Most of my friends have spent a lot of time in the USA over the years (I spent four years in Virginia and Washington DC) and have a deep appreciation for most things American, so when Southerner Bea, from the great Bea’s of Bloomsbury, announced in her newsletter that she was going to start up some traditional crawfish boils at her Maltby Street Diner over the summer, we jumped at it. Organising the ladies can be a bit like herding cats, but we managed to find a date that four of us could make, booked ahead and trotted down to Maltby Street last week. There we found Canadian Jen and her lovely friend from Louisiana who confirmed to us that this was an experience almost just like home and just as delicious. Win.
Put it this way, I was still sporting a food baby two days later and thank god for the sexy bibs provided to prevent the messy fun ruining our clothes.
Crikey, the food was awesome. Oh so awesome. Think garlic bread with the perfect amount of butter (lots of it), crawfish boiled to perfection, sauces to match them that were so moreish, blinkin delicious sausages (does anyone know where they were from and what they were? They were amazing!), spicy corn, plenty of potatoes, served with strawberry lemonade or margaritas and finished off with ice lollies (popsicles or ice-blocks, for the non-Brits among us).
It was all you can eat. I lost count of how many of the scrumptious pests I ate but it was a lot. I had to empty my plate twice with the shells. Most of us were full after an hour but Sarah kept going and going and going thanks to her fast (she’s trying out the five and two diet, so far swearing by it). She was like an Energizer Bunny and could have kept going all night – I felt a strong sense of admiration for her ability to fit it all in.
Don’t judge us for eating loads of these crawfish; through boil ups like Bea’s, we’re actually doing the UK’s native breed of crawfish a favour. Bea sources her crawfish from Crayaway, a company who hunts down the American invaders who have rapidly killed off the native UK White Clawed Crayfish thanks to a variety of reasons, but mostly because they love the UK’s climate and mate like bunnies and spread a crawfish disease that they’re immune to but the Brits aren’t. There should be more events like this to help get rid of these bad boys – UK, I encourage you to go and have plenty of crawfish boils, transform your fabulous street parties!
Fantastic music was played and the night ended almost too quickly. I had to go home and wash my hair around 10pm but we could have stayed all night and kept eating, especially the home-made ice lollies (sorry, for some reason I can’t help but cringe at that term and desperately want to write popsicle) which came out in a range of flavours, my favourites being the fresh strawberry and the key lime.
There are a few more dates left for Bea’s Summer Crawfish Boil ranging from this Thursday 23 August to Friday 14 September. I very highly recommend you book a place at one of them. It costs £24 for all you can eat (and by that, they mean a LOT), the delicious lemonade was £2 and I don’t think the margaritas cost much more than that. It’s a great night out and one you shouldn’t miss.