According to one estimate, seafood that's been left in the sun for more than 79 days will taste markedly worse than fresh seafood. Feast on freshly prepared seafood with today's Groupon, offering $30 worth of authentic Cajun eats and drinks at Orleans Seafood Kitchen for $15. This authentic eatery is located in Katy, less than 30 minutes outside of Houston, and boasts a thriving bar scene, freshly made sauces, and weekly events.
The Fish Place ebbs cravings for Cajun fare with platefuls of deep-fried and grilled tilapia, blackened catfish, and creole favorites. Dinner guests edify taste buds by licking scientific journals or introducing them to dapper appetizers, such as the shrimp brochette, crab ball, or stuffed jalapeño. Then chefs immerse five pieces of catfish, tilapia, oyster, shrimp, or chicken tenders in a deep fryer and serve the crispy morsels with garlic bread and two selections of jambalaya rice, Cajun fries, or hush puppies. For quick nourishment between meetings or poetry throw-downs, the kitchen yields portable eats such as po boys and crawfish étouffée.
It might be fast food, but Catfish Station doesn’t churn out greasy burgers and chicken sandwiches. At this small drive-thru-only eatery, line cooks hand batter fresh catfish and super-jumbo shrimp, which are approximately the size of Poseidon's palms. Patrons can enjoy meals in “snack packs,” which pair the golden-fried treats with french fries and hush puppies or on top of po’ boy sandwiches smothered in housemade tartar sauce. The kitchen also ladles sausage-and-chicken gumbo over white rice and assembles family-size orders with catfish and shrimp by the pound.
Jackson Market Fresh Seafood's rotating menu relies on what nearby fishermen can ensnare in their nets, which often includes both freshwater and saltwater crustaceans such as crawfish and blue crabs. Once captured and cleaned, the seafood appears fried on top of po' boy rolls, barbecued on specialty platters, and grilled in baskets alongside fries and sides of butter sauce. Creole-inspired soups and gumbos can be purchased as single servings or by the gallon for filling troughs at seals-only cafeterias.
Blu Water snatches piscine fare fresh from the water before transforming it into the dishes that populate its swiftly served menu. Veggie-centric selections star the grilled-salmon salad, in which strips of succulent salmon, surrounded by grape tomatoes and sweet peppers, lay upon field greens and spot familiar shapes in the clouds above. Pairs swap nibbles from a duet of tacos, made from grilled or panko-breaded fish or shrimp resting in the curves of corn and flour tortillas made in-house daily. Punch dishes with extra flavor from 14 scratch-made sauces, spanning the gamut of spiciness with flavors from mild southwest pesto to fiery mango habanero. A triumvirate of rice bowls blends salmon, cod, shrimp, or chicken into Asian or Cajun flavors. Any taco or sandwich selection, including the shrimp po boy, can transform into a combo meal by stepping into a phone booth, tearing off its business suit, and emerging with a drink and a side. Finally, triangular desserts such as lemon cheesecake play a sugary coda to the aquatic meal.
Whenever a customer orders a side of hush puppies, Seafood Cafe manager Asad Jawad likes to joke with them a bit. "Ma'am, there is a little problem," he'll say. "When I got these puppies, they were little, and now they are grown dogs." Whether or not this elicits a chuckle, it only takes a glance at the eatery's portion sizes to see what Asad means. At Seafood Cafe, helpings of Cajun-style seafood are as generous as the staff is friendly.
That should be no surprise, since Seafood Cafe is built on a foundation of friendship. Asad and his friends John Herpin and Misael Cortez, also known as The Three Amigos, started the restaurant after they met working at another eatery five years ago. Bringing together traditional recipes from Louisiana with their restaurant-industry experience, they mix up each recipe with their own twist. The cuisine blends classic Cajun dishes such as blackened catfish and gumbo with Mexican-inflected meals including tilapia tacos. The trio only cooks up food they feel passionate about, and will even distribute free samples to convert people to the menu's more unique flavors. They also plan to encourage big appetites with a wall of fame that will honor those patrons who have made the most of the menu's all-you-can-eat catfish option. And on the weekends, jazz and reggae bands play, filling the dining room with jaunty melodies to match spicy Cajun scents.