H-E-B is stepping up its seafood offerings just in time for crawfish season. The San Antonio-based grocer will open a new seafood restaurant at its Chinatown-area store (10100 Beechnut St.) on Saturday, January 26.
Dubbed the True Texas Boil House, the restaurant serves boiled seafood (crawfish, shrimp, and crab legs), fried seafood (shrimp and catfish), and sides (potatoes, fries, hushpuppies, etc). Prices are reasonable, too; a pound of crawfish costs $6.97 or $5.97 when a person orders five pounds or more. A fried seafood basket with catfish and shrimp comes in at $8.97.
As H-E-B Beechnut perishable leader Chavel Melchor explains, the store’s shoppers are evenly split between African-American, Latino, and Asian customers. They’ve all developed a taste for the boiled crawfish that H-E-B has been selling for years at approximately 30 of its Houston-area stores. Creating a dedicated facility provides a new outlet for those efforts and allows for the menu to be expanded.
“We’re taking it to the next level for the growing customer demand,” Melchor tells CultureMap. "It’s really to help maximize the potential we have to provide the best boil house to the Houston community.”
Just like The Roastery, the coffee shop H-E-B developed in conjunction with four New York chefs that opened last year at the Bellaire location, the True Texas Boil House will expand to other stores once its procedures have been refined and customers demonstrate sufficient interest. Apparently, Houstonians of just about every creed and country of origin are united in crawfish appreciation.
“Even our Latino customers have grown in what they enjoy when it comes to crawfish and fried food,” Melchor says. “This is something we’re really proud to give to our customers.”
For those who take advantage of this weekend’s good weather to visit, he recommends starting with the spicy crawfish and an order of corn and red potatoes.
H-E-B True Texas Boil House; 10100 Beechnut St.; Friday - Sunday 11 am to 9 pm, Monday 3 pm to 9 pm