In Acadiana, you can typically find a crawfish restaurant just a few minutes away. But there’s one restaurant in Acadia Parish that attracts visitors from around Acadiana, the country, and even the world: Hawk’s.
“Just last week we had some visitors from Jerusalem,” said owner Anthony Arceneaux. “Every night we have somebody from out of state.”
Hawk’s was started in 1983 by Arceneaux’s father L.H. “Hawk” Arceneaux.
“My dad was very adamant about clean crawfish,” said Arceneaux. “Back in the 80’s, somebody had told us about a purging system. Texas A&M had devised a new system to clean crawfish.”
After visiting the facility, the Arceneaux family was determined to bring the technology back home to Acadiana.
Before being boiled and seasoned, crawfish at Hawk’s are first purged for up to 48 hours in a warehouse just up the road from the restaurant. Inside the warehouse are three large tanks, where the crawfish essentially have a bath in fresh, deep-well water, that has oxygen pumped in.
“It took a long time to figure all this out,” said Arceneaux. “Over time we’ve tweaked it and now pretty much got it down pat.”
As for the finished product, customers notice the difference.
“The crawfish are amazing, absolutely amazing,” said Amy Hebert, who drives from Lafayette to Hawk’s with her family almost every week. “Your hands aren’t full of yuck after you finish, you can basically just rinse with water and go- they’re awesome!”
If you’d like to try for yourself, Hawk’s is located at 416 Hawks Road, Rayne, LA 70578. Don’t let the gravel road concern you, it’s worth the drive.
“If you’ve never eaten it, you don’t know what you’re missing,” said Arceneaux. “You owe it to yourself to try it to see what crawfish is supposed to taste like.”