Man Food: Digging Into Mudbugs at Brother's Crawfish
The Dorchester storefront is unassuming, but its crustaceans pack a flavorful punch.
Down in Louisiana, you’ll find crawfish, along with all things gumbo, oyster and po’boy-related, on too many restaurant menus to count. Us Yankees may borrow from other regions of the country and the world with delicious regularity, but few and far between dabble in the nuances of Creole cuisine—and you’ll have to do your research if you want to find some mudbugs in these parts. Brother’s in particular represents an Asian-Cajun fusion that can be found in Louisiana, and crawfish here share menu space with dishes like Teriyaki shrimp and Spam and eggs with rice.
The storefront may not be the prettiest looking spot in Dorchester, but it hardly matters because the food is quite wonderful. Crawfish are one of those things that the squeamish may want to avoid—there’s no elegant way to enjoy these crustaceans, and if you want to truly engulf the meal, you’re going to have to get a little dirty.
The crawfish at Brother’s come by the pound ($9.95), which is probably a good starting place for most. If you order “The Twister,” you’ll receive a mix of all three of their flavors (“Asian Fusion,” “Oriental Express,” and “Cajun Calm”) in an oversized bowl. You don’t really know what you’re going to end up with until you first crack each one of them open, but it doesn’t matter much because all three varieties complement one another beautifully. You basically receive a bounty of freshly boiled crawfish, covered in a mélange of spices to coat your tongue (and in this case, beard) that range from from classic Cajun flavors with hints of cayenne, lemon and salt to a more Asian influence of pungent garlic and scallions.
The crawfish are more plump than I anticipated, and while there isn’t a ton of meat on them, it’s substantial enough to get your fill in one pound. The only way for crawfish success is to roll up your sleeves, twist them open with your hands, pluck out the sweet tail meat, and slurp out the pungent shellfish essence from the head.
A big bowl of crawfish with a separate container for the remains may not be the most appealing or classy way to enjoy a meal, but it’s a true culinary delight. To make it more of a complete meal, you can add corn on the cob and/or boiled potatoes to round it all out (a mere $0.50 a pop), making it more of a traditional Crawfish Boil. On my visit I never received the potatoes and corn that I ordered, and that’s the way it is here. Stay for the crawfish to experience something pretty unique to our neck of the woods, but don’t expect to be pampered—luckily, though, the food is more than gratifying enough.
272 Adams St., Dorchester, 617-265-1100, brotherscrawfish.com