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Crawfish and Low Country Cooking

Charles Feb 26, 2007 04:55 PM

I am wondering where the best place to get crawfish and or low country cooking is in New Orleans? Will be staying at the Hilton Riverside for about a week without a car, so somewhere I can get to by either foot or a >$25 cab ride.

  1. sirvelvet Mar 15, 2007 10:40 AM

    Big Fisherman has some great crawfish, no doubt, and if you are uptown they are about the most consistent. For a real New Orleans experience, get your boiled crawfish and take them to The Fly, which is a park on the river behind the Audubon Zoo. Stop at the Daquiri shop at river bend on your way there, because there may be nothing better than a sweet daquiri, hot spicy crawfish, and the muddy Missisippi! This will also save you some $$ so you can spend it on a really nice dinner later on.

    1. j
      JerseyNOLA Mar 14, 2007 11:34 AM

      I do like Celeste, butter + Olive oil, but first I chop and rend 1/4 slice of bacon in teh pan (I do it stove top rather than bake - also works with squid steaks have tried it with frozen scallops - would not bother with fresh ones)

      1. n
        N_bodie Mar 7, 2007 07:58 AM

        I think big fisherman is a really good place to get seafood, but as a tourist...I would want to sit down and take in the experience...Frankie and Johnny's.

        1 Reply
        1. re: N_bodie
          cervisiam Mar 11, 2007 08:26 AM

          frankie and johnny's is definitely more local; i think we were the only tourists in the entire place yesterday for lunch. big fisherman/bulldog seemed more...for lack of a better word, yuppie. not necessarily touristy, but just more young and scene-y

          oh btw, big fisherman's crawfish are currently 3.29/lb. at frankie and johnny's crawfish were 9.95 an order, i think probably the order was about 1.5-2 lbs?

        2. c
          cervisiam Mar 5, 2007 03:50 PM

          btw, how do the crawfish look right now? still small?

          1. Panama Hat Mar 1, 2007 04:58 AM

            That recipe in Savuer was strange in that they took the heads off and shelled them. The fat (and stuff) in the heads is what gives the juice such a rich flavor, like crawfish fat in crawfish dishes. And the recipe didn't look too impressive. I make a dynamite b-b-q shrimp until I tasted Pascale Manale's--man, is it good. For a home made recipe go to "The New Orleans Cookbook" by Richard and Rima Collins. Does anyone know what happened to the Collins.

            10 Replies
            1. re: Panama Hat
              Hungry Celeste Mar 1, 2007 06:29 AM

              Yeah, and the Saveur/adapted Commander's recipe is a skillet, stovetop version. Many renditions of the recipe are baked and not sauteed.

              1. re: Panama Hat
                MakingSense Mar 8, 2007 07:41 PM

                The Collins recipe is good and the one in the new Tom Fitzmorris cookbook is really good too. Two fine cookbooks!!!
                I think Saveur used the adaptation of Commander's recipe since most of their readers can't get head-on shrimp. Damn shame. The heads and the shells are what give that dish, especially the sauce, the flavor. To me, Pascal Manale's is THE version they will serve in Heaven.

                1. re: MakingSense
                  uptownlibrarian Mar 13, 2007 02:32 PM

                  I recently read (I'm pretty sure on Tom Fitzmorris' site in a review of Manale's in the past two or three months) that the BBQ shrimp sauce at Manale's is margarine-based. Maybe that's why it's impossible to replicate...it never would have occured to me to use margarine.

                  1. re: uptownlibrarian
                    MakingSense Mar 13, 2007 07:01 PM

                    Fitzmorris' new New Orleans Cookbook has a great recipe for Barbeque Shrimp that he says is just like Pascal's Manale's version. Three sticks of butter. Maybe the restaurant uses margarine. Who knows?
                    I'm not using margarine in my house. If I go to the trouble of finding head-on fresh shrimp, I'm going for the best.

