B.C. is an abbreviation that to most stands for Before Christ. I have always been self-involved and have always used it to stand for “Before Carina.” In fact, whenever I am with a guy that I am dating I am normally am forced to ask, “B.C?” To make sure he isn’t talking about another girl after he has already met me. I will blame my youth on being so self-involved. I have always assumed that only when I have kids will I be truly humbled, as I have never been a strong believer in g-d. So at some point in the future I have thought that B.C. would stand for Before Children. Life is a funny thing and B.C. has ended up taking on the abbreviation of something that I am a million times in awe of something that truly brings me to my knees. B.C. now refers to my favorite restaurant in the world, Boiling Crab. Everything about this place is brilliant and it has the richest story. It started in Texas with a Vietnamese-American husband and wife began serving Cajun food up in a town with only 2,000 people. Since that humble beginning in 2003 they now live in OC and have 5 location including my closest one in Alhambra and one only miles from where I was born in San Jose, CA. It is one of those amazing American stories that brings together love, different states, different cuisines, and creates something that is truly delicious.
I have been to Boiling Crab several times and every time the food is perfect and exactly what I expect it to be. If it was up to me I’d be going every week or so but alas my other UG 1/2 can’t eat shellfish and despite making it a New Years resolution every year I still can’t eat alone. Therefore, Boiling Crab is always a place that I have to wait to have either dates or friends to go with me. A month ago I was having lunch at C & S with Minty and her friend and I got the obligatory, “What’s your favorite restaurant?” question. I, of course, answered that it was B.C. Her friend had an upcoming birthday and was interested in trying it. I invited myself to the b-day dinner and we were joined by the climbing couple (CliminChiro and ClimbingDancer) that also share a B.C. love. B.C. always has a line and a strict rule that you can’t be seated unless everyone in the party is present. You can imagine how bad I felt being the last one to arrive, I may have been only 6 minutes late but when you walk in to this place and think about what you will soon be devouring it feels like a lifetime. I have been through most of the menu and now know exactly what to order. The beauty of this group is that they have also done the same search and we are all now on the exact same path. A little over a pound of shrimp a person whole sha-bang style, throw in some corn on the cob, and add sausage slices. If you are still hungry grab some fresh oysters and sweet potato fries. This group totally knew my drill and I was pleased to introduce them to the $3.00 apple/pear hard ciders that always complement the meal.
So what makes B.C. my favorite restaurant? Let me try to explain, in life I am a fairly lazy person. I like drive-thrus and being waited on and stomp my feet at establishments where I have to stand up to order and yet when it comes to eating my food I like to be involved. The more tactile the better. Crab and artichokes are probably my top two foods and I love picking at and eating it. Also, I am a food tearer (or terror) as I break apart pieces of any sandwich, burger, or pizza I eat and I constantly squish all my fries in search for a limp one (What can I say..I like my fries like I like my men. Or as VeronicainLA told me last night there is some Freudian thing about me liking limp fries) Anyway, this restaurant gives you no utensils, just a roll of paper towels, and a bib. They put the perfectly seasoned bag in front of you and you get to go to town. The whole sha-bang brings together the cajun, lemon pepper, and garlic butter seasonings all in to one and as you rip off your shrimps exterior you re-dip and enjoy. I have had all the shellfish at B.C. from crab to crawfish (or as I like to call it, lobster for poor and small people) but the work to reward ratio of the shrimp can simply not be matched. On this night we, 5 people, had 6lbs of shrimp, oysters, crab for the birthday girl and a lot of fun.
There are certain things that I know about B.C. First, you never wear cute clothes and always accept the bib. Two, at no point in the eating process should you touch your eyes or any sensitive area (read: wash hands before going to the bathroom). Three, the night after you go to Boiling Crab you will have a hard time sleeping because you won’t be able to stop sniffing your hands which smell like heaven and you will wake up dying of thirst from all the salt and not enough water. As much as I consider myself an expert, the other night I learned a great tip from those that are also part of the B.C. religion. I always end up going through a roll of paper towels but this time I was told by my table mates to not even try to clean off your hands till the end and to ask for lemon slices to squeeze on your hands before washing them. Great advice! Anyway, now you know about my favorite restaurant. I have probably already told you about this in person or on the blog but this is my first time with photographic evidence since I always dig in as soon as the food arrives and don’t let my filthy hands touch an expensive camera. Let me know if you’d like to try B.C. and I will be happy to be your religious teacher and come along for the ride. Also how could you not love a restaurant that has this as their dream:
The Boiling Crab
Their dream – that The Boiling Crab have the “best tail in town” and be the biggest ass-pinching, head sucking venue, this side of Mississippi – has become a reality
742 W Valley Boulevard
Alhambra, CA 91803