Tag Archives: jambalaya

SOUTH BY SOUTH AUSTIN: Jambalaya, crawfish pie AND file’ gumbo? Son of a gun…

Now, Austin may be 500 miles from New Orleans, but you can still find some real-deal Cajun food…if you know where to look. We’re hanging out at Evangeline Cafe, this funky little joint inside a strip mall on Brodie Lane, where they’re serving up the kind of things that only Hank would sing about. We’re talking bout a Hank Williams Platter, with jambalaya, crawfish pie AND file’ gumbo — you KNOW we gotta check it out, bro!

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But first, we’re starting off with some gator bites. This crispy little nuggets of flavour are nice ‘n crispy, but I mean, you could tell me these were fish nuggets, and I wouldn’t know any better!!!

And now it’s time for the main event, so we’re lining up this holy trinity in Flavourtown…

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Jambalaya was nicely seasoned. Few little chunks of chicken — but the sausage is definitely the best part of this dish!

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Now, I’m not really sure what the “file” in file gumbo is, but the gumbo was quite tasty. More of that sausage, with some chunks of meat, rice and a good, dark gravy.

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But the crawfish pie is what makes it, son! It’s like a creamy seafood chowder inside a flaky pastry, with a decent little kick at the end. I’ll take three of these to go…

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This place is also serving up a buncha Abita beers, straight outta NOLA. Purple Haze is a nice, light lager with just a touch of raspberries — not bad for a first beer of the day.

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But now we’re kicking it up a couple notches with this AndyGator, a heavy helles doppelbock clocking in at 8%. It really doesn’t taste that strong, but like a gator on the bayou, it kinda sneaks up on ya…

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But you KNOW we’ve still got room for dessert, bro! And man, this place could sure teach Mother Tongue a thing or two when it comes to beignets. This pecan pistolette stuffs a perfectly flaky beignet with candied pecans, topped with syrup and powdered sugar — no Sichuan sugar tonight, son!!!!!!!

EATING LAS VEGAS: Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House is kicking it up a notch… BAM!

Now, I don’t always wear a button-down shirt to dinner (unless it’s a bowling shirt, bro!), so when I do, it’s gotta be because I am dining somewhere legendary. We’re talking Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House, deep in the belly of the MGM Grand, where they’re serving up real-deal dishes like crab cakes, baked lobster and even a 16 oz prime ribeye… But I had to start with a dish that’s got the man’s name on it: Emeril’s New Orleans Barbeque Shrimp.

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Dude, these shrimp were sooo outta bounds, bro! Nice and firm with some char from the grill, served with a brown gravy that kicked it up a notch. I figured I probably couldn’t just pick em up and eat em in a classy joint like this, so I cut em up with a knife and fork — some of these babies were big enough for three pieces!

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Up next, we’ve got some more shrimp — along with some little chunks of homemade andouille sausage in the Carolina Gold Jambalya. This jumbo gulf shrimp is a whole ‘nother animal, though — tender, juicy, cooked to perfection. And the sausage adds a nice little bite. I was worried this dish might be spicy, but while it does have a bit of a kick, it was actually more temperature hot than face-melting…

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While they do have a much, much longer wine list, Emeril’s also has a few decent craft beers on tap. This one’s called Bluffing Isn’t Weisse, a nice, fruity Hefeweizen from Vegas’ own Bad Beat Brewing. Dude, this beer goes nicely with shrimp and has subtle notes of bananas…and bananas is good!!!

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Speaking of bananas: When it comes to dessert, I had to go with Emeril’s Banana Cream Pie. (Again, it’s got his name on it, and all…) And man, was that ever the right choice. Bananas were perfectly mushy, piled high with whipped cream and chocolate shavings on top, and caramel drizzle on the plate. I think this dessert was meant for at least two people…but you KNOW I polished it all off myself, bro!!!!

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Son of a gun, gonna have big fun down on the bayou!

Down in N’awlins, they celebrate Mardi Gras in February, but for me every Tuesday is Fat Tuesday. So last night, I’m at Fat City Blues, this funky Cajun joint on College Street. Man, this place has everything: crawfish pie, Philly gumbo*…and a great big bowl of jambalaya, bro!

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Now, when they said it wasn’t spicy, I asked them to kick it up a notch. So I took this side serving of hot sauce and moved it all over. You’ve got some nice big shrimp, cooked to perfection, and several chunks of thinly sliced sausage. A little kick from the red peppers, and sauce that’s still saucy, not too thick. Just enough rice to sop up the sauce, but not so much that you’re drowning in it. The meat was the star of this show, not the rice, bro!

It’s like when you’re down by the river, half a mile from San Antone, on a three-day tequila bender with Eric Church…except instead of a drink in my hand, they’ve got beignets for dessert:

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These hot balls of dough were sprinkled in enough powdered sugar to make Tony Montana say hello to my little friend. Pretty sure I could slam back 47 of these and still have room for dessert. These beignets were bananas, bro, and bananas are good!

 

*crawfish pie and Philly gumbo not available, but they do have a winner, winner fried chicken dinner…