We’d gotten word through a country connection there was a roadside crawfish stand that was putting on cracking Louisiana seafood boils up in Lacombe on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain.
Time for a ramble across St Tammany Parish.
The cracked blacktop highway that carries you from Slidell to Lacombe is crowded with weekend drivers, and the occasional Massey Ferguson farm tractor. Da Crab Trap is a colorful food trailer situated across a gravel-strewn parking lot from a country tavern. You order at the trailer and if you’re of a mind you can eat your haul in the bar.It’s a tableau you could easily imagine in a tale from the pen of Chris Rose.
After decades of eating crawfish across Acadiana and Orleans Parish we’ve grown accustomed to a few common traits of a good boil.
The crawfish should be served with smoke rolling off of them. They should be so hot that you will flat burn yourself if you go diving in with flashing fingers and eager mouth. Da Crab Trap’s crawfish have been cooked at some long-ago time then stored at room temperature.Hot Creole or Cajun sausage should be served with your boil to create the rich land and sea effect. There are few things as satisfying as biting into a hot link of boiled pork sausage as a chaser to your crawfish. The man running Da Crab Trap avers that he “don’t like putting that in my pot.”
St Tammany is far enough from southwest Louisiana where Le Grand Dérangement brought the Cajuns; and the butcher shops of New Orleans 7th Ward where Creole butchers have plied their trade for decades – that I begrudgingly forgive the absence of link sausage.Cold ice tea is a natural accompaniment to hot crawfish. A big plastic tumbler choked with ice and served with a wedge of lemon is one of the crawfish boils great pleasures. Sadly we’re left adrift and wanting at Da Crab Trap.
The boil-man here has a proper handle on his seasoning. There’s a good spike of cayenne, the salt level is well-measured, and the crawfish have been cooked properly if far too early for service.
The lady running the bar is an amiable country gal who’s happy to see a pair of strangers roll into her nearly-deserted workplace. Patrons are sparse and the few who do come through are grabbing their packets and getting back up on the roadway.The cops in these parts are so tough the locals call their parish St Slammany, and we bear that in mind as we briefly consider hitching the food trailer up to the Econoline to wildly fishtail out of the parking lot as we hightail it back to the 9th Ward.
Instead we point west on US-190 to see if we can make it to Ruby’s Roadhouse in Madisonville in time to catch the tail end of happy hour.
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Da Crab Trap
28152 N Hwy 190
Hours of operation
always call ahead