Written by Anita
July 4, 2011
Summer is sizzling in DC, which means that it’s a terrific time to enjoy the cool bounty of the sea. We recently checked out two Connecticut Avenue hotspots that are guaranteed to have you hooked!
Tackle Box, DC’s first lobster shack, recently opened its second location in Cleveland Park (sadly, the first location in Georgetown sustained fire damage last week and is temporarily closed). The opening gave us an opportunity to rediscover several favorite dishes and to explore some new menu items.
Upon entering the Cleveland Park Tackle Box, the first thing younotice is its corner raw bar. There, you will find a variety of raw and steamed seafood for the asking, including oysters, jumbo shrimp, lobsters, king crab legs, mussels, and littleneck, steamer, and manila clams. We savored the whole steamed Maine lobster—moist and juicy, it needed no accompaniment! Or opt for the classic Maine lobster roll—a pillow-soft roll piled high with big chunks of the same meaty goodness. Fish lovers can enjoy their favorites either grilled or crispy, accompanied by a variety of tasty sides and sauces.
Wash it all down with one of the Cleveland Park location’s new signature drinks. Our favorites were the Cleveland Park Lemonade (a smooth mix of lemonade, citrus vodka, fresh sours, and club soda) or the Connecticut Ave. White Sangria (a fruity blend made with Sauvignon Blanc and garnished with citrus fruits). Looking to save a few clams? Then stop by for its Seafood Happy Hour (3-7 pm and 10 pm-close on weekdays) and enjoy $1 oysters, $3 calamari, $6 beer pitchers, $2 select beers, and other drink specials. Or check out Tackle Box’s daily specials, including fish and chips on Mondays, grilled lobster with coleslaw and fries on Tuesdays, and half-price tacos on Wednesdays.
Do-it-yourselfers can order the lobster pot to go, which includes Maine lobster (1 1/4 lb each), grilled red onions, quahog clams, white water mussels, chorizo sausage, potatoes, corn on the cob, lemon, rockweed, drawn butter, and Tackle Box spice for $40 per person.
Looking to heat things up a bit more? Then saunter on down to Hot N Juicy Crawfish in Woodley Park by brother-sister team Tim Nguyen and Laina Vo. Open since January, this DC-outpost of the original Las Vegas location flies in its crawfish from the Big Easy daily, ensuring that they are oh-so fresh! The setting is spartan—butcher paper covered tables are simply adorned with a big ol’ roll of paper towels (no fine china and linens here!) Choose your favorite seasoning (Louisiana style, juicy cajun, garlic butter, lemon pepper, or the Hot N Juicy special) and a spice level (no spice, mild, medium, spicy, or extra spicy). The mudbugs are delivered hot n juicy (as promised!) swimming in a simple plastic bag of seasonings. Other savory seafood offerings include oysters, crab, and shrimp. A word to the wise: spice levels are a couple of notches higher than you’d think. Choose no spice if you can’t take the heat; even true spice lovers shouldn’t venture above medium. We loved the garlic butter seasoning, but we don’t recommend it if you expect things to heat up with your honey afterwards! Wash it all down with a bottle of beer—Mondays through Wednesdays, Hot N Juicy Crawfish’s $1 Beer Happy Hour offers bottled beers, like Sapporo, Budweiser, Corona Light, Shock Top, and Heineken Light, for a mere buck all day long (limit 3 per person)!
Can’t get enough? Then look for it in a new reality show called Crawfish Cowboy or jet on down for the grand opening of its newest location in Orlando, FL on July 9.