There is a town in California located in the Delta region between San Francisco and Sacramento that used to be famous for its crayfish, or as some call them, crawdads, crawfish, or even mudbugs.
Recently we took a trip to this town to visit its most well-known restaurant for crayfish. This establishment served crayfish in buckets with beer and other accoutrements. But upon arriving, we found it closed and deserted, with the atmosphere of a ghost town permeating the entire street. The only thing missing was tumbleweeds.
Having made this trek, we decided to search out any establishment nearby that might have the legendary crayfish. We fortunately found one, and ventured inside. The hostess was friendly, and the ambience, although not fancy or trendy, was clean and comfortable. The menu promised a crayfish melt. That is what we ordered, with great anticipation.
What arrived was beyond expectations. It was beyond words. What lie between the slices was the color and texture of crispy hash browns. There was little indication it was what some call a delicacy. It was lifeless. It was utterly devoid of any appeal. The crayfish on the sandwich was basically mush, topped with a slice of greasy cheese. The bread was toasted, and there was no condiment of any sort. It was in sum, a horror story.
When we asked where the crayfish came from locally, we were told they were from China. Considering this town was known for its local crayfish, importing them from China was like going to Napa Valley and only ordering wine from Antarctica.
When we took our first bites, the flavor of soggy cardboard was overwhelming. After a few more experimental chews, the entire venture was abandoned. This was in fact, the absolute worst sandwich we have had in years. It was also probably the worst crayfish melt in history.
Fortunately for those involved in this heinous use of shellfish, our goal is not to embarrass the restaurant. It is just to share with you how utterly horrible a Chef can make comfort food taste.
If you wander into a small California town and see crayfish melt on the menu, and the crayfish is not locally sourced, we can only suggest that you avoid it.