With a lazy Sunday afternoon stretching in front of us like an old man on the couch, Lindsay suggested a road trip. "Nowhere too far, just some place where we can look at the water and eat seafood with our hands," she said. Twenty minutes later we were on the road heading towards Exit 209 on I-10 West. Destination The Crab Trap II in Frenier, Louisiana.
Turning onto Peavine Road the roadway narrows. Swamp land surrounds the elevated pathway, but soon you reach a clearing as the lake comes into view. The Crab Trap is off to your right in what looks to be a converted two level camp. Downstairs banquet tables crowded with families peeling and eating tables sit between shelves lined with bric a brac for sale. The upstairs is where you want to set up camp with a railing, stools, a breeze, and a view of the lake. Everything in the building is for sale, from used Toby Keith CDs to a bucket of locks, Crab Trap has you covered. But really you want to focus on the seafood on offer.
You order at the counter, they start you a tab, and bring you platters of seafood until you ask them to stop. The choices, like at any great restaurant, are limited. Boiled crawfish, boiled shrimp, boiled crabs, bbq shrimp, bbq crab claws, accoutrements like potatoes, corn, sausage and garlic, soft drinks, cold beer. That is it. But what else could you possibly need with a view like this?
The large crawfish are purged overnight, resulting in a cleaner, plumper bite. Pumpkin colored fat drapes over and around the tail meat begging to be savored. This is special forces spices, sneaking in unnoticed up through the back of your throat and into your nose. You might want to order another beer. Go ahead and order another round of crawfish as well.
Meanwhile, tear into the juicy shrimp which are redolent with hard spice. Cinnamon and clove imbue the shrimp with the smells of Christmas. But the taste is pure summertime - sweet, briny shrimp layered in nothing more than sunshine on your back. This is elemental eating and this eating is delicious.
Most surprising was a paper bowl of bbq shrimp coated in black pepper and swimming in a slick broth. While the shrimps are no slouch, Judge Smails, the broth is the pro here. A dunk of peeled shrimp (either of the boiled or bbq variety) through the thick, spicy broth sends your tastebuds on a Tilt-a-Whirl of spice, lemon, and the flavor of reduced root beer. They will serve you a toe of French bread, you can figure out the rest.
The sun began to sink into the swamp behind us as the last shrimp dragged through the final bit of sauce. We retired to one of the many bench swings that dot the property, ordered another round of beers, and put off Monday morning for just a spell longer. All that was left was the detritus of a fantastic meal and plans to return the following Sunday.
Crab Trap - Eagle.
100 Peavine Rd.
Frenier, LA, 70068
Fri. - Sun. 11 am - 8 pm. Closed from November - February.