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Star Ingredient of the Season: Crab

As seafood continues to populate restaurant menus this summer, we explore crab as the week's star ingredient of the season. These 10-legged, sideways walking crustaceans have been roaming the earth's seas for thousands of years, and no doubt have a mysterious, star quality about them in and out of the water. Like a lot of seafood, crab is a low-calorie protein rich in B vitamins and minerals. Though often served with butter, crab can easily be enjoyed guilt-free in ceviches, tacos or stuffed in avocados and peppers with just a squeeze of lime and added herbs. The flavor of the meat itself is so mild and the texture so tender, even the most nervous seafood eaters tend to enjoy it.

Available to us in Texas year-round, the varieties of crab found in the Gulf are typically at their peak during the warm summer months. From steakhouses to seafood spots, restaurants in Houston are featuring crab in a plethora of ways, each more delicious than the last.

Image: Megha Tejpal

In a Starring Role at: B&B Butchers & Restaurant

Seafood make a great precursors to your filet or New York strip at a good steakhouse, whether it's calamari, lobster bisque or a platter of oysters. In my experience, you can find some of the best crab cakes at steakhouses, so it was no surprise that the jumbo lump crab cake on the appetizer menu at brand new boutique steakhouse B&B Butchers blew me away.

B&B Butchers & Restaurant
1814 Washington Ave.
713-862-1814
bbbutchers.com

As Washington Avenue slowly makes a comeback with a new crop of diverse eateries, B&B Butchers currently tops the list of newcomers with its sophisticated style and stunning rooftop terrace. The restaurant houses its own butcher shop located on the first level (with its own separate entrance), while the restaurant's dining room stretches over two floors. Making its name with select cuts like Texas-bred Wagyu beef from the Gearhart Ranch in West Texas, Japanese Kobe and in-house dry-aged USDA Prime beef—all of it hand-cut daily in the butcher shop—B&B is quality all the way. At dinner, guests can enjoy everything from Wagyu carpaccio to fresh seafood classics like that jumbo lump crab cake, while the lunch menu is more casual offering heavy chopped salads, meat filled pastas, and hamburgers.

Visually striking on the plate, the hearty jumbo lump cake is served fried on a bed of whole grain mustard cream sauce. This particular crab cake wins for its dynamic presentation, with fragrant greens and fresh herbs inviting diners to enjoy the flavors of the season and celebrate summer. The succulent meat of the crab melts in your mouth while the golden crust and mixed greens offer an added texture to each bite.

B&B Butchers offers no shortage of other crab heavy dishes. On my visit, I took advantage of an off the menu special: the crab-stuffed trout that was equally delicious, and just as colorful in bright shades of red, green and yellow. The B&B macaroni and cheese receives an honorable mention as an outstanding side, flavored with truffle oil and bathed in a dangerously creamy sauce.

While this boutique steakhouse carves out a name for itself on Washington Avenue as the fancy new steakhouse to beat, I emplore you to add a seafood selection to your order; you won't find a better season for it!

 

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