Monday, June 27, 2016

Hot n Juicy Crawfish

Hi, I’m Kenneth Watrous. I’m writing about seafood places in Las Vegas, and the opinions here are only mine.

Last month, we went to Mastro’s. This month, we’re writing about Hot n Juicy Crawfish.

Hot n Juicy Crawfish is a Louisiana style seafood place that offers the best in by the pound and fried foods. The restaurants, two in the Vegas area, are brick and mortar buildings with low frills on the decorations. They feature plastic table coverings and suggest bibs and an eat-with-your-hands style of meals. Most of the food is Cajun or Creole inspired and more than a little spicy, but they have some milder items on the menu for the timid and the weak (just kidding).

When you are looking for something authentic from the gulf area, this is the place. Everything is spicy and saucy and all the regional flavors of Louisiana are done justice without being forced. They offer a variety of spice levels and the levels are pretty accurate. I’ve had no complaints from friends that are a bit squeamish asking for a particular level of spice and getting something they couldn’t handle.

Lunch features a selection of Po’Boy sandwiches, a type of open bun sandwich with fried ingredients in. It is hard to say if the soft shell crab or the crawfish are better, but both are really good served on a bed of greens and tomatoes with a sauce and a bucket of fries on the side. The Po’Boy can be difficult to eat for a first timer, they tend to be eaten like a hot dog but with loose filling it can be difficult to keep it turned the right way and not lose everything out of the middle. Which is a shame, if you do spill it, the combination of flavors is the point and you miss out on that if you end up trying to eat it with a fork.

The fried baskets are the next evolution of the open Po’Boy and a good place to go for those with a lighter sensibility on spice. They are served on Cajun fries or sweet potato fries and are rich and salty. They also are served with a variety of sauces to match tastes.

The best of show for Hot n Juicy is the ‘Get Your Feet Wet’ combo. This is a huge portion of crawfish, shrimp, and Andouille sausage with corn and potatoes. They even offer a kicked up version with crab and calamari for the big eaters. These bad boys can take a lot of fortitude to get through as the heat builds ans you go and they are not easy to eat around. You are going to get messy pulling apart the shells and sucking out the well-flavored meat inside. The full meal can contain up to 5 whole pounds of food.
Speaking of pounds of food, Hot n Spicy, offers a whole set of by the pound meals. They have some seasonal dishes as well as some always ons like shrimp and clams. These are often served fried up in a bag and spread out on the table. These are cooked up pretty fast and can be a great way to get started and keeping adding as you need.
Hot n Spicy Crawfish is a great place to go after work and on a lunch break. A couple of people can order up different stuff and everyone can just go to town on the variety of items. The prices are fairly close together on most items, but you can always do a one ticket split.
This is a great family joint as well with enough kids favorites like chicken strips and cheese sticks. Since everyone is already eating with their hands, it is also a great place to take messy eaters, no need to feel embarrassed that you have the only kid covered head to toe in crumbs and sauce, everyone looks like that.

Assuming you aren’t bloated and sweaty in the best flavors of your life, the end of the meal can be finished up with some beignet style fried brownies. Crispy brown with a molten chocolate center and covered with a layer of powdered sugar, these things will cool you right back down.

-Kenneth Watrous
Find more about me on or follow me on twitter at @KennethWatrous