Southern Select Crawfish is a family business.
“Dad, we have a customer, someone who wants to order lobster,” says Makenna, 5, to her father, Chad Schaefer, who owns the business with his father, Colonel Schaefer.
Chad Schaefer doesn’t know if his daughter will follow in his footsteps, but he’s glad to have her on board now.
Schaefer opened the restaurant and catering service on January 6, 2020 after a nearly 20 year career in sales in the oil and gas industry.
“I’ve always cooked lobster for friends, family and the neighborhood,” he said. “I cooked on the rigs for my customers. I am very familiar with the business. I’ve been cooking for 20 years. “
Schäfer said he was winning new customers who were constantly discovering his hidden gem.
“I have probably more than 20 new customers this week who said,” Wow, I had no idea this was even here, “said Schaefer.
Eating takes place in the Backyard Party Barn, and cooking is done in the Southern Select Crawfish Trailer next to the barn. The facility, 435 Leeper Lane, is on a dirt road off US 87, past Son Valley Ranch and a Conoco gas station on the left towards Cuero from Victoria. Two yellow lobster flags on either side of the road mark the spot.
The party barn is off the street behind Gene’s Machines and other stores on the left. It’s open on Fridays from 4pm to 10pm when live music is playing and on Saturdays from 12pm to 8pm.
With entertainment like the Texas Continental Band and the Legal Limit Band, up to 120 people can be present on Friday nights.
Long picnic-style tables with red umbrellas are surrounded by large round tables that fill the barn and outside patio. Illuminated beer and lobster signs and televisions hang on the red-painted wall of the barn. Beer lights are sprinkled across the ceiling for a festive feel.
The Backyard Party Barn can be rented for events, and Southern Select Crawfish can be rented for events such as birthdays and weddings.
Schäfer gets its live lobster on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from the Crowley and Lafayette area of Louisiana.
“My technique is Louisiana-style and a lot of places aren’t Louisiana-style,” Schäfer said. “I put the spice on the inside. It has great taste and isn’t messy – it won’t get over your hands. In Louisiana, people like their things from the inside. “
In addition to 3 or 6 pound buckets of lobster, potatoes, corn and sausage, snow crabs, dungeness crabs, king crabs, prawns and gumbo are on the menu.
“People eat straight from the buckets,” said Schäfer. “We’re a BYOB company, so people come to get out of town… have good food, relax, and listen to music. We play Zydeco music when a band isn’t playing and people bring their ice cream boxes. “
Schäfer said it was difficult to keep the lobsters alive and fresh because they only last a few days. They clean their lobsters and sort them to get out any dead ones.
“You have to cook and serve before you die,” he said. “We don’t cook dead lobsters. We clean them up and prepare for Friday and Saturday, and that takes a day or two. We hear feedback about the quality we offer. “
Ryan Barnette is a customer who tries to make it to Southern Select Crawfish at least once a weekend with his family.
“I get a table and take family and friends with me. Lobsters aren’t cheap and they have some great deals – especially for this time of year, ”said Barnette. “The taste is great, consistent, with a little kick and a little spice, and the atmosphere is great. When the weather is bad outside – it could be rainy or cold – it’s inside with live music. “
Schaefer said there is currently a lobster phenomenon in many places, especially Houston.
“Houston became the lobster capital of the world. Every day there is more than anywhere else in the world, restaurants appear on every other corner, ”said Schäfer.
Southern Select Crawfish got a perfect score on a recent health department inspection – no mistakes.
“We have to keep tidying up and spend hours with it,” said Schäfer. “It’s flawless.”
Elena Anita Watts reports on arts, culture and entertainment for the Victoria Advocate.