As Texas enters into peak crawfish season, which typically begins in early March, a longtime Jones Road seafood staple is bringing new flavors to the menu.
There are several places to pick up a couple pounds of crawfish in Cy-Fair, but Howie Tran, owner of Catch of the Day Seafood, said his distinct flavors have customers filling up his restaurant.
"We have the original Cajun flavor, which most people will like, but we have some [flavors] for people who are more adventurous too," Tran said.
The newest flavor offered this year, Kapow crawfish, is made using a secret recipe, Tran said.
"It was something my sister came up with at home," he said. "I finally convinced her to let me use it at the restaurant. The people who like it really love it."
Tran, who took over the restaurant in 2008, has gradually added to the menu over time. Fried shrimp, oysters, catfish and tilapia are still popular with customers, but Tran also offers grilled items, including salmon and mahimahi, as well as a boiled shrimp platter with corn and a baked potato ($13.99).
Crawfish season is the busiest time of year, but Tran said he has regulars who come in year-round, many of whom he knows on a first-name basis. As the head cook at Catch of the Day, he spends a lot of time at the restaurant as his reputation is important to him.
"I haven't had a day off in five weeks," Tran said. "It's hard work, but I have to make sure everything is right. My customers expect that freshness."
Dishes are seasoned with an in-house cornmeal butter. Crawfish are inspected to ensure no undersized or overly mushy mudbugs enter the batch, Tran said. Frozen food is nowhere to be found.
"People might pass by at first, but once they come in, I see a lot of them come back again," Tran said.
Howie Tran, owner of Catch of the Day Seafood, said one of his objectives is to expand the restaurant's menu to include a modest selection for diners who want something besides seafood. The chicken wings menu was expanded in January to include new flavors such as Buffalo, lemon pepper and garlic Parmesan. Tran also offers several chicken dishes, including chicken po'boys ($6.99) and chicken fried rice ($7.99).
Lunch specials: Mon.–Fri. 11 a.m.–3 p.m.
Fish po'boy or Jumbo shrimp po'boy ($5.99)
One filet fish and three shrimp ($6.49)
One filet fish and six shrimp ($7.49)
Happy Hour: Mon.–Fri. 3–7 p.m.
Specials on beer ($2 each), chicken wings (six wings for $4), sliders ($5), garlic spicy boiled shrimp (12 shrimp for $8) and snow crab ($10 per pound)
- Crawfish—available in original Cajun, garlic butter or Kapow at varying levels of spice ($6.99 per pound or market price)
- Combo platter—choice of fish, three shrimp and three oysters, served with two sides ($9.79)
- Fresh oysters—can be purchased raw ($5.99 for six oysters) or fried with choice of two sides ($7.99 for six oysters)
- Grilled MahiMahi—served on a bed of fried rice with salad ($11.99)
- Shrimp Po'boy—made with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise and jumbo shrimp ($6.99), add oysters ($9.49)