                    1. re: MakingSense
                      Frolic Mar 14, 2007 05:07 AM

                      Just checked the book. Fitzmorris doesn't say that's his recipe is just like Pascal's Manale's version. I'm pretty sure I've heard Fitzmorris say that barbecue shrimp is not his favorite dish as Manale's.

                      Last time I was there, it certainly tasted like margarine.

                      1. re: Frolic
                        Hungry Celeste Mar 14, 2007 06:42 AM

                        On good authority from one of the deFelices, it's margarine.

                        1. re: Hungry Celeste
                          Frolic Mar 14, 2007 09:21 AM

                          Excellent. Thanks for the confirmation, Celeste.

                          1. re: Frolic
                            MakingSense Mar 14, 2007 09:52 AM

                            We can always count on our Celeste!!!! Thanks!
                            Me? I'll keep making it with butter. Wonder if Manale's always used margarine? Sort of disillusioning...
                            Still a great dish.

                            1. re: MakingSense
                              Hungry Celeste Mar 14, 2007 10:09 AM

                              At home, I use half butter and half olive oil.

                              1. re: Hungry Celeste
                                MakingSense Mar 14, 2007 10:56 AM

                                That sounds even better! I'm going with your way next time. No to oleo!

              2. j
                jkt Feb 28, 2007 06:26 PM

                I took a trip to New Orleans to try the gumbos a few months before katrina. Dookey Chase had the most incredible broth, rich and deep in flavor. It was one of the highlights of my trip, along with Drago's oysters, and Liuzza's by the Track's gumbo and oyster po boy.

                1. Charles Feb 28, 2007 04:25 PM

                  Wow thank you all this has been super helpful please keep those recommendations coming. I think I misspoke in my first post due to my own ignorance yes what I am really looking for is good Cajun/ Soul food.
                  Also I read in this month’s Savuer about shrimp BBQ but the only place it mentions as is Commander's Palace. Any other recommendations?
                  Again thank you all I am salivating all over my keyboard in anticipation.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Charles
                    Bill Hunt Feb 28, 2007 06:03 PM

                    Now, IIRC, Pascale Manale's "invented" BBQ Shrimp. At least they are known for it, though many others have probably done their "take" on the dish. Heck, even in AZ, I do a version!

                    For "soul," I'd recommend Dookey Chase, which has reopened, though I do not know the hours of operation. For "Cajun," I second the Bon Ton, though it has been too many years, since I last dined there. I'd go with the local's recs. on this, as they know what is open, and who is doing what post-Katrina.


                  2. b
                    bbares81 Feb 27, 2007 07:31 AM

                    If by low-country, you mean southern food like fried green tomato, cheese grit, etc., you are out of luck in this city...for the most part the restaurants that I think you are looking for apply elements of Creole, Southern, Cajun cooking, and the best of these are Cochon (which I think is exactly what you are looking forif by low-country you mean south of new orleans), Jacquesimos, Dick and Jenny's, Bon Ton, K-Paul...crabby jack's is just a little better than a poboy shop, not low country by any definition.

                    Cochon is by DOnald Link who actually grew up south of New Orleans, unlike the owner of Crabby Jack's/Jacquesimos.

                    1. h
                      Hungry Celeste Feb 27, 2007 06:36 AM

                      I suggest the Bon Ton, downtown on Magazine Street. It's what you might term "cajun restaurant" food (as opposed to home cooking). I like the crabmeat au gratin, but most everything on the menu is tasty (though heavy). Don't overlook K-Paul's, which is still delicious after all these years.

                      1. Bill Hunt Feb 26, 2007 05:57 PM

                        As for "low-country" cooking, that is really more of a S. Carolina menu. For instance, "hopin'-John" has never appeared on any menu, that I have seen in NO, and it is THE staple side-dish of "low-country." Now, some of the "soul food," in NO, probably draw as much from the Deep South cooking, as they draw from Creole and Carribean cooking. Though I think of Dookey Chase' as being New Orleans, there are probably some similarities with "low-country." Seems that they have re-opened post-Katrina. Also, things may well have changed, since I last lived in the city, and most of my vacation-dining has been at the higher-end spots, so I am not all that current.


