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circle m crawfish ABOUT US
Circle M Crawfish - Rodney's - The Crawfish Stand
circle m crawfish

Circle M Crawfish is an established wholesale supplier of live crawfish, shrimp, oysters, frog legs and a variety of other foods.   The catering side of the business offers the best crawfish & shrimp boils in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma. 

Circle M Crawfish Restaurant, also known as Rodney's, is located in Big Sandy, Texas.  The menu includes crawfish, shrimp, alligator, boudin, along with choice steaks and other items. Live music is often featured Thursday-Saturday evenings with a family friendly atmosphere.

The Crawfish Stand sits in front of the restaurant for fast and convenient take-out orders.

Find out more by checking out the videos and news articles listed below:
 

Early E. Texas crawfish season is big win for customers, restaurants
Posted: Feb 04, 2016 8:51 PM CST Updated: Feb 04, 2016 9:19 PM CST
By Paul River

Circle M Crawfish


(Source: KLTV News Staff)

 
(Source: KLTV News Staff)

 
(Source: KLTV News Staff)

BIG SANDY, TX (KLTV) - For seafood restaurants that sell crawfish, Super Bowl weekend is typically one of the busiest times of the year, but one East Texas restaurant says this whole year has been busy.

Crawfish season, which usually starts in March, began in November this time around, giving East Texans a very early start to chow down on the mud bugs.

For those like Tony Herbert an employee at Circle M Crawfish in Big Sandy, it's been an extremely busy year.

"Everyone gets like crawfish fever, and it's good to see there's a real high demand, and it's got busier and busier with each year," says Herbert.

In East Texas, crawfish fever came a lot earlier,  all the way back in November, giving folks plenty of time to dig in.

"I just love them, I have for years had crawfish boils every year; come over here just for the crawfish," says Keith Fowler, a customer of the restaurant.

It's easy to understand Fowler’s enthusiasm since during this time of year the crawfish are usually smaller.

"But this year, they didn't; they started out nice, because they were able to grow...they were able to grow in wet weather and warmer days," says Joe Mitchell, another employee of Circle M Crawfish.

Warmer days also led to a drop in prices.

"We started out when we boiled them 6.99 a pound, this year 5.99 a pound, and then it comes down to 5.79 a pound," says Mitchell.
 
It also led to a few firsts, according to Rodney Murphy, the owner of Circle M Crawfish.

"The quality of the crawfish seem to have been better for this early in the year than I think I can ever remember," says Murphy.

The great taste, better quality, and lower prices, are all going to keep those at the restaurant a lot busier during the big Super Bowl weekend.

"It's exciting; we got the Super Bowl going on, we got Mardi Gras going on, and we're all excited about it. We're all gearing up for it, and the next weekend’s Valentine's Day, so the sky's the limit right now," says Herbert.

Murphy says recent colder weather has raised prices a little bit, but they expect prices to go back down once the weather warms up. While Murphy says it's not the earliest he's seen crawfish start, he says this year they've been able to get more in February than they ever have.

Copyright 2016 KLTV. All rights reserved.

Crawfish Stand

Tyler Morning Telegraph, March 27, 2011 | Longview News-Journal, March 22, 2012

 

Rodney's Big Sandy Crawfish Joint A Hot Spot For East Texans
Tyler Morning Telegraph
Sunday, March 27, 2011

BIG SANDY -- Rodney Murphy claims there's no secret recipe to boiling crawfish to perfection.

So, what is his secret?

It's all about getting the freshest crawfish available, cleaning them right and keeping them moving until they hit the pot of boiling water and spices, he said.

Murphy, 56, has been running Circle M Crawfish in Big Sandy for 16 years.

With warmer weather also comes the peak of crawfish season. And with that comes crawfish boils in the sun, and spending good times with friends and family. Born and raised in the New London area, Murphy was an auctioneer, working at cattle auctions in Louisiana for 10 years when he took on a side job helping with crawfish boils on the weekends.

After he hung up his auctioneering hat, he sold crawfish and other seafood all over Louisiana for six years while he lived in Cotton Port, near Monroe, La.

Murphy decided the East Texas area needed a crawfish stand, so he moved back to Big Sandy and set up shop.

