Lotus Seafood urges worshipers to come for crack sauce and more

If you grew up or lived in southwest Houston, chances are you waited in line at Lotus Seafood quirky Braeswood location, patiently (im)sniffing the smell of boiling Cajun seafood and craving the addictive Crack sauce. In 2006, the Braeswood site opened as an unassuming seafood market. It recently moved down the street to a larger space at 9531 Southwest Freeway and Bissonnet. Additionally, Lotus Seafood has added locations in Pearland, Westchase, Veterans Memorial and the newest location in Stafford, which opened in September.

Stafford’s 6,000 square foot location is in a new mall at 2903 South Main. The large space includes the restaurant cluster’s first full bar, a patio offering hookah, and plenty of TVs for watching a game. They certainly know how to get the party started and are taking full advantage of the new bar, offering not only signature daiquiris but other craft cocktails as well. We were invited to experience the new location and I was greeted by a Daiquirita made with Bacardi Lime Rum, Patron and agave nectar. I then tried a Frozen dirty lemonade made with Vodka and Lotus Rum Puncha sweet concoction of tropical juices and Bacardi Rum which was served in a literal bucket, adding a bit of fun.

Daiquirita and Lotus Rum Punch at Lotus Seafood. Photo by Minh Truong.

It’s obvious the owners have put a lot of effort into creating a fun, vibrant and colorful space. He even pays homage to the city with a “We Love Houston” mural. We’ve come a long way from those humble beginnings on Braeswood.

As the saying goes, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” For Lotus Seafood fans, that’s a good thing. The menu always offers fried fish, shrimp and Oysters which can be ordered in combos with fries next to. There’s also boiled seafood that’s ordered by the pound and smothered in the Original Cajun Sauce or Lotus Seafood’s Remix Sauce, a mixture of Cajun Sauce with garlic and lemon pepper. You can also get their tasty fried rice, lo mein noodles Where po-boys. That said, Lotus enthusiasts come for the Noisy packsspecialty combos featuring fried rice, peeled shrimp and that famous Cracked sauceand Hot boxeswhich include half a pound each of shrimp and snow crabmore corn, potatoes and sausage.

During my visit, I had to have these two classics. When the dishes were brought to the table, the smell lifted off and hit me in the face with the aroma of spices and garlic. The Loud Pack contains a dozen boiled and peeled large shrimp served over Louisiana fried rice with shrimp and crayfish tails. Crack Sauce is now served separately in plastic bags officially marketed under the name “Crack Sauce”. The Loud Box really needs it, because the rice is tasty on its own and has a lot of heat. Still, I squeezed some Crack Sauce from the packet and dipped the prawns in the buttery, spicy, slightly tangy sauce. The owners of Lotus Seafood keep the secret of Crack Sauce secret and only describe it as a buttery garlic sauce with signature spices.

The Hot Box was a sight to behold. It was filled with boiled shrimp, a crab claw and a hearty link of sausage. It’s already seasoned, but the extra crack sauce never hurt anyone.

The hot box at Lotus Seafood. Photo by Minh Truong.

I was ready to quit when a fully loaded baked potato topped with lightly breaded fried shrimp was placed in front of me. It was pure decadence. The shrimp on potato was one of my favorite bites. Reminiscent of salt and pepper prawns, they were full of flavor and although fried they weren’t heavy with oil. (If you’re eating a stuffed potato, that’s the last thing you need.)

Fully loaded baked potatoes topped with fried prawns at Lotus Seafood Stafford. Photo by Minh Truong.

A good time to visit Lotus Seafood is happy hour, which runs Monday through Friday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. It includes snow crab clusters for $12 each, boiled shrimp for $10 a pound served with corn and potatoes, and 20% off daiquiris. Each location has different hours, so check the website for your nearest location.

If you’re looking for health food, this is definitely not for you, but if you’re looking for flavor, Lotus Seafood won’t disappoint. It’s easy to see how this local success story has been around for 16 years and continues to have a strong following.

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