(Please Note: No compensation was provided for our visit, our views and opinions are strictly our own)
First there were the "Pizza Wars" then came the "Hot Chicken Battle" and now in 2018, there is a new conflict on the horizon as we search for the "King of the Crab Boil"!
There is a new battle for the tastebuds of Central Ohioans going on these days and your being called upon to decide who will win the war!
Depending on whom you ask, the common answer to the origins of the "Crab Boil" would be the southern states and more specifically Louisiana, however, it also has roots up the Eastern Seaboard in places like Maryland and Maine.
Following their IG page will lead to spontaneous trips back and sudden desires for butter dipped goodness
Being a lover of all things seafood and Louisiana (Geaux Saints!!!), and living in Columbus with the nearest Papadeaux Seafood Kitchen being over an hour away, once I saw there was new place called "Kai's Crab Boil" open in my area via my Instagram feed, I couldn't arrive fast enough!
On a Chilly Mid-March Wednesday night the Wife, the Baby and I stopped in to check out the new kid on the block. The restaraunt is spacious with tables lining the walls to your right and center of the room with a fully stocked bar to your left and a couple of larger group tables towards the back of the room. Large lobster and crab prints adorn the walls accented with red "dock style" lights helping the room accomplish a comfortable, minimalistic vibe.
YES.... THATS A CRAWFISH!
Unlike many restaraunts, we were greeted by the owners Tiffany and the man himself, Kai! Both very outgoing and very genuine people whom had no qualms telling us about their journey and plans for the future. Tiffany even emerged from the back and showed us a QUARTER POUND crawfish (or crawdad or poor man's lobster as I know them) and YES I SAID QUARTER POUND!
Living in a state with no coastal access within a 10 hour range, we are used to having mediocre seafood (Hey Red Lobster), so I was surprised to find out that Kai's is flown in fresh (Hey Red Lobster, are you following?)
Lobster - Maine
Dungeness Crab - Canada
Mussels - Prince Edwards Island
Clams - Washington
Ordering is easy as 1,2,3 oh and 4!
We arrived later in the evening and sadly all of the Snow Crab had been sold prior, which was a plus and a minus. The negative was of course, I wanted Crab (seriously) but the positive was that I ended up ordering Mussels instead opting for the "Kai's Gulf Combo" with 1Lb. of Mussels and 1Lb. Shrimp. We then opted for 3 pieces of Sasuage with the "Kai's Kajun" flavor and medium heat. Oh yea and a side of wings.
With the food you are provided with gloves and a bucket to put your shells into. Making a mess is highly encouraged!
The Food arrived within about 10 minutes in a clear plastic bag full of more goodness than the law allows! There was a small mixup as we were actually served with garlic butter flavor which we didnt notice until Kai came to speak to us and asked that we try his "Kai's Kajun" sauce (this is when we realized we were given garlic butter on accident). The Shrimp was good but let me tell you, with the "Kai's sauce / flavor" it immediately set "Kai's Crab Boil Restaurant" in front of all competition... Seriously.
Prior to visiting, I wasn't sure there was any way "Kai's" would be any different than the other places serving boil. My advice to you, Don't waste your time with the other Boil's, Go straight to Kai's.
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Kai's Crab Boil
839 Bethel Road
Columbus, Ohio 43214
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