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Tucker: Southern Seafood

Southern Seafood, located in the Happy Stores strip mall on Lawrenceville Highway, is a neighborhood stalwart. I have bought fresh fish there a few times but this trip was my chance to try their steamed seafood. The setup is simple---watch the monitor for the menu to come up, figure out what you want, step up to the cash register and order. I spent longer than usual deciding since the menu kept being swallowed up by animated graphics. I finally chose a pound of spicy crayfish and a piece of spicy corn. The proprietors used a scoop to load a plastic bag with my crayfish out of a giant vat. The corn came in a styrofoam box. It's really that simple. The price was very low. The store has a couple of long tables but both were filled by other customers. I went outside to my car to eat.
There is only one way to eat this---get busy. I grabbed a crayfish, broke it open, and worked out some flesh. It was very good: meaty, spicy enough to give my lips a tingle, a gentle seafood taste. Once the crayfish was done, I put the shell in another part of the bag. Like any manual skill, one improves with practice. I interleaved bites of corn into the process. My car managed to escape with only a couple of stray bits of crayfish scattered around its interior. Once I was done, I took the bag to the trash can in the parking lot. Simple and satisfying.

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