The Boiling Point – Sulphur LA

On our way out to NOLA recently, we were invited to lunch with some friends who live in Sulphur. They took us to a little dive that’s off the beaten path that’s a local favorite for seafood, especially crawfish.

DSC_0013The Boiling Point offers a lunch buffet, so the women went in that direction. My partner decided to try the shrimp po-boy with onion rings, while the last guy in the party didn’t even look at the menu before ordering a 3 pound tray of boiled crawfish with potatoes and corn.

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The buffet held a small salad selection, but made up for it with dirty rice, gumbo, crawfish etouffe, and fried catfish. The daily selection will differ according to season, but as long as there is catfish, I’m in heaven.

DSC_0022The onion rings and po-boy were definitely tasty, though the meat was a little thin on the bun. The onion rings had a light and crispy batter with a nice crunch.

 

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What can I say about the crawfish? There were a lot of those spicy little red bodies on that tray! Everyone shared a few, and for a little while there were only the crunching sounds of breaking carapaces and the slurping noises of traditional crawfish consumption. We were delighted with the way the mudbugs turned out and are reassured that they are consistent in their flavor and spiciness all season.

The menu also offers a variety of seafood dishes beyond the boiled crawfish, catfish,  hamburgers, steak, and a kids’ menu that’s full of comfort food. Baked potatoes have their own section on the menu and may be stuffed with several different meats including shrimp and chicken. Even the appetizers and salads are seafood-centric.

Drinks are the usual range of sodas, tea and coffee. Beer is available by the bottle, pulled glass, or pitcher, though the selection is a bit limited.

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On the 1-5 scale, The Boiling Point gets:
Cleanliness – 3
Service – 3
Quality of food – 4.5
Flavor – 5
Pricing – 4
Overall experience – 3.9

The Boiling Point
1730 Beglis Parkway
Sulphur, LA 70663

(337) 625-9282

— Ann Cathey

Food Porn – Episode 7

This episode of Food Porn is brought to you by places we have visited. The food photos were, as they have been in this series, culled from stock photography. I’ve added a little info about each one, though I’m told they speak for themselves.

 

 

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Roast Beef Sandwich from WhichWich, Conroe, Texas

 

 

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The Wicked with spinach, WhichWich, Conroe, Texas

 

 

DSC_0006 Bronco Burrito

Bronco Burrito on a whole wheat tortilla, Galveston, Texas

 

 

DSC_0547 105 Cafe

3 egg omelet with fried potatoes at 105 Cafe, Conroe, Texas

 

 

 

 

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Swiss & Mushroom Burger at 105 Cafe, Conroe, Texas

DSC_0009 Fried Crawfish

Fried crawfish at Benno’s on the Beach, Galveston, Texas

 

DSC_0998 Bennos Cajun Platter

Cajun Platter, including fried oysters, shrimp and fish, at Benno’s on the Beach, Galveston, Texas

Babin’s Seafood House – The Woodlands, TX

Babin’s Seafood House is an extraordinary experience for those who love seafood. They advertise “New Orleans Style Seafood” and they mean it. We were fresh from a trip to NOLA when we were invited to tag along to a local Babin’s location. Are we ever happy we went! DSC_0039From the exterior architecture to the interior decor, Babin’s made us feel like we were back in NOLA. The food held up it’s end of bargain as well, being compared to dishes at fine dining establishments in the French Quarter such as Royal House. DSC_0998Rather than trying to tell you about our experience, we’ll just show you. Enjoy!

Fresh Oysters on the Half Shell

Fresh Oysters on the Half Shell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crawfish Appetizer

Crawfish Appetizer

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boudin Balls

Boudin Balls

 

 

 

 

 

Seafood Gumbo

Seafood Gumbo

 

 

 

 

 

Crawfish Half & Half

Crawfish Half & Half

 

 

Pasta di Mare

Pasta di Mare

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beignets

Beignets

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cafe au Lait

Cafe au Lait

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the 1-5 scale, Babin’s Seafood House gets:
Cleanliness – 5
Service – 4.5
Quality of food – 5
Flavor – 5
Pricing – 4
Overall experience – 4.7

Babin’s Seafood House
19529 IH 45
Shenandoah, TX 77385

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

 

— Ann Cathey

Benno’s on the Beach – Galveston, Texas

You can say what you like about the only REAL Cajun seafood is in Louisiana, but Benno’s is good enough to put that to the lie.

Benno’s on the Beach is an underground landmark for the Galveston Island. It has managed to survive many years and many hurricanes to bring some of the island’s best comfort-seafood to your table. It surprised us and we hope it will surprise you, too. Check out their full menu, including shrimp, oysters, crawfish, catfish, snapper, flounder, and daily catch specials.

Cajun Platter

Cajun Platter

We have been lucky enough to visit Benno’s a couple of times now. Christopher has already established a favorite plate there: The Cajun Platter. It features country fried oysters, grilled and Cajun spiced shrimp and tilapia, red potatoes, coleslaw, and several inches of baguette.

