“I just always enjoyed cooking and boiling crawfish, and I come from a Cajun background, and all of my family is Cajun,” he said. “I got tired of the corporate world. It just kept getting more and more corporate, and I was looking for something different.”
Aucoin said that while Comal Crawfish Company’s namesake is its specialty, people will drive long distances for other menu items as well, including the boiled shrimp.
“I would say our most popular dishes outside of the boiled seafood are our shrimp tacos and our etouffee,” Aucoin said of the establishment’s Cajun stew.
For the last year, Aucoin said Comal Crawfish Company has been struggling because of the restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though the restaurant is popular, businesses can typically expect to take three to five years to turn a profit, he said.
“Last year was my fifth year,” he said. “It should have been the year we finally saw a profit, and everything was shaping up for it to be that year ... and then COVID[-19] hit and we went the other direction.”
Still, Comal Crawfish Company is doing ample takeout business according to Aucoin, and he remains optimistic that as more people get vaccinated and the overall numbers continue to show decline, in-store business will pick up again.
In-store business does appear to be growing in demand. On a recent Wendnesday afternoon in March about 20 minutes before the restaurant opened at 5 p.m., numerous customers were waiting in the parking lot to dine in. About another half hour after opening, the establishment was already half full.
Aucoin doesn’t want to give away his trade secret with regard to the restaurant’s crawfish preparation, but he said when a customer comes to Comal Crawfish Company, they can expect a better product than 95% of what is out there.
“I cook my crawfish in a different way than most people cook them in a restaurant,” he said. “Most people haven’t figured out how to mass produce them and do it the correct way.”
Explainer: Comal Crawfish Company has many popular dishes. Three of them are shown below:
1: Crawfish and Shrimp combo platter: Comes with crawfish, boiled shrimp, potatoes and sausage; sold at market price
2: Shrimp tacos: Blackened shrimp served over a creamy avocado slaw and topped with corn salsa and a house made Baja sauce; $9.99
3: Boudin stuffed grilled cheese: Cajun smoked boudin stuffed in American cheese and toasted; $8.99
Comal Crawfish Company
311 FM 306, Ste. 1B, New Braunfels
Hours: Sun. noon-9 p.m.; Tue.-Thu. 5-9 p.m.; Fri. 5-10 p.m.; Sat. noon-10 p.m.