Today, we take a look at the ever-changing field of options when you want someone else to handle the boil pot. We're visiting two newcomers now entering their first spring season in business and we're revisiting two old favorites that are always worth the trip.
Bucktown Burger & Fish Co.
200 Old Hammond Hwy., Metairie, 504-840-0902
Bucktown Burger & Fish Co. took over the lakefront restaurant space that was previously Live Bait. The menu runs through fried seafood, fish tacos, burgers and specialties like oysters Bordelaise, which here are fried and stuffed into a bread bowl doused with garlic and oil. The boiled seafood is good, and the setting is reminiscent of the old days along the lakefront even if you can't really see the lake from here with the levee loom over. Sometimes bands perform in the evenings, and there is a large bar.
Perino's Boiling Pot
3754 West Bank Expwy., Harvey, 340-5560
Perino's is attached to a budget motel and if you didn't know any better you might think it was the standard motel diner stuck there by the highway. But those who do know better flock to this place, and it's a whole different story inside. Perino's is quick and no-nonsense, which is just what you want from a place that specializes in crawfish and cold beer. The boil spice level is respectable, though it won't bend anyone's ears back, and the size this time of year is good too. Perino's does a good job with shrimp, which are consistently large and not overcooked, and crabs too. A stackable tray system makes handling all the discarded shells a little easier, especially at a crowded table. Perino's serves some of the coldest beer in town, with the help of iced mugs, iced pitchers and ice rods dunked into the pitchers to keep the cold. Well-run, family-friendly and focused on the staples, it's a great place to keep in mind for your next seafood outing.
Bevi Seafood Co.
4701 Airline Drive, Metairie, 504-885-5003
This is another new restaurant and boiled seafood spot that happens to be in a familiar location. It opened late last year at the address that had long been River Pond Seafood. Visually, the upgrades to become Bevi were minimal, but that's fitting for a hard-working Louisiana seafood restaurant. The low, small building functions as combination dining spot for po-boys and plate lunches and as a retail seafood market. The size of the crawfish have been impressive thus far, even for a less-than-stellar season. In addition, Bevi's stocks stuffed artichokes, hot tamales and other goodies to bring home.
7742 Hwy. 23, Belle Chasse, 504-393-7303
Salvo's has been a Belle Chasse institution for better than 25 years, though for those just discovering it the place can seem like a real find. For people living on the East Bank, its location in Belle Chasse might seem a world away, but really it is not very far. The setting is genuine, the people are friendly and the seafood is the real deal. On Friday and Saturday evenings Salvo's might have up to seven items going in its various boilers, depending on the intersection of the seasons. On one visit there were three varieties of crabs alone. Crawfish and shrimp are the mainstays. Those with really big appetites can do some damage with the all-you-can-eat specials.