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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Seafood, Southern
Casual restaurant

Mon–Fri 3:00pm–10:00pm
Sat–Sun noon–10:00pm

Features Kid-friendly
Bar Beer
Credit cards Visa, MC
Reservations Not accepted


Bellaire Chinatown
8300 W. Sam Houston
Houston, TX
(281) 988-4750
The Boiling Crab
Chinatown on the outside, but all Louisiana on the inside

For some of the best Louisiana-style, Gulf-fresh food around, you need only venture into…Chinatown. Tucked neatly into the same shopping center that houses seafood market giant Viet Hoa, The Boiling Crab stands heads and (ahem) tails above many other crawfish-centric eateries. Here, there’s a liberal and complex spicing that eludes a lot of other places. There are several options in this territory: the one with the worst name, “The Whole Sha-bang,” just so happens to be the best, with a kick of fresh citrus. And while most anyone can do a good crawfish/shrimp/crab boil, what distinguishes Boiling Crab is its performance with fried foods. Fried catfish has a light and crunchy cornmeal crust, and plump, fried oysters release a funky brininess when bitten into. Gumbo has that mysterious swampy flavor you only find along the Mississippi.

The restaurant’s got all the usual charms of a place with “boil” in its name: fish netting and crab traps as décor, wax paper instead of tablecloths, dueling television sets, and an attentive, hospitable staff. You’ll find your cold, cheap beer replaced quickly, and water refilled just as soon as you start fanning your fiery mouth. This place may be a chain, but take off the sign and we might as well be in an old Aransas Pass shanty…with bubble tea next door.

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