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Hot N Juicy Crawfish (HNJ) is a restaurant that "P" and I discovered through the Travel Channel show "Man v. Food". We thought it would be a good idea to have dinner at HNJ. How wrong we were, how sadly wrong we were.
What I ate:
1. One pound of Hot N Juicy Special Seasoning, Medium Spice Level Crawfish (market price of 9.99 USD). Boy, this crawfish was S-P-I-C-Y! I got the medium spice level instead of spicy because our server told me that HNJ's spice level tended to be very spicy anyway. But I was unprepared for just how spicy the crawfish could be. I would have switched to mild if I could. In spite of the spiciness, I thought the crawfish seasoning was delicious. It was redolent of garlic and lemongrass - so very yummy. Unfortunately for "P" and I, the crawfish were tiny and there was very little meat in the shell. Our server gave us an explanation: it was the start of crawfish season. BTW, I loved sucking on the heads, too.
2. Bowl of steamed rice (2 USD). I think this was the perfect side - compulsory really - because rice takes on any flavor you add to it - in this case, the crawfish seasoning - and extends it extremely well.
3. Soft Shell Crab Basket (10.95 USD): Deep fried battered soft shell crab and Cajun fries. I thought the soft shell crab was perfectly made - lightly battered and cooked just enough. The Cajun fries were outstanding.
"P" had one pound of the Louisiana Style Seasoning, Extra Spicy Spice Level Crawfish for his main course (market price of 9.99 USD). I tasted one of them after my body was already wracked with suffering from eating my order and the spiciness didn't take a heavy toll on me. If I had tried "P"s crawfish at the beginning, I might have had to call an ambulance, I guess. The Lousiana style seasoning wasn't as good as the Hot N Juicy Special. I could tell "P" concurred with this assessment.
So if the food was delicious,
what was so wrong with Hot N Juicy?
It was the RIDICULOUSLY BAD SERVICE. Let me itemize the biggest sins for you.
1. Servers were almost never present to attend to our needs. At one point, I had to get up from my seat, walk over to the servers' station, and request some items that "P" and I needed to start eating. BIG NO-NO. And to add injury, when I made my request, instead of a friendly apology or expression of concern, I was met with indifference, even borderline disdain. I walked back to my table and I was compelled to mouth "m-----f-----s" to "P".
2. It was like a slap in my face to see servers either sit around with their buddies, not doing their jobs, or see them fawn over certain customers while ignoring other tables like "P" and I.
And the worst infraction ...
3. As "P" and I were leaving the restaurant, grumbling about our poor experience, one of our servers came running out of the restaurant and told us that we had shorted them on our bill, basically accusing us of "eating and running".
Unbelievable. Our server confused us with another table so I had to show him our receipt to clear the air. I mean, what kind of nonsensical amateurs mix up tables and embarrass their customers? It was no surprise that no overtures of apology were made to rectify the damage done. The guy basically said "oops" and ran with his tail between his legs back into the restaurant.
(HNJ: If you're reading this, the crew that screwed "P" and I was the one working the evening of January 4.)
Parking: Don't even think about parking here because this is a restaurant that doesn't deserve your business.
The Bill: 37.76 USD. What a waste. I wish I had thrown my money away in the dumpster than given it to these fools.
My Rating: No star out of four stars (POOR). I've think I've only given two other restaurants a "poor" rating before. This alone should tell you just how much I disapprove of Hot N Juicy. And it's a total shame because the food was quite enjoyable: it's the employees that ruined it.
Last Word: DO. NOT. EAT. HERE. If you must, and I mean absolutely must, try the other location down the street at 3863 Spring Mountain Road.
The next review will be about Bouchon, as promised. Thanks for commiserating.
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