While a traditional crawfish dinner can't be found at every corner restaurant, the ways to enjoy the crustacean, once you locate it, are impressively varied.
There's a traditional boil, with its red potatoes, corn cobs, and big spice. There's an etoufee, which relies on a rich rice-y broth. And there's straight-up crawfish supping, with a little lemon slice on the side.
However you favor your crawfish dish, there's an annual party to keep in mind, the one that has danced at Rainbow Lagoon for the last quarter century (or nearly). It's the Long Beach Crawfish Festival, and it is zydeco-stomping into the ocean-close setting for its 23rd annual bash on Friday, Aug. 5 through Sunday, Aug. 7.
What to do, where to go and what to see
First up, and quite important for people looking to sup on the savory favorite: What's on the plate. There's a 2-pounder Crawfish Feast and a 3-pounder Crawfish Bucket, and both include those classic accompaniments, corn and red potatoes (as well as dipping sauce, too).
Chef John Perret of Lafayette, Lousiana will helm the cooking side of the soiree, so count on authenticity and Cajun-delish flavorfulness.
As for what's happening beyond the buckets? There's live music, and a lot of it, and it comes with accordions and fiddles and the beautiful instruments that put the zest in zydeco.
A Mardi Gras masquerade means the beads and masks will be out in outlandish, fabulous force, too.
Tickets? You'll want to get one, but note that you'll need to purchase your crawfish package separately (and decide if you're going bucket or feast).
It's a Bourbon Street off Shoreline Drive, and the spirit of NOLA in LBC. That is has some Fat-Tuesday-ish cred, and right at the start of August, is another reason the Crawfish Festival is a longtime summer foodie (and dancie) favorite.