Chasin’ Tails is serving up simple and flavorful Cajun fare in Arlington! Their motto is “No plates. No forks. No rules”. I suspect they might have a few rules here and there... but definitely be prepared to get a little messy. (insert Shawn photo in lobster bib)
As soon as you walk in you see a machine that offers the chance to gamble with a lobster’s life for three bucks. If you can capture the critter with a metal claw that drops from the top of the tank, they will cook it for you any way you like and I’m a sporting fellow who likes to hazard a bet so I gave it a try. I didn’t catch a lobster but I succeeded in angering someone's future dinner which was worth the $3. (insert lobster machine picture)
The main focus of the menu is the seafood boils. You are able to buy crawfish, shrimp, clams or mussels by the pound that they boil in their signature Cajun-style blend of spices. Next they sauté the food in your choice of Cajun, lemon-pepper or garlic-butter sauce. You then have the option to keep it mild, or spice up the seafood to medium, hot or “N’Awlins Hot”. The final step is to seal the food in a “steaming bag” to intensify the flavors. The boils come out to you directly in the steaming bag.
I went with the crawfish and the shrimp in Cajun sauce that was kicked up to “N’Awlins Hot”. I was little disappointed with the size of the crawfish, but the shrimp were nice and plump and served with the “head on” giving you the option to suck the fat out of the head…. And as all foodies know that is the most flavorful part of the shrimp. The flavors were excellent and the seafood was fresh and the “N’Awlins Hot” packed a wallop. The seasoning of the dish (and I use the term loosely because it’s served in a bag) was really well done and after a pound of each I was full and happy.
If you are not in the mood for a boil, you also have the option to get a variety of seafood items fried. Some extra additions in the fried offering are soft-shell crab, oysters and gator. Keeping with the Cajun theme they have a few other dishes available such as etouffee, jambalaya, and gumbo.
Chasin’ Tails is a unique experience in the DC area and definitely worth a try if you are feeling for a Cajun boil. I “ger-run-tee” I’ll be back to eat there.