“Asian-Cajun fusion’s beginnings date back to New Orleans in the early 2000s when Vietnamese immigrants recognized they shared many of the same French Colonial culinary roots as Cajun Louisianans.”
We remember when the only cool thing you could get in the American Legion Shopping Center were new kicks at Expressions.
Thankfully, things are looking up in that neck of Roslindale, and not just in the not-so-good gentrification way. The opening of the Crab Shack in the plaza there signals the kind of realistic neighborhood improvement that is especially needed in the direction of Rozzie and Hyde Park, where frankly there aren’t nearly enough family restaurants.
Interestingly, Crab Shack, which specializes in “Asian-Cajun Fusion—freshly boiled and steamed seafood tossed in a variety of sauces and shared, communally”—is a multi-state chain, with other locations in Georgia, Florida, and Texas. In Boston, though, they’re shooting for neighborhood appeal.
“With the accessibility of the best and freshest seafood in Boston, we knew our fourth location should be here. This is a very delicious way to eat and a very, very good time,” owner Jason Chen said in a media statement. “It’s amazingly family-friendly,” says General Manager Maggie Li, formerly longtime manager at Shun’s Kitchen in Boston’s South End. “Both kids—and moms and dads—love eating with their hands.”
More deets from the Crab Shack crew below …
Diners can choose between eight combination meals of crab (Dungeness, Blue, Rock crab, Snow crab, and King Crab), lobster, shrimp, mussels, clams, Louisiana crawfish, potatoes, eggs, Chinese sausage, and corn on the cob, boiled in a savory broth and then tossed in your choice of flavorful sauces (from butter and garlic to spicy Cajun), served as fiery hot—or as mild—as you prefer.
There’s also a lengthy list of fried fresh seafood platters (whiting, tilapia, catfish, shrimp, and oysters) and Southern-style appetizers like hush puppies and fried popcorn shrimp. Everything is available a la carte, as well as for pickup and home delivery (DoorDash, GrubHub, UberEats). The Crab Shack has a large bar and offers beer, wine, and spirits. The space also lends itself to larger parties and groups (see the photo at the bottom of the press release).
Cajun-Asian is one of the country’s fastest-growing restaurant concepts as it’s not only a meal out with friends or family, but very fun and entertaining. Its beginnings date back to New Orleans in the early 2000s when Vietnamese immigrants recognized they shared many of the same French Colonial culinary roots as Cajun Louisianans. The famed NOLA crab boil reminded them of the beer-fueled nhau (street dining parties) they enjoyed back in Vietnam. What developed was a fusion of the two (hooray American melting pot!) that was immediately popular.
After Hurricane Katrina, the trend migrated along the Gulf Coast to Houston, TX where foodies embraced Cajun-Asian Fusion as a tasty reason to dig into a mountain of freshly cooked local seafood with friends and family. Next stop: California, after which Asian-Cajun quickly went national.
With its wood-paneled walls and fishing net-draped high ceilings, The Crab Shack adopts a jaunty nautical look. Spacious booths and moveable tables are perfect for big parties, looking to share a ton of food. Or grab a seat at the long bar that leads to the kitchen, for a libation after work or if you’re dining solo or a deux.