Saturday, April 9, 2016

Friday night in New Orleans: Eating crawfish, sipping beer, telling lies

New Orleans residents lining up on Friday night to buy crawfish from a spicy boil at Rouses Supermarket on North Carrollton Avenue. Earlier, a friend bought more than 10 pounds to feed three for a reduced price of $2.29 a pound.


NEW ORLEANS -- We're here for a four-day music festival, but can't ignore the incredible food in what is certainly the most distinctive city in the United States.

On Friday evening, while we were at the French Quarter Festival listening to Monk Boudreaux and the Golden Eagles, a friend rushed over to Rouses Supermarket before the boiled crawfish ran out.

An hour or so later we took the streetcar and met him there to pick up fixins -- a store-made Seafood Gumbo, potato salad with eggs and a six-pack of Abita Amber Beer.

Back in our hotel room, our friend dumped the crawfish into a tray in the center of a kitchenette table, and I divided the soup among three bowls and opened bottles of beer.

Then, in an eating ritual repeated hundreds, if not thousands, of times in New Orleans and the rest of Louisiana, we peeled crawfish tails, ate them, sucked the juice out of the bodies and sipped beer.

Crawfish look exactly like miniature lobsters, as if they crawled out of the mud in prehistoric times.

As we ate and drank, we caught up with our friend, a musician whom we haven't seen since 2009.

Or, as he put it, "Eating crawfish, sipping beer and telling lies."

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