Events — 23 June 2014
“Crawfish and Blues” Brings Abita & Tunes to West 3rd Common

Just as fans were letting out of the bar space at West 3rd Common, deflated by a last minute Portugal goal that evened up the score with the United States Men’s National Team in their World Cup matchup, other folks were filing in toward the bar’s spacious back room to partake in a celebration of traditional southern summertime staples. Dubbed “Crawfish and Blues,” the three hour event produced by Order Fire Hospitality Group would satiate guests with sights, sounds and smells authentically indicative of some good ole-fashioned Louisiana living. Backed by a three piece jazz and blues band, the live music only added to the relaxed atmosphere despite the crackling of slippery shells all around us.

With unlimited draught beers provided courtesy of Abita’s “Light Amber Lager,” our fittingly southern blue Solo cups were never empty during the course of the evening and the tasty lager drank brilliantly when paired with each served dish. A live crawfish greeted us tableside just as we grabbed our seats courtesy of another guest, excited to share the crawling crustacean with our table. Fortunately we were able to keep Carlos’ grabbing claws away from the helpings of fresh warm “Country Cornbread,” which had just enough jalapeno spice infused in each thick slice to provide a fiery kick bite after bite.

Next up was a creamy bowl of “Grandma’s Country Grits,” served with a Cajun butter. Each rich spoonful was decadently moist and had smooth consistency, despite being decorated with ample salt. The boil really came to life though as bucket after bucket of steaming seafood and the requisite essential ingredients were dumped on a newspaper covered table in the corner of the room. The guests immediately flocked to the heaping pile of smoke emanating from the table, where they flashed their camera phones and loaded plates for themselves. Colors of red, yellow and green decorated the table tops with “New Orleans Crawfish” mixed in with halves of “Lancaster County Corn on the Cob,” hunks of “Andouille Sausage” and bulbous “Russet Potatoes.”

Fortunately, we had directions on our table to pull and pluck at the tiny crawfish shells. Unfortunately, those mattered little as the diminutive red delicacies slipped out of our hands and onto our pants more than once. But the array of salty accoutrement was utterly delectable and despite returning for several trips to the all-you-can-eat serving table, there was plenty more to go around even after we had ceased chewing. With pours of Abita continuing to flow freely, we paused several times in appreciation for the Will Gorin Trio, who were now cranking out cover tunes from Stevie Wonder to Pharrell Williams to the delight of the gathered crowd. A sweet Bulleit Bourbon “Elderflower Sour” capped off the evening in style, putting us at ease after an evening of mouthwatering eats had left us entirely overstuffed. You would be hard pressed to find a more festive way to wind down the weekend than than the one that we enjoyed at West 3rd Common on Sunday night. Though it surely would have been nice had the US held on for a victory in the hours beforehand.

- Jane Van Arsdale

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