thanks for all the suggestions! I managed to hit Sartin's West in Beaumont for BBQ crabs, fried seafood, and a bucket of beer. This was my kind of place. Laid back with good seafood and reasonable prices. great service too. I also made it to Richard's Cafe for some local Cajun food. I read about this place on this board and had it recommended from a local (although only when I pressed her for something good and local..she tried to steer me towards what was nearby) I asked a few people including the lady at the desk of the hotel where I was staying if I could walk to Richard's. Everyone gave me a resounding "no, no, definitely not...way too far, etc." I didn't think it would be too bad but since everyone was so emphatic I trusted them and called a cab. the cab took just a bit under 2 hours to come and when it finally arrived, the trip was about a mile. It took me 20 minutes (20 minutes!!) to walk back. I learned a lesson. Never ask "can I walk there?" instead ask "how many miles is it?" food was solid though. Had the cubion (spelling) stew which had crawfish and sausage in a spicy tomato sauce along with sides of black eyed peas and okra. a lot of food for 6.99. didn't manage to get any bbq except a concert we played was catered by a place in Midlothian. not very good bbq. thanks again for all your help.