My Brother’s Crawfish
IT SOUNDS ENTIRELY too unlikely to have resulted in anything delicious: Two Vietnamese brothers who grew up in Houston, Texas, open a Creole joint near the corner of SE 82nd Avenue and Division Street, next door to a Chinese restaurant and a “bubble tea” shop. But forsaking My Brother’s Crawfish just because of its out-of-the-way location or its owners’ seemingly tenuous relationship to authentic N’awlins fare would be a mistake. In fact, we can say with little doubt that this modest restaurant offers the best Creole cuisine in town.
Since mudbug madness is the main attraction here, no one should leave without ordering a pound or two of crawfish boiled in a salty, spicy sauce and served with corn, red potatoes, mushrooms, and andouille sausage (crawfish at market prices, usually around $8 per pound; $0.50-1 for each additional ingredient). Tear the shells off; suck the tail meat out; grab another.
There are plenty of other perfectly executed entrées to savor. Like the blackened catfish ($12), a dish that’s seldom done right outside of the Louisiana Bayou. Here, it is perfectly crisped and fried on the outside, yet flaky and buttery inside, and served with a crumbly hunk of cornbread and “dirty rice” spiked with ground beef sausage.
The gumbo ($9), étouffée ($11), and jambalaya ($11) are all honest-to-goodness Creole fare; each dish is prepared with a meticulous hand that’s adept at harnessing strong ingredients so that they don’t knock you out—a skill that goes into making some of the best Vietnamese cuisine as well. Considering that Creole cuisine arose from a mingling of cultures, it’s only fitting that a place with a background as eclectic as My Brother’s Crawfish should prepare this food so well. Closed Mon. Lunch only on Wed, Sat, Sun.