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Wow, do I miss cajun cooking

Where have all the cajun places gone? Where can a nice Jewish boy get some spicy crawfish gumbo?

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  1. Delta Grill is the only place I know of, and it's in Manhattan. It's also not that good - not horrible, but pretty average. I would love to know of a great place in the outer boroughs!

    1 Reply
    1. re: biondanonima

      There was a very solid place in Whitestone Queens called Cookin with Jazz which has been gone for a couple of years. I miss that place a lot. Other than that...nothing. I am surprised that there isn't an uproar. What happened to the form?

    2. there is NoNo Kitchen on 7th ave in Park Slope, haven't been but it was previously described as SoSo Kitchen. There is one recent post that gave it a good review, anybody else like this place?

      3 Replies
      1. re: sadarami

        I tried it. My wife and I both agree: it is sub-so-so.

        1. re: NYJewboy

          You might want to check out Stan's Place on Atlantic and Bond. I haven't been for a while but the seafood gumbo was pretty good last time I had it.

      2. There's a place on Austin St in FH called Mardi Gras grill. I haven't been yet but the menu looks appetizing.

        1. I just got back from a trip to New Orleans (more creole, than cajun) and would love to be able to enjoy jambalya more regularly. I find Mardi Gras Grill in FH to be a poor, poor substitute but it is definitely the closest option to JH. I heard a chi-chi Louisiana place opened up in Manhattan (I think in the MeatPacking district) but I don't remember the name.

            1. re: Astoria Lurker

              I have not. I gather it is more of a BBQ place, no?

              1. re: NYJewboy

                They are an odd mix of cuisines, Cajun/Creole, TexMex, Sushi and BBQ. I think the BBQ and Cajun/Creole is the best part of their menu. The owner, Jim, is from New Orleans and they have various Abita brew on tap.

            2. I hate to diss NoNo cause the chef/owner paid his dues cooking a bunch a years in NOLA so I prefer to think its cause this cuisine just doesn't travel well. Its something about local ingredients tasting one way close to the source and another way in a totally different context. Another place not yet mentioned is Mara's Homemade on E6th St just east of 1st Ave in Manhattan. They're from Louisianna (I think) and the last time we were there they had just received a fresh shipment of LA crawfish which seemed to be traditionally prepared and yet somehow just didn't taste right. I suspect that most people who crave LA food, Cajun or Creole, love it cause we've been there and eaten it there and just loved the place, the music, the people and the food so much that we want that experience here in NYC and it just doesn't happen. Look at Jacque 'Imo's, in NOLA, between the locals and the tourists ya can't get in the place but the one on the Upper West side, with the same menu and I suppose shipped in ingredients had to close. It just didn't work here. If you crave this food there is only one solution and believe me you won't regret it, go to New Orleans. Anybody wanta talk gumbo?

              7 Replies
              1. re: lmead

                You are making some sense here. That might be my next vacation. What you described also happened in the 80's with K-Pauls, but for the first few weeks, he used all ingredients from home. It was magical, but short lived. It tanked in NYC.

                1. re: NYJewboy

                  If you like to eat and I suspect you do you won't regret it. I love BK restaurants but IMHO there are more good restaurants, from dives to fine dining, per capita, in NOLA than here.

                  1. re: lmead

                    "per capita" are the key words, as NYC has so many more ethnic restaurants in one area (think Astoria or Jackson Heights) than "Nu Awlins" can ever hope to see.

                    I lived there for three years and couldn't wait to return to NYC because of the lack of ethnic food. But then, who goes to Nu Awlins for Thai cooking, right?

                    1. re: Stuartmc910

                      I think about a solid month and a half of eating Louisiana specialties would do nicely. Then I can have my roti and Panang curry when I return.

                      1. re: Stuartmc910

                        And yet we have had more than passable Thai in a little place in the Marigny neighborhood the name of which is eluding me. There is something about that cuisine that I think really works in southern Louisianna. There are also a lot of Vietnamese places in and around New Orleans now. We haven't been but friends living there say they are great. It may have something to do with being surrounded by water, the heat and high humidity. I've never been to SE Asia but I sense geographical corollaries that would make the local ingredients work with those cuisines. Plus there are lots of Vietnamese there now and probably for the same reasons. I know, I know, this should be on the New Orleans board. I'll stop now.

                  2. re: lmead

                    This does make a lot of sense. I believe the chef from Stan's is NO born and bred as well and it just doesn't quite taste like the real thing. You can't make a muffuletta without the right bread and you can't try and recreate the NO experience in NYC.

                    I've been going down for years and finally went back last fall after a few years off. We spent the entire 5 days eating. Best vacation ever.

                    1. re: lmead

                      Speaking of Jacque 'Imo's, that's the guy behind Lucky Mojo.