel a bit like New Orleans (703-243-2410).

Just in case you have a hankering for crawfish right now, two spots that serve them all year ’round are Chasin’ Tails and Hot ‘n’ Juicy.

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