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My Confusing Horoscope

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  1. In southwest Louisiana, look for barbecue at places where they say they serve Creole, which means something very different there than in New Orleans. There are some places in Lafayette, for instance. Laura's, where you might get Cajun rice dressing along with your barbecue chicken. Dwight's in Lafayette is very popular for barbecue but only on Sundays. There must be some barbecue in Baton Rouge, too, but I am not familiar with it. Louisiana may not be Texas nor Memphis when it comes to barbecue, but it's probably more unique for its sides, in my opinion.

  2. BTW, some of the best fish 'n chips (if you indulge in this guilty pleasure) in Canada are to be found in Truro. Trust me on this. I *know* fish 'n chips. I can also recommend the best place for them on PEI.

    Murphy's: http://www.yelp.ca/biz/murphys-fish-and-chips-truro

    Thanks for this tip! We were there in Truro last Sunday. I think what makes the fish and chips different here is the sweetness of the batter on the haddock. It almost tastes like waffles. It was just different from the other fish and chip dinners we had. And the lady behind the counter is quite a character, calling everyone honey, sweety, and my love. The hostess of our bed and breakfast said at first she thought it was an act, but she has since concluded she's just like that all the time.

    In Halifax we enjoyed the Five Fishermen. Happy hour from 4-6 with oysters for 1.50 a piece. I had Beausoleils and Raspberry Pts. Nice deal! The atmosphere in the place was different too, with New Orleans music playing in the background.

  3. I wasn't able to find poutine rapée in any restaurant on my recent trip to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, but a friend we visited in Halifax fixed us some delicious fresh mackerel and mussels. The mackerel was boiled and served with potatoes and onions. The mussels were steamed in white wine and garlic. We got a fine sample of NS home cooking from a generous host!

  4. My wife and I will be in the Moncton area June 20 (maybe staying in Dieppe or Shediac). Is poutine râpée the kind of thing we could typically get in a restaurant in that area or is it mostly a home dish? We would love to try it! Thanks!

    (Being a Cajun from Southwest Louisiana, I know first-hand that the best Cajun dishes are usually found in people's homes! Those who've only had Cajun food in restaurants don't know what they are missing, really)

  5. Glad to hear that you enjoyed your meal there! It's changed hands over the years. Some years it's been great, other times not so much.

    For what it's worth, Times of Acadiana has a People's Choice poll that ranked the chef, Brian Blanchard, 2nd, after Holly Goetting at Charley G's, but the rankings for Italian restaurants in Lafayette were notably unreliable:


  6. Made a quick trip through Lafayette last week.

    I can confirm that the Chris's Poboys on Moss Street is still as good as ever! Some people swear by Old Tyme Grocery on St. Mary Street but I have always been partial to Chris's. I breathed the whole roast pork poboy. I wish Philadelphia people who are proud of their roast pork sub could compare it with what Chris's serves! So much flavor in the thinly cut, moist roast! Dressed with just some shredded cabbage and a combination of mayo and mustard sauce.

    We also went to Pizza Village on Moss Street -- first time in years and as good as I remembered! My wife thought the combination on the Landry Special was odd, but it worked for me! Pepperoni, hamburger, shrimp, onion, and jalapeno. Their pizza doesn't seem to have a lot of tomato sauce on it, but it's got a crispy crust that is just delicious.

    I had seafood gumbo at Don's Seafood Hut on Johnston street, at Shucks' in Abbeville, and at Gooloo's (Hebert's Steakhouse and Seafood) on Highway 14 between Abbeville and Kaplan. Don's was the winner! I think they must use garlic in it. It's just a bit different. Like so many of the places down there, they serve you a little dish of rice on the side so that you add just as much as you want to your bowl of gumbo. Don's also has our favorite bread pudding. The bread they use is the soft French bread, and the warm cream sauce has a bit of rum in it. Great!

    Had a surprisingly good lunch one day at the Palace Cafe in Opelousas on the main drag across the street from the courthouse. Roast pork with rice and gravy and a "casserole" of eggplant and ground beef with just a bit of a tomato sauce. I never had it with the tomato sauce before. I believe I will try that next time I make it at home.

    Poor Boy's Riverside Inn on the Broussard side of Lafayette continues to be a pleasure. One of the simplest things on the menu is also one of the most popular --a crab meat sautee that is something like Crab Norfolk in Maryland. You know the place is good if it is so out of the way but still packed on a Tuesday night.

    Stocked up with a bunch of meats from Hebert's Specialty Meats in Maurice and we call it a successful trip!

