Happy Thanksgiving everybody! We had a great one at home with just one other guest and a 10lb turkey :P Dry brined and spatchcocked it as per Kenji’s advice and it turned out super, the breast meat was really well done, even better than the dark meat! Anyway this post is about some Creole food we had downtown Seattle when another Z came to visit from the University of Michigan. He was en route to a topology conference in Victoria and we brought him here and also to Ada’s cafe :P
The shrimp and grits were pretty awesome! We none of us knew what “grits” were because we hardly eat it. Which also means we can’t really tell if they are good. They were creamy and went with the spicy orange sauce (chipotle-ish?) and the shrimp;I would definitely order this again.
Another hit at the meal was the crawfish pasta. The sauce here is actually pretty similar to that on the shrimp and grits. Generous amount of crawfish in the sauce and the pasta was al dente. Though of course not made in house, but they specialize in Creole, not pasta. If you’re looking for handmade noodles I recommend Trove, Il Corvo, or any of the Ethan Stowell restaurants.
Cup of Gumbo – we were just sharing lots of small dishes just to get a taste of everything. Growing up in Asia means we don’t really get any exposure to Creole cuisine (until recently when a bunch of crab boil restaurants opened in Singapore) so we tried a little of everything just to get more intuition about what makes Creole cuisine Creole. It was pretty greasy and spicy and I felt not enough chorizo.
The catfish and chips were quite lovely and tender and fresh tasting. We especially liked the yam chips though, which were hot, crisp and not-enough-of. Blueacre seafood also does these yam chips but they aren’t as crisp.
I did not really understand the hype behind fried green tomatoes – they were a little stiffer than regular tomatoes and had more of a bite, sorta like steaks. And also more tart. So they didn’t really taste like tomatoes at all. I suppose out of all the things you could possibly batter and fry this would be one of the healthiest :P
Loved the beignets, although they were a little doughier than expected. They served them with a fat glob of whipped cream on the side and a beautiful strawberry rose and we all fought over the last one :P I don’t know how true this is of other cultures but if you are in a big group and eating discrete things like beignets in Singapore, there will always be one left on the plate because everyone is too paiseh (shy, embarrassed, not sure what the translation would be) to eat the last one. This is especially obvious at chinese wedding banquets, where there will be one scallop, one abalone, one slice of chicken etc. left on the plates, and all the “adults” at the table will encourage the young uns to eat up since they are still growing and need more nutrition or whatever, as if they hadn’t all just spent the entire night stuffing their faces.
In general I thought the food here was pretty good and wouldn’t mind coming back for another bite if I were ever in the area. But there are so many restaurants in Belltown it’s hard to keep going back to a single place.