 

Rodney Murphy - Circl M Crawfish
Photo courtesy of Tyler Morning Telegraph

Rodney's Big Sandy Crawfish Joint A Hot Spot For East Texans

Rodney Murphy has owned and operated Circle M Crawfish in Big Sandy for 16 years, during which he has seen his restaurant evolve from a business with one employee to one with 10. Circle M Crawfish serves about 6,000 pounds of crawfish per week

He started Circle M Crawfish, also known as Rodney's, selling crawfish along with one employee out of a small trailer.

"For the first four years, I had to give away about half (of what we made) because no one ate crawfish," he said. "Now it seems like there's one (crawfish stand) on just about every corner."

Murphy has been slowly expanding his business over the last 12 years, first adding a tent to his simple establishment that now consists of a metal building with sawdust on the floors, picnic tables and Mardi Gras decor. He has 10 employees.

They purchase and pick up crawfish from different locations in South Louisiana about six days per week to ensure they sell freshest crawfish available.

He gets his shrimp from Delcambre, La., his oysters from Houma, La., and his King Crab legs from "way up north." His jalapeno boudin is made in Beaumont and his homemade tamales come from Zwolle, La. -- a town with a Spanish/Indian culture which celebrates each October with a Hot Tamale Festival. Murphy also sells fried catfish, shrimp and chicken.

Murphy and two other employees do the cooking at Circle M Crawfish. "The main thing is we have a real good system of watching our crawfish," he said.

The live mudbugs are washed and sorted as they move over a conveyer belt, before being dumped into large coolers. They are then thrown into huge bats of boiling water with plenty of spicy seasoning and minutes later, the perfectly boiled critters are moved to another ice chest, where more seasoning is added and they are stirred the old fashioned way -- by hand -- and are ready for the customer to start peeling and eating.

At the crawfish stand, the smaller boiler can hold up to three 35-pound sacks of crawfish at a time, while the bigger boiler can handle up to seven sacks at a time.

Sometimes it's hard to keep up with the customers that line up outside. "It seems like everyone wants to come at once," he said.

Murphy has always liked cooking and really got into it in his 30s, cooking gumbo and other recipes for friends at parties on the weekend. He loves cooking seafood and Cajun food, as well as steak and hamburgers, and just about anything, he said.

For the last 10 years, he has been catering backyard parties and other events in East Texas and Dallas and as far away as Oklahoma, Arkansas and South Texas. He cooks seafood of all types, as well as steaks, which he can grill 100 at a time.

About four years ago, Murphy added wholesale to his business. He runs a wholesale route, delivering crawfish, shrimp and other seafood to about 15 businesses and restaurants from Shreveport to Dallas.

Live crawfish is his big thing -- people come in seven days a week during the crawfish season to pick up the crawly critters to boil themselves for get-togethers.

"Think about us when you're having a backyard party," he said.

His catering services and people who buy live crawfish aside, Murphy is now boiling an average of about 6,000 pounds per week strictly for his customers at the stand in Big Sandy. And that's not as many as usual for this time of year.

His business fell off a little in the last nine months or so because there haven't been as many bricklayers, concrete workers and roofers working in the area, he said, adding that the majority of his clientele are laborers.

Crawfish season normally begins after Thanksgiving and goes until about the middle of June. This year's season began later because of the few extra weeks of colder weather. The last six months have been difficult for Murphy because of the delay, but now that the crawfish season is picking up, so will his business, he said.

By this time of year, the price of crawfish is also usually lower, but since the extra cold nights and later start, the crawfish have been smaller and the prices higher, he said.

When prices are lower, Murphy buys and sells more crawfish. His prices fluctuate with what he pays, he said. Because the crawfish have started coming in better -- which means bigger -- this week, he's looking for prices to come down a bit, he added.

The seafood business also suffered from the BP oil spill in the gulf last year, which gave seafood a bad name. Even though Murphy was buying his shrimp during that time in Texas, customers complained that their shrimp tasted oily, he said.

The seafood industry has finally started to recover and he said he is now getting a lot of oysters and shrimp from Louisiana. Shrimp keeps Murphy busy when the crawfish are out of season, he said.

During crawfish season, the stand is open from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. It is only open six days per week during the off-season.

Circle M Crawfish is located at 409 Texas Highway 155 South in Big Sandy and can be reached by calling 903-636-9199 or 903-360-8946.

