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Crawfish, catfish and crab, oh my! Fun new seafood restaurant opens in Fresno

crabCrab, anyone? A Cajun and Creole seafood restaurant has opened in northeast Fresno. The Crackin’ Claw has some fun owners, but let’s talk about the food first.

The restaurant serves whole Dungeness crab and whole lobster, along with crawfish, shrimp and mussels that can be prepared two ways: The basic boiled-with-spices Cajun way, or the Creole way which involves a creamy white sauce called a roux.

There’s also fried catfish nuggets — and chicken wings and tenders for the seafood averse — along with grilled fish, gumbo and jambalaya.

You can eat with your hands here and it’s not uncommon to dump the food out onto the paper-covered table. There’s even a couple of sinks in the dining room if you need to wash up.

One dish that’s not on the menu that you can still order? The “big bag combo.” It actually comes in a giant bowl because it doesn’t fit in a bag. That big ol’ pile of food at right is it: crab legs, crab, mussels, shrimp, corn on the cob and potatoes.

The restaurant is next to Vons at First Street and Nees Avenue and is open from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily. It doesn’t have a website yet, but if you need to reach the restaurant, call (559) 438-0124. The menu is posted below. Click on it to make it bigger.

Hopefully you have as much with the staff there as I did. They’re an interesting bunch. One owner, Vicki Lugue, is a local real estate agent who also acts in commercials and has done some modeling. She sings on Saturday nights on the restaurant’s little stage.

The other owner is Efren Evangelista, a former architect who is into martial arts and runs the Angry Asian restaurant — once called the Manila Grill — next door. The chef, Roy Mendoza, is a young guy from the Philippines who was trained in Italy.

Here’s some more photos from my visit. Below is co-owner Vicki Lugue.

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Sinks for washing up after eating with your hands:

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CracklinClawMenu

 

 

Responses to "Crawfish, catfish and crab, oh my! Fun new seafood restaurant opens in Fresno"

Richard says:

When did First and Nees become Northwest Fresno? North Fresno, yes. West Fresno, not too sure about that.

Bethany Clough says:

Richard, my bad, you are correct. It’s been corrected to northeast Fresno. Thank you.

Richard says:

No problem. I was getting a little worried I know too many Clovisans who don’t venture past the 41…Their loss though.

Paul says:

Hate to start out with a negative….but went to the restauarant two weeks after it opened. Can’t tell you how the food was, because the service was so bad, we walked out. We were there for fifteen minutes and didn’t even get handed a menu in that time. Funny thing was, there was one other couple in the restaurant at the time, and after they saw us leave, they left as well (at least they had menus).

A new restaurant should not open up until they are fully ready to and have a trained staff!!! Too bad….I was really looking forward to trying it out.
Perhaps I will give it a second chance in several months when hopefully they are ready at that time. A restaurant will face certain death if the service is bad. Hope they can get their act together!

Sonny Rich says:

If it ain’t as good as Joes i ain’t goin…Where do they get the crawfish?

Sonny Rich says:

Shoulda called it ~The Shell Shack~It’s a crack up to eat here…

The Real Dave says:

awesome idea, finally a cool place in fresno (serving seafood)

theres also a show with a restaurant like this (food on paper) on diners drive ins and dives

Gil Vasquez says:

Awesome! There hasn’t been a Cajun restaurant in Fresno since Sweet Georgia Brown’s on Blackstone & Sierra in the mid 80′s…..

JJJ says:

I guess not technically Fresno, but theres one on Fowler and Herndon.

Jeaux says:

Hmmmm…
“A creamy white sauce called a roux”? Really?
Sounds more like an Alfredo sauce or a chowder base.
Hopefully the Italian trained Filipino chef spent some time in Acadiana.

The ‘Cajun’ restaurant at Fowler and Herndon is a mildly remodeled “Aroy Thai”, same owners, same wait staff, same Thai food still available. Maybe another Filipino chef/owner even.
Throw some Tabasco on the sinigang and call it jambalaya!
Maybe that’s “Cajun” enough to succeed in Fresno.

I wish them success…………..Jeaux

Blanca Roqueta says:

Husband & I stopped in yesterday and we loved it!! Food was delicious, price was reasonable,atmosphere was fun,the live music was amazing! The owner was very connected to her customers going to each table and asking if we we’re enjoying our food and overall experience. She even went up to sing a few songs..everything from 80′s music to top 40..was very impressed they even sang a few of my favorite Spanish songs. I am glad Fresno has such a fabulous fun restaurant for all to enjoy. We loved it,and can’t wait to go back! :)

La Sweeney says:

I have ate at this place. I feel sorry for the people who go there n not much about Cajun food. I know it very well. I love cooking n I cook very well too. I love food. I can eat something n neme out the ingredients that t in it.. I was very excited to eat there. Decided to order just about everything in the menu. Boy, oh boy was I beyond disappointed. I knew what was fresh n what was previously frozen. The only thing that was fresh was the sandwich which r called poboys. But that didn’t even have any Cajun taste to it. Crawfish boil should only be from live crawfish.. Their crawfish was not on previously frozen, but frozen a long time ago! I mentioned this to the owner when he came to greet us when we were just about leaving. He looked very embarrassed n apologized. He also said it was not in season. Trust me, I also know when it’s in season too. I hate to say this part, but this place is a very big rip off. I hope that anyone who goes eat there will know this is not real creole or Cajun good. Oh n roux is nothing like Alfredo sauce. It’s an ingredient that the Cajuns use. It’s made of slow cooked oil n cooking flour. The base for Cajun stews n gumbo soups.

La Sweeney says:

*n not know much about Cajun food.

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