Consider this post an echo of the "fun times" sentiment posted above.
On a 20-mile bike tour today, we hit Chasin' Tails for a midpoint repast. We lucked into it, turns out today was their first day for lunch, so our mid-afternoon visit was refreshingly uncrowded.
Prices are Falls Church right, which could mean Fall Down wrong to someone from out of town. The two of us had a $70 tab, which was not bad, including $10 pound of crawfish (cajun seasoning, medium heat), $22 pound of snow crab legs (whole shebang, medium heat), $8 fried oysters, $6 beignets, two 34 ounce beers, and two glasses of wine.
The menu proclaims fresh, not frozen, mud bugs, and they were delicious. I've missed them so much, and just having them again was a giddy boon. The "whole shebang" seasoning was the superior flavor choice, the cajun a less vibrant experience. The seasonings were especially pronounced on the purple Peruvian and other small potatoes, and half ear of corn, that came steamed with the seafood. Densely-packed snow crab legs were steamed effectively, not overheated like many venues. Fried oysters were briny cornmeal tidbits, and accompanying fries offered pleasant crunch. Beignets were merely OK, with a nicely tart raspberry jam, but the base batter needed a touch more salt and a tad more leavening to begin approaching crave-able.
This is a unique table service concept for the area--a silver pail arrives stuffed with plastic bags of your steamed goodies, and then the pail becomes your trash bin. I found that fun and efficient, others might be aghast with such a casual framework. One downside of those metal buckets is they obscure the ingredients, making it hard for servers and bussers to see whether or not they should clear your table. Servers seemed new to their craft (it's a new place), but friendly and attentive. Bussers were really on top of their game, stopping by periodically to clear out the growing compost piles with a smile.
Fun Points For Others To Follow:
- You will get messy, this won't be a dainty experience. Not a good place to make a first impression, unless you are dating a brain-sucking alien.
- The "no plates, no napkins" mantra seemed gimmicky at first. But damn if I didn't get into it early by pouring ketchup, hot sauce, and crustacean parts directly onto the papered table. Fun!
- Aim for crawfish, it's the name of the joint, for Sebastian's sake. King, snow crab, and other choices are available by the pound as well.
- Of all the seasonings, aim for the Whole Shebang, a punchy combination with bold mustard and garlic. The medium intensity leaves a nice heat, it lingers a bit, and pleasantly.
- The restaurant was packed by the time we left, and this was well before the dinner rush. Time your visit accordingly.
- There are a handful of outdoor seats, but they go quickly.