Last night, it seemed as if The Federal, that trendy Biscayne strip-mall eatery, was feeding an actual army. Crawdaddy Tuesday may just be the worst thing that's ever happened to crawfish.
The specials, crawfish 'n' grits ($12), crawfish fritters ($8), and the traditional crawfish boil ($20 per pound), were flying out of the kitchen and both the inside and outside dining areas were at full capacity. The promotion ran from 6 to 10 p.m., but the crawfish boil sold out by 8 p.m.
Seasoned creole style and served with potatoes, chunks of corn on the cob, slices of Andouille sausage, and onions, the crawfish boil seemed to be the most popular girl at the dance; patrons ordered pound after pound of the traditional dish.
The crawfish boil was good, and we really dug the fiery sausage, but we felt that the crawfish 'n' grits, made with creamy Ansom Mills grits, best showed off the toques' skill. Creamy and cheesy grits with chunks of crawfish meat, every bite was a revelation. We're hard pressed to find many dishes we like better, anywhere. The saffron-scented crawfish fritters were nice and crispy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside.
Our server Barbara was knowledgeable about both food and beverage and happy to make suggestions as far as pairings go, which worked well with the "Bottomless Bubbles & Beer" promotion. At $20 a head, patrons were able to choose from several beers and also a sparkling wine. Ice buckets and frosty glasses dominated tabletops.
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From the looks of last night's full house, it seems that most Miamians are familiar with eating crawfish, but if you aren't, don't worry. Here's a video that makes it look easy:
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