Come out of your shell

Story by Johnny Sain

Photo by Liz Chrisman

Front Street Grill

(479) 229-4458 | 115 South Front Street, Dardanelle

I didn’t grow up eating crawdads. Instead, we often used them as bait for what we ate. Somewhere out there, a Cajun is reading this and shaking their head at the utter tragedy… so many wasted mudbugs. After my first crawdad eating experience, decades ago, I agreed with that Cajun.

The rich, delightfully earthy flavor of crawfish perfectly seasoned with spice and salt made me realize that I should have been taking cues from the raccoons a long time ago. Why would you ever waste such a delectable little hunk of meat as fish bait?

Boiled crawdads are relatively tough to find around these parts unless you know someone who runs down to bayou country every now and then and invites you over for a sit, shuck, and sip. But we found a place right on the river that does them right and does them every Thursday.

Front Street Grill in Dardanelle is that place.

Besides the crawdads, Front Street also offers all kinds of seafood along with Cajun and Creole specialities like jambalaya and gumbo. Then you’ve got dinners and sandwiches from portobello chicken to alligator tail po’ boys with steaks aged to perfection (for 40 days) as the newest menu items.

Order a platter of crawdads and fixin’s. Pinch a tail and suck a head. Ça c’est bon!