 

Fried Crawfish

Fried Crawfish

I keep trying different things, and this trip it was the fried crawfish. I wasn’t sure what to expect as far as volume, but I was pleasantly surprised by the mound that was delivered to my table. Not only where there a ton of tails (lightly breaded and spiced), there were unsalted French fries, jalapeno hushpuppies and coleslaw.

 

Dining and Writing Cohorts

Dining and Writing Cohorts

Shrimp Alfredo

Shrimp Alfredo

One of our cohorts went for the shrimp Alfredo. The first taste told you the dish started with half a stick of butter and some heavy cream. It was thick and rich with al dente pasta and sweet shrimp.

 

 

Seafood Gumbo

Seafood Gumbo

The other of our dining partners ordered the gumbo and boudin. The gumbo was described as having “tons of flavor without the hot”, and it was agreed by the gumbo eaters at the table that it was nearly as good as gumbos sampled in New Orleans. Likewise, the boudin was mild and flavorful on the front and spicy on the back end, as a good boudin should be.

 

Boudan

Boudan

The coleslaw that I’ve mentioned is surprisingly good. It has definite crunch, with the cabbage and carrot being shredded rather than diced to give it a nice mouth feel. The slaw sauce is mild and light, with a sweet hint of melon! it is an excellent foil to the spicier dishes.

Jalapeno hushpuppies, you ask? Why yes, that’s what they serve. These are traditional Southern style hushpuppies of cornmeal and onion, with a dash of Cajun seasoning and seeded jalapeno. They are not hot at all, and are great with all the seafood combinations available at Benno’s.

Just in case you need an extra dash or flavor or heat, Benno’s supplies Worcester sauce, Cajun Chef and Tabasco hot sauces, salt, pepper and ketchup at the table. Rolls of paper towels make up for napkins, and with some items on the menu, you will need more than one during your meal.

Seating is indoor and outdoor, right on the seawall, and every seat lets you see the surf on the Gulf of Mexico.

The Aftermath

The Aftermath

On the 1-5 scale, Benno’s on the Beach gets:
Cleanliness – 4
Service – 4
Quality of food – 5
Flavor – 5
Pricing – 4
Overall experience – 4.5

Benno’s on the Beach
1200 Seawall Blvd.
Galveston Island, Texas 77550

— Ann Cathey

Fisherman’s Wharf – Galveston, Texas

Fisherman’s Wharf is one of my favorite restaurants in Galveston. They have a wide selection of seafood–including more types of fish than I have ever seen in any one restaurant–as well as a few non-seafood options. They can always be counted on to provide good service, too. And as an added bonus, the tall ship Elissa is moored right behind the restaurant, so the view is lovely.

On our most recent visit to Fisherman’s Wharf, my dining companion and I tried some new dishes. We started with the mini crab cakes, she moved on to the lobster and crab bisque, and then she opted for the crab stuffed shrimp while I chose the cajun stuffed pork chop.

The crab cakes were exactly what I expected; that is to say, they were more like crab fritters, with far too much “filler” as compared to the amount of crab. However, they were topped with lump crab and served with a Dijon cream sauce that was absolutely divine. My dining companion isn’t usually much for condiments or mustard in most of its many forms, but she agreed with me that the Dijon sauce was to die for. The bisque wasn’t anything surprising, but that’s not to say it wasn’t excellent (because it was). It was a standard seafood bisque, creamy and delicious. The few bites I had made me wish I’d ordered my own cup.

Then the entrees appeared. Finally, I was surprised, and pleasantly so. I must confess that I didn’t pay much attention to my companion’s entree. I didn’t try a bite or even ask her how it was; I was too entranced by my own meal to give a thought to anyone else’s.

The cajun stuffed pork chop is described on the menu as “A blackened center-cut chop with crab stuffing, topped with crawfish tails in a Louisiana style BBQ sauce, served with fried new potatoes.” This description does not do it justice. The sauce was unlike any barbecue sauce I’ve ever tasted, bold but not sweet and a perfect complement to both the chop and the potatoes. The chop was stuffed so full of crab stuffing (similar to the crab cake mixture) that I found myself scooping it out to make cutting the chop easier. The flavors melded together perfectly into one of the most surprisingly delightful meals I’ve had recently.

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While the restaurant is a Landry’s-owned chain restaurant, it is unique enough in it’s menu and location for me to recommend it to both locals and tourists. The prices are not for the faint of heart or light of wallet, but the quality of food and service makes it a good value (especially in a tourist town).

On the 1-5 scale, Fisherman’s Wharf gets:

Cleanliness – 5
Service – 5
Quality of food – 5
Flavor – 5
Pricing – High moderate (entrees are $16.99 and up)
Overall experience – 5

-LB Clark