Not long ago, you would have been hard-pressed to find a Louisiana-style, Low Country or East Coast seafood boil in the Milwaukee area. But as fast casual seafood boil concepts crop up across the country in droves, the Cream City isn’t far behind.
Since the pandemic began, at least five new seafood boil restaurants have scuttled onto the scene, offering competition for local concepts like The King Crab Shack, which opened its first location on 27th Street in 2016 and Crab It Your Way, which debuted Downtown in 2019. Even St. Paul Fish Co. in Mequon has added New England style seafood boils to their regular menu.
Most restaurants offer menus padded with add-ons: po’boys, fried seafood or burgers. But the main attraction is the build-your-own seafood boil which offers customers a choice of seafood, seasoning and level of heat (mild to “I can’t feel my mouth” hot).
To partake, customers gather – often in groups – taking seats at communal tables armed with plastic gloves and protective bibs. Before them lie plastic bags, puffed to the gills with steam. Inside, tender shrimp curl around saucy crawfish. Garlic buttered clams and mussels mingle with bright red crab legs joined by halved red potatoes and corn on the cob (in or out of season).
Seafood crackers open wide, freeing tender meat from crab and lobster claws. Buttery fingers grapple with corn on the cob and potatoes soaked with flavorful sauce. In between slugs of cold beer, diners laugh and exchange small talk before returning to pick the clams from their shells and slurp them down.
And just like that, the casual, communal, messy-as-hell seafood boils – which originated as seasonal outdoor activities on beaches and in backyards – have become the hottest indoor activity in the Midwest.
Source : https://onmilwaukee.com/articles/seafood-boils-milwaukee326