I was very excited to try this place because I’d heard good things about it from John a while back when we had a long discussion over where to get BBQ. He’d mentioned it at the time but hadn’t yet been there, and said when he’d sampled their BBQ ribs during the Big Apple BBQ fest one year, it was good, so he wanted to go.
Of course when my friends suggested it for dinner this past Friday, I was game. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to talk to John (via email, of course!) until right before I was due to leave to meet my friends. He said (his is the 2nd review in that link)… quote… “the crawfish etouffee was good but a little salty, if you don’t mind the salt it’s not bad… the jambalaya is okay, the bbq ribs are alright but not great, and Amy likes the chicken fried steak.”
I didn’t take a picture of the bread, but it was pretty good. Our appetizer, the popcorn crawfish, was crispy and bouncy (the way properly cooked crawfish should be), and the remoulade on the side was very yummy (similar to tartar sauce but a little smoother). Overall, I liked this dish a lot and would order it again. However, I should point out that (because of traffic) a few of our party were running late and so we were all starving by the time we were seated. That may color our opinions of how good the bread was and how good the appetizer was.
I also want to point out that our waiter teased us- which at first was fine, but in hindsight, the way he said it was a bit mocking. He came to take our drink orders and we were like, we’re ready to order. None of us ordered a drink, so we went through our table of 6 for orders very quickly, then he said a bit oddly, “That is the fastest order I’ve ever taken.” Then he disappeared, and barely talked to us again the rest of the night.
The wait between our appetizer and our main courses was 20 minutes; a bit outrageous since the place wasn’t that busy on a Friday night. On top of which, we were all served except the person who got the flounder (more on that dish later!), which is really annoying because of course we’re not going to start eating without her! We just stared at our food until the waiter happened on by (his one time asking us if we were okay) and we’re like, she didn’t get her dish yet. He came back out a moment later and said, “I’m really sorry, your dish isn’t ready yet, the food wasn’t supposed to come out until your dish was ready… sorry about that.” So our wait would have been even longer! To top it off, we were thinking “She ordered flounder, how long does it take to make flounder?!”
Back to the food, starting from the top…
The ribs, as John had said, were only okay. Very soft, and falling off the bone, my two friends who ordered it couldn’t finish. One of them is my big eater friend, she said the food was just too heavy- she ate three ribs. THREE. That’s nothing! The other one just was feeling a bit sick from external factors, and so didn’t eat much of her dish either. In any case, the ribs were only so so.
I didn’t hear much one way or the other about the catfish, so I’m going to assume it was okay, as I’d have heard one way or another if it were really good or bad.
Ohhh, the jambalaya. I’d read bad reviews on MenuPages about how it was way too spicy which does not equal good cajun cooking, and about the crappy chicken. I sat across the table from our friend who had this dish, so I didn’t realize until halfway through the meal about the chicken. He kept saying, “It tastes like … that chicken… from McDonald’s.” and I kept asking “But it’s spicy, isn’t it?” until finally he said “No the chicken wasn’t cooked in the jambalaya” which, as you can see from the picture, is just a few pieces of chicken tossed on top of jambalaya. He finally said, “That’s it! It’s chicken selects!” which I personally like, but not at a restaurant thrown on top of my creole stew! That’s just a joke, in my opinion- how could you serve that to people and not be embarrassed???
When the flounder finally came out, we all peered at it. It was smothered in what looks like crawfish and sauce, and it was a whole flounder (minus the head) complete with tail and bones. How gross!!! My biggest pet peeve is that it wasn’t on the menu that it would be served tail & bones. As most of you know, I’m Chinese, my mom makes fish whole with the head on (steamed), and I’ve even eaten it at restaurants (banquets, occasionally just meals out with my family). But it’s known when we order it will come whole, and we’re eating the whole thing as a family so it’s much more palatable. So I was very much as were my fellow diners. The girl who’d ordered it wound up not even eating more than a few bites and boxing it to go.
My etouffe was, as John had mentioned, good but salty. Not so salty I was noticeably like *blegh* but salty enough that it started to irritate me (and I bloated right up a few hours later, my rings wouldn’t come off!) after half the dish. Other than that, I found the spices on key, and way more than enough crawfish liberally throughout the dish. The rice was a touch al dente but in a good way.
We were all too full to order dessert (and instead went off to karaoke the night away).
Yvo says: Yuck, even with its minor good points here and there, I would not recommend this place for dinner to anyone. However, they had these nifty slushy drinks at the bar, $3 each (small dessert glass sized), that were really good. I had a hurricane and it was delicious, and a friend had a pomegranate slushy- I think they change the flavors often, though hurricane (as it is a New Orleans drink) may be a standard. In fact, I would go back for some tonight! Otherwise…. not recommended