Asian-Cajun restaurant Louisiana Crab Shack makes its mark in Central Texas

From left: Louisiana Crab Shack is run by Dennis Wilson, Cathy Duong-Wilson, Debbie Duong-Carter, Terry Carter and Lucky Duong (not pictured). (Grace Dickens/Community Impact Newspaper)
From left: Louisiana Crab Shack is run by Dennis Wilson, Cathy Duong-Wilson, Debbie Duong-Carter, Terry Carter and Lucky Duong (not pictured). (Grace Dickens/Community Impact Newspaper)

From left: Louisiana Crab Shack is run by Dennis Wilson, Cathy Duong-Wilson, Debbie Duong-Carter, Terry Carter and Lucky Duong (not pictured). (Grace Dickens/Community Impact Newspaper)

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The Shack #2 comes with crawfish, sausage, corn and potatoes. ($32) (Grace Dickens/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The Kracken is a boil bag with king crab, snow crab, shrimp, clams, green mussels, sausage, corn and potatoes. ($105) (Grace Dickens/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The restaurant serves po’boys with several options, such as soft shell crab and fried shrimp. ($11-$15) (Grace Dickens/Community Impact Newspaper)
Louisiana Crab Shack is a family-owned and -operated restaurant specializing in Asian-Cajun cuisine, which brings a saucy twist to traditional Cajun food with its signature Bottom of the Bayou sauce.

Louisiana Crab Shack opened its flagship Anderson Lane location in 2019. Following the retirement of their father in 2020 due to their grandmother’s illness, Cathy Duong-Wilson, Debbie Duong-Carter and Lucky Duong picked up their lives in Dallas to take over the family business.

“The first thing that we did was we slowly started to transition down here to figure out what is the current infrastructure, who is working where, what’s happening,” Duong-Wilson said. “Then we really tried to figure out where we could plug ourselves in to help with all of the changes. The love that we have experienced at all the stores ... has been amazing.”

The restaurant offers a variety of options from boil bags to fried food and prides itself on being customizable, Duong-Carter said. With crawfish season in full swing, Duong-Wilson said the dish is undoubtedly the most popular choice among customers. The Kracken is also a fan favorite with king crab, snow crab, shrimp, clams, green mussels, sausage, corn and potatoes cooked in a boil bag with a choice of sauce to the desired spice level.

The Bottom of the Bayou sauce is a secret family recipe that takes four hours to make with Duong-Wilson or Duong-Carter either staying up until 3 a.m. or waking up at 4 a.m. to make the sauce. The sauce is made three times a week and sent out to the restaurant’s locations in Bee Cave, Georgetown, Round Rock and Austin. The restaurant also offers Cajun, lemon pepper and garlic sauces.


In addition to a spice level ranging from no spice to Fire, the restaurant offers an off-the-menu spice level called Scorpion for those unfazed by Fire. The spice level is controlled by the habanero oil made in-house.

Since entering the family business, Duong-Wilson and Duong-Carter have taken up several roles within the company. Duong-Wilson is the CEO, and her husband, Dennis Wilson, is the chief of operations, while Duong-Carter is the chief administrative officer, and her husband, Terry Carter, is the director of operations.

“It’s funny how everything goes back full circle,” Duong-Carter said. “We were raised in restaurants, and we ended up developing our own career paths, and now we’re back into the restaurant business.”

The restaurant is named in honor of the Duongs’ grandparents, who made their first stop in Louisiana following the Vietnam War. When seafood tycoon Richard Gollott Sr. was looking for workers, he turned to the Vietnamese refugee population of New Orleans, transporting Duongs’ grandparents and many others to Biloxi, Mississippi, for work and a place to stay. For years, the Duongs’ grandparents traveled to and from Biloxi to see their family, who stayed behind in New Orleans.

“Food is part of our culture. This is how we show our love, and the great part is what brings us together is sitting down at the table,” Duong-Wilson said. “We love seeing people sit down at the table and actually eat together.”

By Grace Dickens

Reporter, Lake Travis/Westlake

Grace is the Lake Travis/Westlake reporter for education and city government. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2021 after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with degrees in journalism and geography.