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Jul 12, 2009 07:37 AM

gumbo ya-ya

So I arrive tomorrow and was wandering how the gumbo ya-ya is these days at Mr B's?

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  1. I wouldn't hesitate to belly up to the bar for a bowl or two. enjoy!

    1. Had it the other night about two weeks ago. I had never had it before, but I had to try it based on the reviews. I thought it was bland. Probably the worst I've ever ordered in town. Commander's, herbsaint, cochon (the gumbo's I've had lately) are all much better than mr. b's.

      1. I hate to be snotty, but "gumbo ya-ya" has nothing to do with food. It means "everybody talks at once", which, if you've been to any meeting, political, social, PTA or otherwise, down here, well, you know what gumbo yaya means.

        What Mr. B's has is simply gumbo. Sorry tohear Mr. b's may not be as goodas of old; gumbo is deceptively hard to make.

        12 Replies
        1. re: underworld gourmet

          Thank you---from the bottom of my heart, thank you. I'm so goddamn tired of the "ya-ya" crud on menus....

          You have done good towards God and His House.

          1. re: underworld gourmet

            I have always been under the impression that "Gumbo Ya Ya" was gumbo made without any seafood. If I am mistaken, can you tell me if there is any particular designation for chicken/sausage but no shrimp/crawfish/etc gumbo?

            1. re: Fydeaux

              interesting note..."ya ya" is also greek for "grandmother". Would be an appropriate word usage for gumbo ya ya if it wasn't......greek.

              1. re: Fydeaux

                At Mr. B's, I believe that Gumbo Ya Ya refers to gumbo made specifically with andouille sausage and chicken. I thought it was silly as I think it means, "everyone talking at once i.e a loud party, meeting etc." Not sure if restaurants are trying to be cutesy by naming a dish after a saying, but would assume so.

                1. re: ScarlettNola


                  though explanation to the name, the above link will take you to their recipe.
                  Ya Ya has many definitions and meanings, so who knows which one Mr. B's used or if they came up w/one of their own.

              2. re: underworld gourmet

                OK, I've done a bit of looking around on line, and it appears that what we have here is a term with multiple usages, one of which is a conversational free-for-all, and another is for chicken/sausage gumbo (I looked at MANY recipes for "gumbo ya ya" on line and only spotted one--Randy Jackson's, he of American Idol fame--that included any kind of seafood).

                This is similar to "clambake", which definitely has meaning in the food world. But in the 30s and 40s, Jazz musicians used the term to refer to a badly out of 7control jam session. The name "Tommy Dorsey's Clambake 7" thus ironic, intentionally or not.

                1. re: Fydeaux

                  and then there is the song Ya Ya written by Lee Dorsey, Clarence Lewis, Morgan Robinson and Morris Levy. It was inspired by a children's nursery rhyme. It was recorded by Petula Clark John Lennon and also Chubby Carrier, to name a few.

                  1. re: edible complex

                    I think that the "multiple uses" of gumbo yaya are misuses that have taken root. As far as for kinds of gumbo, generallly, if you have crab claws, shrimp or crawfish in it you can call it a "seafood gumbo", a term with wide usage; and there's also the famous "gombo z'herbes" green gumbo, that is, vegetarian, made for use during lent. Since the gumbo z'herbes is hardly made anymor except in really traditionalist househholds, that term is not much seen.

                    1. re: underworld gourmet

                      The Ya Ya at Mr. Bs is good not magical not like some that I have had in Acadiana thats where the magic is.

                      1. re: underworld gourmet

                        It is true that you never see "gombo zab"(s'herbes) anymore...use to catch it a Lent a lot.

                        Anyone over sixty tends to associate Gumbo Ya-Ya with a gab session that just ranges over everything..that's how I heard of it when I was a kid---a certain yearbook known by that name was just supposed to be all inclusive, so I am told. I think someone picked up on it for a menu...the thought process was "I've heard of it but don;t know what it is --neither does anyone else so why not?" That's just a guess, of course.

                        1. re: hazelhurst

                          For what it's worth, here is what the Mr. B's cookbook says:

                          "We were first introduced to this rich, dark-roux gumbo from one of our early chefs Jimmy Smith who grew up eating it in Cajun country. Its name is said to come from women who would cook gumbo all day long while talking, or "ya-ya-ing."

                          1. re: Frolic

                            That's similar enough to what I could be a reverse-engineered story. In that case it could be any kind of gumbo so I suppose you just make-it-up-as-you-go-along (as if that is uncommon).

                2. Gumbo Ya Ya is the name of a book about Louisiana folklore written by Lyle Saxon and Robert Tallant. I first read it as a kid and have reread and referred to it many times since. It's available in just about any bookstore.

                  1. The story I heard was that Gumbo Ya-Ya was invented by chef Paul Prudhomme at the legendary New Orleans eatery, K-Paul, in the 1970s. He says its so good, it makes you say YaYa!
                    Chef Paul's Chicken and Andouille Smoked Sausage Gumbo found in "Louisiana Kitchen" first appeared as Gumbo Ya-Ya on Mr. B's menu.
                    Emeril Lagasse also has published a recipe for Gumbo Ya-Ya.
                    I really like the Gumbo Ya-Ya at Mr. B's and order it every time we dine there.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: speyerer

                      I think we are thick ice when we refute the K-Paul story---It's good but I have heard people ascribe Oysters Rock to Brennan's...and Everyone invented souffle potatoes (unless you are in France where the storyhas to do with the King being behind schedule on his train and the things had to be re-fried.) I've hear Paul P. claim fried turkey, too, although some folks give that one to Justin Wilson. Gumbo Ya-ya- is certainly older than Prudhomme but he may had "codified" it.

                      1. re: hazelhurst

                        I note that I was unclear here--the expression is older--the food item is something else again...

                        1. re: hazelhurst

                          Weren't Oysters Rockefeller created at Antoine's by Antoine Alciatore?

                            1. re: speyerer

                              I think it was Jules Alciatore..but yes, it is an Antoine's creation. the point simply is that these things tend to blur rapidly. Anyone who makes Rockefeller with spinach can claim to have "invented" that version.