Rodney Murphy - Circl M Crawfish - Jose Reyes
photo courtesy of Les Hassell

Crawfish stand keeps ‘em coming back

Owner Rodney Murphy, left, and Jose Reyes prepare a fresh batch of crawfish.

  Crawfish stand keeps ‘em coming back

Longview News-Journal
Thursday, March 22, 2012
by Ryan C. Perry

 

BIG SANDY — What started 16 years ago as a takeout-only crawfish stand has turned into a somewhat-sprawling, sit-down seafood establishment and music venue.

The Crawfish Stand in Big Sandy, the restaurant side of distributor Circle M Crawfish, has progressively expanded seating — the capacity is around 190 people.

It is doubtful people come to the popular crawfish stand for an elegant dining experience. The floor is covered with wood shavings, the walls and ceilings are covered with foam insulation into which patrons have sunk beer bottle caps, and people have largely disregarded the

"Please do not write on the walls” signs posted where wooden walls have been built. Picnic benches are the only seating option.

Rodney Murphy, owner of the restaurant, says people come for the unique taste of the little crustaceans resembling lobsters.

“(Crawfish) isn’t like anything else — it has its own taste,” Murphy said. “It has a taste that people just say they crave. We have some people who come by at least three or four times a week. I have one boy who drives from Van, and he’ll be here four times a week. It’s like a fix to him.”

With his efforts, Murphy has expanded a southern Louisiana taste to East Texas and says the Crawfish Stand has piqued area residents’ interest in crawfish. Louisiana supplies more than 90 percent of the crawfish in the U.S.

“It’s seems more people are eating crawfish than ever have before,” Murphy says. “When we first started, it seemed like not that many people ate crawfish. It seems like every year, more people end up liking them.”

Crawfish thrive in the conditions present in rice fields, and the rice farmers of Louisiana have used the little crustacean to help boost profits. Crawfish season is from early spring through June, and that is when Murphy said he sees an increase in customers at his stand.

“With them being seasonal, people try eat them when they can get them, and then they have a craving for them the other seven or eight months,” Murphy said. “It makes them want them while we have them.”

Although the taste is enough to bring people to the stand, this past summer’s record heat drove away business. In preparation for the brutal East Texas summer, the restaurant has added air conditioning.

“We had water fans last year, but it got so hot, the water came out of the hose at about the temperature of bath water,” Murphy said. “It didn’t pick back up until crawfish season started back up.”

The Crawfish Stand has expanded their menu to drive business when crawfish is no longer in season. The menu for includes shrimp, catfish, alligator sausage, boudin, hot links, chicken and steak.

“In the past, we cut back to five days a week Wednesday through Sunday after crawfish season,” Murphy said. “This year, we’re going to try to stay open seven days a week with the other items that we sell.”

According to Murphy, his employees at the stand know that to keep the stand open, they have to keep putting out a superior product. The kitchen of the stand is considered one the hottest jobs in the area, so it takes a passion for cooking to keep business thriving.

“I always loved to go to crawfish boils, and I always loved to help my friends cook crawfish back when I sold seafood in Louisiana.” Murphy said. “It was a lot of fun, and I like cooking. It doesn’t matter that it’s crawfish; I just like to cook.”

One of the most popular appetizers on the menu feature the crawfish’s cousin: shrimp. Murphy said the shrimp stuffed pepper accompanies just about everything on the menu. Shrimp also is more readily available than crawfish, so it is a viable menu option year round.

If you haven't eaten at Circle M Crawfish, then you haven't eaten any great crawfish. We love it! ... Jan W
Allaso Ranch Staff Weekly Tradition at our favorite crawfish spot!! ... Trevor J
It's always a good time eatin' crawfish at the Crawfish Stand ... Chip M
Had a great day and night at Circle M Crawfish..always good times, great food and great people! Y'all Rock! Best seafood around here! ... Denise W
T-Shirt I love my Circle M - T-Shirt! Only $15 + tax.  Get yours today!... Amanda
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Circle M Crawfish . 14449 State Hwy 155 S . Big Sandy, TX 75755 . 903-636-9199
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Circle M Crawfish, The Crawfish Stand, Rodney's Seafood Restaurant, Wholesale Supplier of Live Crawfish year round, Catering, Crawfish boils, shrimp, frog legs, alligator, oysters, fish, buy wholesale or retail, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma. Open 7-days a week.