Crawdad's on the River

By: The Editors

A couple weeks ago, the Girls on the Grid editors got off the grid for an evening to check out the newly re-vamped Crawdad’s Cantina on the River (Web, Facebook). We met in Old Sacramento and a quick boat ride later, we were at Crawdad’s. (Yes, we took the 1% route, but a cab/uber/lyft or short drive will suffice).

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To be honest, we can’t compare the new Crawdad’s to the “old” Crawdads because once Midtown started growing, we never felt the need to leave the Grid. But what a mistake that was! We almost forgot that we have this beautiful thing called a River Front and it is not something you can find on P street. So venture out and make your first stop Crawdad’s on the River!

The Vibe: The new space is very open and very tasteful. It still has that nautical feel to it but if you took it off the river, it could stand alone in terms of design and decor. If you sit outside on the patio, which we recommend, you’re dining right next to docked boats, many of which contain swims suit clad passengers sunning themselves.  If all the outdoor seating is taken the indoor area is the next best thing as the windows open almost completely up.  Basically there isn’t a bad seat in the house.

Price Range: Mid level, affordable.  Averages to about $25-$30 per person, plus the cost of beverages.  Their menu is posted online with prices, if you want to get a feel for it.  They have very reasonable small plates and their beer/wine/cocktail menu has some tasty libations that are on point with any downtown establishment.

What to Wear or Not Wear: People were dressed very casually in their boat/river attire but it’s also perfectly acceptable to dress up a little.  This means you you can wear a bikini top and pull your boat right up to the dock or you can throw on some wedges and a sun dress for an evening out.  But if you have a hard time walking on a dock with heels like we do, no one is judging your flip-flops.

What to Order: Luckily our boat driver had a few must try suggestions:

  • The Crawdads!  Yup, you heard us right, a big ole’ bucket of Crawdad’s (there is a method to the consumption so we recommend an experienced teacher or check out a tutorial here!).  The bucket comes with corn and sausage slices in the bottom and can feed a few so be prepared.
  • The Sleeping Ninja, Crawdad’s most popular appetizer – fresh ahi tuna, lightly breaded with a specialty sauce. So. Totally. Good.
  • Fresh heirloom tomatoes with mozzerella – Simple but delicious (not a regular menu item)
  • Jumbalaya!  It is spicy and the portion is big.  You might consider splitting an appetizer and an entree with a side to split.

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The mastermind in the kitchen: Adam Pechal – chef (formerly of Tuli Bistro). Adam Pechal has outdone himself again, we did not have one complaint with everything we tasted, and one of us doesn’t regularly eat seafood. The selections were all divine and the presentation was beautiful without skimping on the portions.

Food For Thought:

  • The Burger is divine.  So no worries if you aren’t into seafood!
  • They offer brunch!  If you go out every Sunday like some of us and have recycled the best the grid has to offer more times than you can count, check these guys out!
  • They have live music right on the river.  Even if it is a hot Sacramento Summer night – it is cooler on the river than it is in Midtown.
  • Crawdads are seasonal and not always on the menu.  Call ahead if you have a craving.
  • Boat Service is an option!  If you are trying to think of something fun for a ladies night, consider a boat ride on the river with fabulous food and a concert to party into the night.  It is close to home but so very far away in feel.

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