|601 E. Whitestone Blvd. #200
Cedar Park, TX 78613
I’ve joked in the past about living so far from CR Surf and Turf in Cedar Park that I need an airplane ticket to get there. Well we took the trusty Denali instead recently, and made it in about 45 minutes from just north of Dripping Springs. And was it worth it.
This restaurant on 1431 under the able direction of Hal and his crew just keeps getting better. It’s a casual joint, but don’t let that deter you. The cuisine is anything but casual. You spot the gigantic tanks toward the right rear of the place as you walk in. They are the home of gigantic Maine lobsters, Soft Shell Crabs and other goodies that are flown in daily. I once saw Hal take a 14lb lobster out to serve a party of four. Alas we weren’t the party but I watched, amazed, as they pressure-cooked it in under 20 minutes and had it out, au natural with drawn butter, not much later than that. OMG!!!!
On a previous visit we tried Massachusetts Cherrystone clams on the half shell. They were uber-fresh and delightful. Being a New Englander by birth, this was almost a transcendent experience for me.
The other night we began with CR Surf and Turf’s Frog Legs and Soft Shell Crabs. I had my first frog’s leg at Kevin Williamson’s Ranch 616 some years ago. They were great. However, these, bathed in a Cajun/Asian batter were actually better. An amazing dish.
The Soft Shell Crabs were no less spectacular. On first glance I thought they might have used too much batter. But on my first bite I realized I was wrong. The crabs were sweet, crunchy, totally fresh, and the batter was addicting and a beautiful complement to the tender meat.
At that point Marge and I were actually full, but as the Admiral said, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.” So we had two Maine Lobster Tails that were baked in Asian spices, and then flash roasted and served with drawn butter. The tail meat had been conveniently removed from the shell (whose purpose was decorative at that point). And so we began. Since the weather had delayed a fresh shipment, we knew these lobsters were frozen. Know what? It didn’t matter at all. The taste was superlative and more importantly for shell fish, the texture was spot-on. Nothing tough or chewy, just flavor and textural bliss. Full as we were, we devoured those tails, and frankly considered ordering a third to split.
Luckily, cooler heads prevailed and we headed out for the long drive home. But you know there is a point when the meal is so satisfying that time and distance become irrelevant. And we’d never even gotten to the Crawfish (which are in season). Well, next time. And I assure you that will be soon!