  7. Just back from a four day trip to Lafayette. Food wasn't so much the focus of my trip this time, but I am happy to report on some old favorites that are still good!

    Boudin: Johnson's Grocery in Eunice is still the best! Same place but it's now called Raymond Grocery and it's open everyday! I like their spices and their ratio of meat to rice. It's tight in the casing and and crisp enough to eat, which I prefer to the rubbery casing at Hebert's Specialty Meats in Maurice

    Boudin and cracklins: Best Stop in Scott.

    Seafood gumbo: Don's in Lafayette. The original one downtown on Lee. I wish I could make it their way. Dark but thin and very spicy.

    Poboys: Chris's Poboys, the one in the Shell gas station on Ambassador Caffery. I was so disappointed a couple of years ago when the one downtown on Jefferson Street closed. My last one there, the pork roast, was dry. I think the place was going downhill. It sure seemed odd that it would reopen in a gas station, so I hadn't tried it until now. Well, I am going back for sure! It's the oddest gas station I have ever seen. You pump gas alright but when you go in to pay it looks like a wine store with a restaurant in the back! No convenience store items, just wine and cigars and a little restaurant. Try the pork roast if you have never had one. It's back to form now. Soft French bread, thinly sliced pork roast seasoned well, their sauce which seems to be a mixture of drippings, mayo and mustard, shredded cabbage --- simple as can be but very delicious and drippy!

    Wish I had pictures!

  8. Sorry for your bad experience, but it sounds very uncharacteristic to me. We've been eating at Sergio's for years and never had a similar experience. They certainly handle that volume on many occasions that we have been there, so I am guessing that they were a waiter short that night. (They've been having the same waiters there for years, too).

  9. Nice report! Hope to be down there in June visiting family. How was the music? :biggrin:

    Glad you mentioned Don's Seafood Hut. My wife's FAVORITE bread pudding, served soft and warm with cream. We never miss it when we are down there.

    You will see roux-based gumbos or okra-based gumbos but not a mix of the roux and okra in that area, if they are old-timey. That's more like NOLA. I like them both.

  10. How do you serve gumbo at your house? Do you put the gumbo in your bowl first then add the rice, as all feeling hearts and civilized people certainly do, or do you put your rice first and then pour gumbo over it, like those uncouth in-laws do it? It doesn't much affect the taste, but this has been the subject of disagreement between my nieces and their husbands.

  11. My enterprising wife ordered 3 packs of tails online from Louisiana Crawfish this week for $56, shipped overnight, and they were from an outfit in Eunice. Pretty good too! Might seem steep, but we made 3 meals for the 2 of us off 2 pounds with an etouffee, and 1 is going to go real soon in a risotto recipe we have.

    The UL alumni crawfish boil will take place first week in May. In recent years it's been held at a park in Mt. Vernon, VA.

  12. In Louisiana we thought of maple syrup as the American kind and Steen's cane syrup as the Cajun kind. I am sure local maple syrup is much better in New England, but maple syrup in some form is sold all over the country, no?

    What about breakfast cereal for the list? Like Corn Flakes and Wheaties? "Breakfast of champions."

  13. For all the interesting writing on American culinary culture (note: when I use "culinary culture" or "National/regional" cuisine, I'm talking about the totality of the experience: haute, low, home cooking, celebrations, raw materials etc.) the line that drew my attention that somewhat bleary night was "I'm not sure American cuisine has a lot ot be proud of," a comment that has been well-rebutted.

    Well, countries (and our own regions) are not always seen by others in their best light; sometimes by cliches and stereotypes.

    To return to the analogy with jazz for a moment. On the jazz music boards I visit, there are actually frequent discussions whether jazz is the truly uniquely American musical contribution to the world's culture, and people on those boards actually do say, without a speck of irony, YES, jazz is. Then come the tortured arguments justifying WHY so many of our musical genres are NOT uniquely American. Blues? No, came from Africa. Hillbilly? No, came from Scotland. Cajun? No, came from France by way of Canada. Tex-Mex. No, came from the mixture of Spanish and German settlers but it is definitely nothing unique. Bluegrass? Gospel? No, they are not artistic enough to be considered. Quite unbelievable! Arguments like that devalue great contributions that should give us pride.

    To me the argument that nearly all of our cuisine is merely derivative and not uniquely American strikes me as equally tortured.

    [This thread has combined two of my passions, food and music, and raised my hamburger and pizza induced high blood pressure! No uniquely American music or food to brag about? Wow!]

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