Crawfish season is upon us. And that’s not all: rodeo and a highly anticipated baseball season are too. What do all these have in common? Who has time to make the food when entertaining this season?
For 44 years, the Mandola family has made authentic Cajun food their business. Sit back for a little history: In 1974, a newly graduated Ragin’ Cajun (Luke Sr.), along with Frankie B. Mandola and Ray Hay, christened a small po-boy only restaurant Ray Hay’s Cajun Po-Boys, serving up to homesick Cajuns recently relocated to Houston. Just a few years in, the trio were the first to serve fresh Louisiana boiled crawfish with their crawfish boils in the parking lot. Luke Sr. is quoted as saying the restaurant was “a hit from the time the doors opened.” About five years later, Luke B. Mandola Sr. partnered with Frank Messina to buy out his partners and renamed the joint Ragin’ Cajun after Luke Sr.’s alma mater. Today, Luke Sr. is still a presence at the same red and white restaurant off Richmond Ave., but alongside is his son Dominic who passionately carries out the family tradition brought to Houstonians.
Why do we share all this? Because we LOVE LOCAL stories like these and don’t you want to know where your crawfish are coming from?! Back to that… We asked the team at Ragin’ Cajun a few crawfish questions that were burning in our minds.
When does crawfish season start?
Middle of February and goes through May, however Ragin’ Cajun has access to live crawfish December through June as well.
Where does the crawfish come from?
Ragin’ Cajun crawfish come from the rice fields of Southwest Louisiana. Farm-raised crawfish are premium quality throughout the season. They live in a man-made controlled environment. They are part of the agricultural cycle of Louisiana. Before they were a crop, they were a pest! When it became socially acceptable to eat crawfish in Louisiana, they then became a Louisianan agricultural commodity. A farm owned by some good family friends of the Mandola family have been providing Ragin’ Cajun with this delicacy for about 38 years. The crawfish come to Ragin’ Cajun fresh water deveined.
What’s Ragin’ Cajun’s boiling method?
With all the varieties of boiling methods out there today, Ragin’ Cajun chooses to stick with tradition. Therefore, Ragin’ Cajun boil is a traditional Louisiana boil. The boil consists of black pepper, cayenne pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, lemon juice and Zatarain’s crab boil. Ragin’ Cajun boils only live crawfish, in seasoned water, never sprinkling on top.
How many pounds of live crawfish does Ragin’ Cajun typically boil during the peak of the season?
How many off-site boils do you do during season?
Anywhere from 5/6 a week.
Ragin’ Cajun has all the equipment to set up shop for your customized Louisiana Crawfish boil at your home or business. Ragin’ Cajun can make your party as simple or as extravagant as you want it to be. Pricing starts $16 per person and increases as you choose options for your event. Options available are DJ’s, Zydeco bands, valet parking and florists. Ragin’ Catering offers a wide variety of cuisine, Texas BBQ, Mexican favorites and Italian.
For catering information, visit, https://ragin-cajun.com/catering/.