A Cracking Good Crawfish Time at Yankee Pier

Enjoy an old-fashioned crawfish boil at Yankee Pier this week.

Messy, but good.

That’s what a crawfish boil is all about, as you tear into a pile of tiny crustaceans with your fingers to dig out the coveted sweet, almost lobster-like morsel of tail meat.

Tie on a bibb and grab your shellfish crackers to enjoy exactly that through May 5 at all Bay Area Yankee Pier locations (San Jose, Lafayette and Larskpur), which are featuring crawfish boils for $35 per person during dinner service until supplies run out.

You might need one of these bibbs as you dig in with your hands.

My husband and I were invited as guests to experience that irresistible taste of New Orleans this past Sunday, as a Zyedeco band grooved on the sidewalk outside the Santana Row Yankee Pier.

One order of the crawfish boil is pretty sizable, so if you want to nosh on a few other menu items, you might want to share one like we did.

We started with half a dozen premium oysters on the half shell ($16.50), which included my fave Kumamotos, so delicate, sweet and nutty tasting.

Briny, sweet oysters on the half shell with fresh grated horseradish.

Who can ever resist fried calamari?

Monterey calamari ($10), lightly breaded and crisp, tided us over until the main attraction arrived.

Good thing we split it as what arrived was a sheet pan groaning with two fist-sized boiled new potatoes, three tender artichoke halves, pickled cippolini onions, a bulb of roasted garlic, warm French bread, and 1 1/2 pounds of crawfish that had been cooked in a spicy broth.

Think of them as finger-sized lobsters.

You have to work for your reward here. But it’s worth it when you put a nugget of crawfish meat in your mouth and experience a singular taste of the Big Easy.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium’sSeafood Watch” guide, by which Yankee Pier abides, gives live, farmed crawfish from the United States a “best choice” nod.

Apparently, a lot of folks have quite a hankering for them, too.

Sunday night, the restaurant went through a whopping 160 pounds of crawfish just like that.

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