Dinner time and you feel like going out to eat. Burgers are out. You’re looking for something different, but not “too different” or exotic, and want to break away from the all-too-common Italian, Chinese, and Mexican food restaurants in the area.
In Tracy, on the main drag of 11th Street, Asian-Cajun Crawfish offers that different “seafood” meal that will be remembered for days on end.
Owner Jeremy Magtoto, with 20 years of restaurant experience, offers Cajun seafood with Asian fusion influences from home recipes for a dining experience like no other place in the San Joaquin Valley.
Known for their signature Louisiana Seafood Boils, Asian-Cajun Crawfish presents a heaping pile of steaming seafood, corn on the cob, sausages, potatoes, all so decadently coated in slick butter and fresh garlic with a choice of sauces and rubs.
The seafood boils are offered in one-pound servings of either crawfish, head-on or head-off shrimp, snow crab, king crab, and clams or mussels.
For those who can’t decide, I personally recommend the “Lil Bit of Each” or the two-pound “Lot’a Bit of Each” that includes clams, mussels, head-off shrimp, king crab and, of course, crawfish.
Never before had I imagined these tiny crustaceans could hold such depth of flavor inside the shell – caused by the fragrant boil. The thing about the crawfish tails is they’re fun to eat, and with your effort, you get a smidgen of really tasty meat per critter.
My personal favorite sauce to accompany the boil is the “Fat n Happy” seasoning with the dry rub finished off with garlic butter for a nice kick.
Inspired by similar Asian-Cajun establishments in the Bay Area, Magtoto said he wanted to create a place that is family friendly and casual – a place where it’s all right to make a bit of a mess.
Most items on the menu can be eaten with your hands and is highly encouraged, however, you may want to take advantage of the plastic bibs if you want to wear your shirt again.
Asian-Cajun Crawfish has custom picnic tables covered in butcher paper and rolls of paper towels on each table allowing the staff the convenience of when you are all done to wrap it all up and throw it out.
“We keep the restaurant small so the staff can interact with the tables,” said Magtoto who opened up his establishment two years ago with financial assistance from the Gimenes family of Tracy. “It’s more welcoming and comfortable than a corporate restaurant.”
In addition to the boils, Magtoto has other selections on the menu including a crawfish etouffe (stew) over steamed rice and New Orleans style shrimp.
“Those who aren’t into seafood will come in for the fried pork chops,” Magtoto boasts. “In that dish there are two sizable bone-in center cuts, floured and fried, finished off with the Cajun mild sauce.”
With whatever combo you wind up getting at Asian-Cajun Crawfish, you’ll come away from a meal here well stuffed, properly messy, and looking forward to a return visit.IF YOU'RE GOING
95 W. 11th St. #103, Tracy
Tuesday — Thursday
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. for dinner
Friday — Saturday
11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
11 a.m. to 8 p.m.