It was early afternoon on a Thursday and Pook’s Crawfish Hole in Santa Fe is closed.
Owners Gregg and Jennifer Vicknair just happened to be in their cars parked outside. That was enough to attract a hungry customer who came in looking for a couple pounds of boiled crawfish.
Jennifer Vicknair told her they weren’t open just yet but they would be at 4 p.m. The woman promised to come back with her dad, but she joked that restaurant needs to be open all day long.
“Y’all need to be open all the time,” the woman jokingly chided. “I need some eggs and crawfish.”
This is only the second season that Pook’s, located at 4015 FM 646 N., in Santa Fe, has been in business but Gregg Vicknair said it’s like that all the time. People can’t seem to get enough.
Crawfish will only be available for about another month and a half at the most.
Demand for boiled crawfish, which has always been popular in the county, just seems to be growing every year, he said.
It’s something he grew up doing. His father had large crawfish boils at EJ & Sons Appliance & AC next door, he said.
And Gregg Vicknair said he knew he wanted to open a restaurant, so when he finally did, he opened a crawfish joint with a laid-back feel. The large wooden tables, the family pictures on the walls and the fact that costumers can bring their own beer has been a huge hit, he said.
And Pook’s is only open from January to about July, when the availability of crawfish tappers out, Jennifer Vicknair said, with all their mudbugs from Gregg Vicknair’s family back in Louisiana.
In their second year, things have only gotten bigger and better with hungry crawfish addicts filling up their tables night after night, the couple said.
“The key to it is, man, you got to have good crawfish,” he said.
Every year, people all across the county eagerly wait for the day the trays of red boiled crawfish, potatoes and corn start piling up in area restaurants.
From residents in Galveston waiting for the crawfish sign to pop up at the Cajun Greek, located at 2226 61st St., to the crawfish specials at Jackie’s Brickhouse, 1053 Marina Bay Drive, in Kemah, to restaurants and festivals in between, crawfish season is eagerly waited on. And it’s almost done.
For Chad Conners, one of the owners of Pod Zu’s at Clifton’s by the Sea, 10 Grand Ave., in Bacliff, crawfish also is a family affair. He has crawfish as soon and as long as he can keep trucking them in from his family in Louisiana.
He’s been boiling crawfish since he was a child helping his dad and brother. Conners said he still learns something about crawfish every year.
The season is almost up and it has been another good one at Pod Zu’s and their catering side is growing and growing every year, he said.
And the allure of the little red mudbugs, he said, is the convivial, backyard feel that comes with eating crawfish.
It’s basically a comfort food with people from all walks of life getting together of heaping plates of spicy crawfish, he said.
“The thing about crawfish is, inside or outside, it’s about the association with people,” Conners said.
At a glance
There is only about a month and a half left in crawfish season. If you haven’t got your fill of boiled crawfish then check out some of the following places in the county:
- Pook’s Crawfish Hole: 4015 FM 646 N., in Santa Fe
- Pod Zu’s at Clifton’s by the Sea: 10 Grand Ave., in Bacliff
- Jackie’s Brickhouse: 1053 Marina Bay Drive, in Kemah
- Crazy Alan’s Swamp Shack: 310 Texas Ave., in Kemah
- Cajun Greek: 2226 61st St., in Galveston
- Sudie’s Seafood House: 352 Gulf Freeway N., in League City
- Dickinson Seafood Restaurant: 131 FM 517, in Dickinson.
- Latitudes: 1817 Ave. K, in San Leon
Did we miss a your favorite crawfish place? Then go online to galvnews.com and leave a comment and let us know where the best boiled crawfish in town are.
Contact reporter Christopher Smith Gonzalez at 409-683-5314 or firstname.lastname@example.org.