                        1. s
                          strephking Feb 26, 2007 05:11 PM

                          if you go to the Garden District there is this seafood market across from The BullDog on Magazine Street. The BullDog lets you buy boiled crawlfish from the market, and then you can eat them outside and order beer from the bar. they are so of the best crawfish I've had. A quick warning, they sell out quick, so you have to be there when they open!
                          Another Chowhounder told me they enclosed the patio at The BullDog; so you may have to find a park or another spot to eat them; i am not sure. Also, CrabbyJacks which is definitely a cab ride away is true cajun food. I suggest the aligator and crawfish cheesecake (quiche type thing)! This place is in the middle of no where; i don't think you will find many tourist there. it's a great little hole in the wall.

                          9 Replies
                          1. re: strephking
                            Hungry Celeste Feb 27, 2007 06:34 AM

                            Sorry, but in no way is Crabby Jack's true cajun food. And, it's almost always loaded with tourists, visitors, and/or "recent" New Orleanians (students, etc).

                            1. re: Hungry Celeste
                              dtud Feb 28, 2007 04:44 AM

                              Tourists support our economy and "recent" new orleanians live here too. Fine - you don't think Crabby's is true cajun - but why insult people who support this area?

                              1. re: dtud
                                Hungry Celeste Feb 28, 2007 06:18 AM

                                The purpose of Chowhound is to find the best food, right? Strephking stated that CrabbyJack's is "true cajun" and "in the middle of nowhere" and "I don't think you will find many tourists there." All three are factually incorrect. And I think it has awful food and a lousy atmosphere. I don't send anyone there, tourists, locals, or "recent New Orleanians". And I'm happy that people have decided to move to Orleans Parish...but I don't want them or anyone else eating schlocky food that rips off local culture in an appropriative fashion. Hey, DocB, help me out here...

                                1. re: Hungry Celeste
                                  JGrey Feb 28, 2007 01:53 PM

                                  I thought you liked Crabby Jack's, but not Jacque-imo's? I think the previous poster is thinking of JI's, because I don't remember seeing the cheesecake at Crabby Jack's.

                                  1. re: JGrey
                                    Hungry Celeste Mar 1, 2007 06:28 AM

                                    Yeah, I was thinking of JI's, did the same thing you did...the cheesecake triggered thoughts of JI's. Anyway, Crabby Jack's still is a far cry from "true cajun food." Why is it okay to think that cajun is whatever anyone wants it to be? No one ever says that PF Chang's is "true chinese food,"

                            2. re: strephking
                              cervisiam Feb 27, 2007 06:51 AM

                              any idea what the seafood market is called, or what its hours are?

                              1. re: cervisiam
                                cervisiam Feb 27, 2007 06:59 AM

                                whoops, found it:
                                hours are 10-7 7 days a week

                              2. re: strephking
                                JGrey Feb 28, 2007 01:55 PM

                                They did include the patio, but it occurs to me that there are still a few tables out on the sidewalk that would be easily accessible.

                                Another spot for (imo) good crawfish, if you get them hot, is Frankie and Johnny's. I also like the green pepper rings.

                                1. re: strephking
                                  ashbefree Feb 17, 2009 01:49 PM

                                  Too bad I didn't see this posting back in 2007 so that I could have replied sooner but Big Fisherman is HORRIBLE!! They are overpriced and sometimed not cleaned well enough. If you have a car, drive to Louisiana Ave. a few blocks away and turn right, away from the river. Once you cross St. Charles, any of those places are better. It will take you a few minutes out of your way but the crawfish will be better and cheaper. I go to Big F when I'm desperate.

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