[Editor’s note: After 225’s print deadline, the family of the late Gus Piazza, longtime owner of Phil’s Oyster Bar, began pursuing legal options to challenge the restaurant’s use of the name Phil’s. According to Gus’s son, Jordan Piazza, the current owners and managers are not affiliated in any way with the Piazza family or the original Phil’s Oyster Bar. This legal matter has not yet been resolved. 225 regrets the error in the original version of this story.]
With crawfish season in full swing and platters of boiled mudbugs found all over town, sometimes it can be refreshing to find a restaurant doing something different with their tails. Enter Phil’s Oyster Bar and Cajun Café on Government Street. After a stint as Opie’s Cajun Café, this outpost is under new management and utilizing the name made famous by Gus Piazza at the same location for decades. Indeed, as mentioned in a song by Hank Williams Sr., crawfish pies are every bit as nostalgic of a bite as jambalaya and filé gumbo. Not only are crawfish pies rich in flavor and tradition, they are also trendy. Pie is the cupcake of 2011, and I see no reason why crawfish pies shouldn’t count—especially those at Phil’s. There’s nothing quite like crustaceans and spices fried inside a pastry shell. Phil’s serves crawfish pies as an appetizer ($5.99) and also throw some out as side items on several dishes. You can even order one entrée that comes with the glorious trio of jambalaya, crawfish pies and filé gumbo. “Son a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou!” To read more by Jay D. Ducote, visit his blog at biteandbooze.com.