Good Morning All,
Last night I had a new experience, a craw fish boil. Class ended late, so we were unable to make it back to Hands On for the evening meal. We thus decided it was a good night for craw fish, especially since it is the start of the craw fish season. We piled into cars and drove thirty minutes to the west to the small berg of Waveland, MS where S&B's awaited us.
We had been to S&B's a couple weeks before, and had called ahead, so they where expecting our arrival. The restaurant and bar is the ultimate mom and pop place, specializing in southern fair and local sea food. The menu includes such delicacies as craw fish boil, shrimp boil, fried catfish, a plethora of po-boys, hush puppies, corn nuggets, beef fries, sweet potato fries, banana pudding, and pecan pie. Everything, save the boils, po-boys and the deserts come from the deep fryer. This is the best of down home southern cuisine. The ambiance is what you would expect, clean but a little bit drab. A bar dominates the middle of the establishment, yet there is plenty of seating for those wanting to enjoy a meal at a table.
One orders the craw fish boil by the pound, and is served a steaming heap of whole, bright red animals. The whole body is intact and one eats a craw fish by breaking off the tail and removing the shrimp like meat. Then one crushes the head and body cavity and sucks out the juices from the craw-fish and the boil. The flavor is spicy, salty, and of the sea, but more mild than shrimp. As we ate, the shells of the fish piled up, the juices of the biol dripped down our arms and our lips burned and our noses dripped from the spices. Between eight of us who ate craw-fish 24 pounds were consumed. Many locals will start with five pounds and keep going from there, so we were apparently light eaters.
If the food at S&B's is good, which it is, the service is even better. Our server, Jessica, was kind, polite, sweet and patient with our loud, rowdy group. We called ahead, and when we arrived we discovered four tables pushed together to accommodate our large group. They dealt with our changing orders with ease, taught the novices how to eat a craw fish, laughed at our utter quirkiness, split our check thirteen ways, and generally seemed to enjoy our presence. I have never had service that even approaches this level of greatness. So, if you ever find your way to the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, make your way to S&B's. They may be part of a ubiquitous set, but they are certainly the essence of it.