Cool Bus Houston Crawfish Crawl!

On Saturday, April 28th, we hosted our first ever Houston Crawfish Crawl as we visited 5 top spots that are usually on everyone's list when it comes to "Best Crawfish in Houston".  Each place had it's own unique flavor and offered something the other one didn't.  You really can't go wrong at any of these places,  Below is our recap of each stop, so sit back and enjoy the "ride"...get it?!  Because of the Cool Bus ☺   

1.       The Boot – We started our trip by meeting at The Boot when they opened at 11am.  Needless to say, we didn’t have any issues getting a table as we had our pick of the place haha!  The crawfish had a good taste and they were a large size…think tiny lobsters. They were cooked Cajun style which meant they didn’t have a bunch of spices or additional seasonings on the outside.  They soak in the seasonings in the water allowing for the spices to get in to the crawfish. You will hear about Viet-Cajun crawfish in the next few stops. The spice level did leave our lips burning for a while after we were done.  There is also a 2lb minimum on their orders FYI. - www.thecajunboot.com - 1206 W. 20th St, Houston, TX 77008

2.       Hanks Cajun Crawfish – Next stop was Hank’s Cajun Crawfish in Chinatown.   This is one of my favorite places! They have 5 flavors – Mild, Medium, Spicy, X-Spicy and New Orleans Spicy.   We ordered X-Spicy and Mild for the table. The mild is a good taste with a small, subtle kick, but the X-Spicy is where it’s at!  The spice is a slow burn as it doesn’t really kick in till crawfish number 8-10. It will definitely make you sweat and your nose run, so get the napkins ready!  Our lips were definitely burning by the end! Highly recommend to order a side of garlic bread with your order so you can soak up the juices at the bottom of the tray.   The venue is pretty small (can only accommodate approx. 40-50 people) so be prepared to wait if you decide to go on a Friday or Saturday night. hankscajuncrawfish.com - 10800 Bellaire Blvd G, Houston, TX 77072

3.       LA Crawfish Shack – Our 3rd stop was another popular crawfish stop in Houston, LA Crawfish Shack located at Harwin and Gessner.  This venue was definitely bigger than Hanks, but the crawfish were noticeably smaller. They offered multiple flavors and spice levels.  We went with the spicy lemon pepper, spicy cajun and mild traditional. Of the 3 flavors + spice combos we got, we all agreed that the spicy lemon pepper was the best.  They made us sweat and gave us all a runny nose too. There was a pretty thick sauce on top of the crawfish, most likely from tossing them in seasonings post cooking.  lacrawfishshack.com - 5858 S. Gessner, Houston, TX 77036

4.       LA Crawfish - We ventured over to the corner of Richmond & Weslayan for stop #4 at LA Crawfish – no relation to LA Crawfish Shack…at least I don’t think so.  LA Crawfish serves viet-cajun crawfish. This is a relatively new style that has been taking over Houston and has a different flavor than the normal Cajun style you might be used to at your neighborhood backyard crawfish boil.   Viet-Cajun crawfish have spices and herbs added after the actual boil. Each restaurant has it’s own unique recipe but most places use melted butter, A LOT of garlic, cayenne pepper and other Asian ingredients like ginger and lemongrass. We ordered the 3 flavors that are offered – Garlic Butter, Cajun Run and Hot & Sour.  We all thought that the Garlic Butter flavor was the best of the 3 flavors. Overall we thought they had the best offering of the restaurants thus far, granted they weren’t the spiciest, but still a good burn on your lips.  thelacrawfish.com - 3957 Richmond Ave, Houston, TX 77027

5.       BB’s Café Houston Heights – Our final stop was one of the most popular places in Houston to get crawfish – BB’s Café on White Oak Dr in the Heights.  This place is always full and definitely be expected to wait for a table if you want to dine on Saturday night or Sunday afternoon during crawfish season.  Their crawfish are some of the best in Houston and they didn’t disappoint when we showed up. The crawfish were large in size and had great flavor, but they were even better if, after you peeled them, you dipped the meat in the sauce at the bottom of the tray.   If that didn’t do it for you, they also offer multiple types of dipping sauces.  bbscafe.com2701 White Oak Dr, Houston, TX 77009

Mom's Night Out

Last night I took a few of my friends out on the town...but this was no ordinary group of friends.  These were all women and all MOMS!  Our plan...to take out the group out to go see the movie "Bad Moms" and then take them out for a few drinks at a bar or 2 downtown.  

So I picked everyone up from one of their houses around 7:00 PM and took them to Sundance Movie Theater downtown for their movie.  The movie last about 1 hr 45 min, so I just parked down the street and hung out while I waited for them to text me once the movie was over.  

After the movie, I picked them up and drove everyone around for about 20-30 minutes while they enjoyed the music and libations before I dropped them off at The Original Okra Charity Saloon.   The girls spent about an hour hanging out at the bar before they called and decided it was time to head on home for the night.  

Once we got back to the house, unloaded and got the bus back to its storage facility, I wound up getting home around 1:30 AM.  Not too bad for a night out on the town hosting these lovely ladies!  

This was the first ride I did where I didnt know most of the people on board and I really enjoyed it!  I'm really excited to get this out to the public, host new faces and have them experience The Cool Bus! 

Cool Bus Houston Mom's Night Out

Cool Bus Test Ride numero dos

The 2nd official Cool Bus ride is in the books and had a few more lessons learned and ideas that crept up in the ol' head to further enhance the bus experience.  

Overall, I think the night was a success.  We met at the Sawyer Heights Lofts by Target on I-10 and Taylor Rd around 9:00 PM and promptly hit the road.  Like I planned, we went to Kay's Lounge first which might've been not such a good idea.  The only reason I say that was because Kay's was closing that weekend, so everyone and their mom's wanted to get in on the action and say their farewells to a long time Houston establishment.  Therefore, the bar was packed and our guests had a tough time getting drinks...so not the best start to the night, but we kept on! 

Second stop was in Midtown at Irish Cowboy.  We probably arrived around 11pm and stayed there for roughly an hour.  We had a few of our bus riders peace out at this point and go about their own way for the remainder of the night.  

Around midnight, I picked the remaining folks up and dropped them off at Rebel's Honky Tonk for some late night country western dancing.  As 1:30 AM rolled around, everyone was ready to call it a night.  So we loaded up and I dropped everyone back off and proceeded to head back and drop the bus off.  

I really wanted to get a feel for what an actual night would be like and entail.  I was very curious as to how the timing of everything would work.  I currently keep the bus out in Jersey Village (290 & Beltway 8) so it takes about 30 min to get to/from downtown Houston.  So i wanted to test out the actual process of driving my car to the bus, prepping the bus, driving the bus to the designated pick up location and running the bus through the night.  Then to finally drop everyone off and return the bus, clean it up, and then drive my personal car back to my house.  

After it was all said and done, I think my head hit the pillow around 4:00 AM Sunday morning. And such will be the life of a party bus driver/owner/Ambassador of Fun.  

A few things I learned on the trip - 1) Make sure their is plenty of gas in the generators that power the A/C, 2) Look in to adding more fans in the bus to keep it cool, 3) Interact more with the passengers, 4) Be careful when pulling up to lights and dont stop suddenly in order to prevent people from falling over in the bus, and finally 5) Get another handrail or support beam across the roof of the interior of the bus for people to hang on to.