Crawfish are having a moment. It seems every bar, truck or restaurant is touting some sort of boil throughout the week. As the namesake for Crawdads Sports Bar & Grill (12333 West, (210) 314-2339), these mudbugs are available more often than not, and for good reason.
My fellow Happy Hour Hound and I made the trek out to the bar on a recent Wednesday night, clearing the happy hour threshold by a half hour. It usually runs 3 to 7 p.m. on weekdays, but has been known to extend until close and will run through the entirety of any Spurs games through the remainder of the playoffs. Don’t fuck this up for us Timmy, Manu, Tony, et al.
Crawdads is a sports bar through-and-through without giving off a bro-vibe. Our fellow bar-goers included nerdy-looking Rackspace types, leather vest-clad bikers, girlfriends chatting over well drinks and a few kiddos running around the sturdy and shaded patio deck. The bar’s indoor areas are split into three rooms, all equipped with a handful of flat screens and tall bar tables. The smallest room near the front holds two pool tables, electronic dartboards and Pac-Man, in case sitting in front of the boob tube isn’t your thing.
Quaff specials aren’t going to knock anyone’s socks off—customers can enjoy $3 wells and $2.50 Bud Light, Dos XX, Miller Lite and Shiner Bock in 16-ounce drafts. The Abita brews don’t get a discount, unfortunately. We chose Shiner pours, asked our server for recommendations on food specials and settled for a $4 basket of fried pickles and an order of sliders, ideal for game-watching.
There were also meat pies (an order of three for $6), boudin balls ($5) and red beans and rice ($5) to choose from, but we decided to get to work on a batch of crawfish, $15 for two pounds with potatoes, corn and sausage, or $25 for all-you-can-eat.
The sliders were standard and well seasoned. Four came to an order with a side of dill pickles, tomatoes and shredded iceberg lettuce. On the fried pickle front, the dill rounds were lightly fried and served with a creamy ranch dipping sauce. They retained their crunch without losing their breading, as spears are wont to do.
The two-pound mudbug platter was awe-inspiring and the true star of the happy hour show. Our server clued us in on what crawfish weren’t worth eating—those with the straight tails were already dead before they hit the pot—and helped put every other crawfish boil experience in perspective. The batch was spicy and warm and called for more Shiners (or vodka tonics) to put out the heat.
Were I a better Spurs fan, I would have stayed through the second half of the game, polishing off the platter and knocking back another $2.50 beer or two while enjoying the unusually cool weather on the patio. Learn from my mistakes.