Cajun/Creole in YYC
- Jasz May 6, 2008 06:16 PM
Are there any cajun or creole restos left in Calgary? All the ones I knew have closed down.
Also, where can you get a decent jambalaya (with rice, not noodles)?
I hate to sound like a broken record but you'll not find American regional cuisine done even remotely right anywhere in Canada than you will find poutine in the US (with very,very, very, very few exceptions). I remember that "southern" resto by Honest Ed's in Toronto that didn't even have red beans and rice. It is not in Canada, full stop.
re: sarah galvin
Yep- nor are they really in the US outside the gulf coast (and Mobile Alabama has outstanding cajun, one of the few saving graces of my 2 years there). I did get a passable muffuletta at that cajun place at eau claire (now closed?),and they do have a muffuletta at Bumpy's but I've not tried it.
Cajun and creole are not difficult cuisines actually- if you can get your hands on file (that's fee-lay) you should be able to improvise- heck even without. Etoufee is really easy for example and you don't need file for it- just a roux and you're halfway there.
Booker's is okay, but not outstanding. It's certainly not super-authentic, but it's about the best in town. A lot like Palomino or Big T's for BBQ -- the food's okay, but it's the best of the type you'll find 'round these parts. Deliberately-run-down dining room, pretty good (but completely informal) service. Right across from the Cecil, so it's a shady neighbourhood.
I concur with John. Not that hard to cook yourself. There was a pretty recent thread on Andouille sausage, and you can buy file powder at Community Natural Foods in the jar bulk-herb section; it's filed under Sassafras, which it is.
If you aren't handy at all in the kitchen, Safeway carries (in the rice and beans section) Zatarain's products, sort of a Cajun hamburger helper -- cook some meat in a skillet, empty the box in, add water, cover and eat 20 minutes later. I'd put it on par with Booker's, actually.
When you do make Cajun (because everybody should); let me give you some hard-earned advice. No matter what you do, don't try to figure out how your roux is going by dipping a finger in, because it's literally boiling oil, only thicker, thanks to the flour. I learned this three weeks ago, and the skin's mostly grown back. Luckily, it's my left pinky.