The "coming soon" Boiling Crawfish sign went up on the facade more than a month ago, and that’s when the calls and messages started coming in.
Crawfish, in South Hill? Really?
Yes, although details are murky. Messages left with the owners were not returned, but here’s what I know.
Boiling Crawfish in South Hill appears to be an outpost of a sister restaurant in Kent that appears to share ownership and the name Boiling Crawfish Seafood Restaurant. A sign on the door at the South Hill location invites diners to check out the Kent location.
Tuyen Nguyen is listed on the business license as the owner and also is listed on the liquor license application.
The South Hill location will go into the former home of Pho The Best, the restaurant once sandwiched between The Rock and Papa Murphy’s at 4301 S. Meridian.
If the South Hill restaurant follows the same format as its sister restaurant in Kent, it will feature a market list of fresh seafood turned into a seafood boil, which is basically a bowl of shellfish that is boiled to order in a seasoned broth and served with corn on the cob, sliced sausage and potatoes.
At the Kent location, market seafood appears to range from $11.99 to $37.99 (but, as with all market pricing, those amounts fluctuate) and the list includes crawfish, crab, mussels, shrimp and more.
Pierce County already is home to a seafood boil restaurant that is most certainly worth a visit: Dragon’s Crawfish in the Lincoln neighborhood (750 S. 38th St., Tacoma; 253-301-0020).
Minh Phan and Sina Kong opened the restaurant in 2015, and it became an instant treasure for both seafood and spicy food lovers. I put the restaurant on my best openings of 2015 list.
The menu is micro-focused on market-priced seafood, all served by the pound, and boiled in a choice of broths. The garlic-tinged butter sauce is my go-to. Beware if Phan asks if you like it spicy, because his level of spicy is Defcon Level Ouch.
It’s a small restaurant with about 10 tables, each outfitted with butcher paper to capture the leftovers of the messy feast that is a seafood boil.
Another tip: Bourbon Street Creole Kitchen & Bar in downtown Puyallup also sometimes serves crawfish boil and features other types of Louisiana-style seafood (401 S Meridian, Puyallup; 253-604-4404).
Where: 4301 S. Meridian, Puyallup