Crawdaddy's Bar & Grill
212 Cincinnati Ave.
Crawdaddy’s Bar & Grill sits in an out-of-the-way section of El Paso’s Westside. It is a place that appears to appeal primarily to the college crowd. Thankfully, El Paso’s no-smoking ordinance enables this place to have a more broad appeal.
It has the look and feel of a college beer joint. The various banners about the place support this opinion. Thankfully, the bartender/waiter turned down the college rock a bit when we walked in (I imagine they were just opening up). The TVs were a bit of a distraction. I hadn’t realized my toddler was so interested in professional golf events.
However, we came for a taste of Cajun-style food. For an appetizer, we opted to try the fried crawfish. As entrees, we ordered the Cajun shrimp (which was the special) with a side of jambalaya and the chicken and sausage gumbo. I felt compelled to order one of the many types of beer they offered, but I was driving, so I had some iced tea instead.
The crawfish and jambalaya came quickly. The crawfish had the distinct taste of having been fried in some very old oil. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the crawfish and the sauce that it came with. The sauce was a fairly typical Louisiana-style sauce, but I have not had crawfish since the last time I was in Louisiana in 2001, and it seemed very good. The jambalaya was a touch spicy (I would have preferred a bit more heat, but I suppose they have to cater to a larger demographic than just chileheads), but a bit too salty. My son seemed to enjoy his chicken nuggets, which were served with a not-quite-ketchup sauce for dipping. My meal consisted of steamed shrimp on a bed of Cajun-style rice with some steamed vegetables. I thought the steamed vegetables a bit incongruous considering the overall richness of the rest. The vegetable medley was cooked perfectly and could have been on a health food menu. The shrimp was okay, but I was a bit disappointed that the sauce it was served with was exactly the same as the sauce that came with the crawfish. The rice was okay as well. The bread was a bit overly buttered for me. My wife’s gumbo was very good. It was the best dish we tried there. It seemed to have just the right amounts of everything. She would have preferred a little more spice, but we understand. Considering how small the servings appeared, the food was quite filling. The service was good. We will probably try this place again, but I think I will try the blackened catfish next time.
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