It's been three weeks ! During those three weeks, I have moved to Harlem (expect new neighborhood eats!), built a fair amount of IKEA furniture, and visited The Boil three times.
I love The Boil. I am obsessed with The Boil. All I want to do is:
1. Go to The Boil.
2. Open the front door.
3. Breathe in all of that thick, spicy, buttery air.
4. Plant my face in a combo bag and eat my way out.
With all of the restaurants that New York has to offer, sometimes it is easy to forget what New York doesn't have, and that was a solid Cajun seafood spot...until now.
Here's the rundown of how it works:
1. Get bibbed.
2. Enjoy life wearing a bib.
3. Order starters (if you want). There's lots to pick from including BBQ shrimp, fried catfish, lobster spring rolls and more.
We tried the crab vermicelli salad. More like coleslaw with lump crab and no vermicelli. Whatever it is, it's actually quite fresh and tasty.
Not pictured, but things I've tried on subsequent visits include: oyster sliders (three to an order, quite large, and a good, solid appetizer) and lobster spring rolls (two to an order, and not quite worth $18).
4. Order seafood combo bags for a little bit more bang for your buck. Types of seafood include king crab legs, dungeness crab, lobster, shrimp, clams, and crawfish. I like the crawfish + shrimp combo as a staple. The shrimp are jumbo and quite awesome. I would also recommend the lobster - perfectly cooked and succulent. I cannot wait to try the crab next!
You also pick the sauce that your seafood is cooked in and the level of spice. The signature is "The Boil," and it is truly a delectable marvel. Loads of minced fresh garlic, and if you get it spicy, it's borderline nose-drippy, but completely great.
These pictures do no justice, but will give you the gist of the gloriousness that will come in a clear plastic bag.
Then it's time to get those lovely hands dirty and start shuckinnnnnn'. Helpful "how to peel crawfish" placards are available for newbies.
5. Order extra sides. I'd recommend more sausage, if anything, because that andouille sausage sopped up in that sauce is gaddamn ridiculous.
Cajun fries were meh - a bit sad looking.
Bread were basically little slider rolls, toasted up and garlic buttered. Pretty tasty, but a good French loaf would do better to soak up all the juices (and you will want to soak it up, or at least stick a straw in it to drink).
Though combo bags (bags with over 2 lbs) come with one corn, one potato and some sausage, depending on your love for those sides, it's advisable to order more.
These do taste great by themselves, but they taste even better if you ask the waitress to have them add the sides to your seafood bag. The waitress will act confused, but she will do it, and you will love yourself and her later for it.
6. Just enjoy life. There's nothing more satisfying than being surrounded by friends in the silence of shared happiness and shucked seafood.
7. Go home and plan your next visit.
The Boil is one of my favorite meals in the city, but unfortunately it is experiencing some New York-stype popularity pains. You gotta get there at 5p (when they open) or come around 11p (they are open to 2a), or just be prepared to wait multiple hours. Another option is to somehow gather your 14 best buds because that's the minimum amount for a reservation now. Eep!
But, it's completely worth it.
God, I can't wait to go again.
Han's Nonsensical Rating: I've gone to The Boil three times in three weeks, and I still cannot get enough. I want to breathe it. I want to bathe in it. I want to stick it in my arm. It's not healthy. It's ruining my life. I love it.
New York, NY