Ethel & Ramone's in Mt. Washington?
I've had their jambalaya at the farmer's market, but I'm wondering if anyone's actually dined there. Any thoughts on the food at the restaurant?
Dining in the restaurant is a hoot. The decor is quite funky and the owner is very chatty, especially to those of us "of a certain age." For decades, he played in a rock and roll band. I don't believe the band was particularly famous, but he was friends with Nils Lofgren and Skunk Baxter. Since my husband and I are of the same generation -- and my husband actually has worked with Skunk in his current incarnation -- we had lots to talk about.
Now to the food...
My husband and I each ordered the jambalaya, but we also ordered added shrimp solving bobovespa's criticism. We thought the flavor was wonderful -- the result of a dark roux with wonderful depth and complexity. For dessert, we shared a piece of silk pie that the owner was touting. The pie is offered in several flavors: chocolate, coffee, and orange if memory serves. When we were torn between the chocolate and the coffee versions, the owner recommended the coffee as something different. The pie tasted as if it had been sitting too long in the refrigerator. The texture was off and I swear I could taste other flavors of food from the refrigerator. Definitely wasted calories. Since the chocolate silk pie is more popular, the sitting-too-long problem might not exist.
Whoops! My husband and I ate gumbo rather than jambalaya as stated in my original post. The gumbo prices are the same as the jambalaya prices and offer the same option to add meat choices to the basic sausage version.
As I understand gumbo preparation, the cooking of the roux is very time consuming and demands constant attention. When eating such a dish -- risotto is another example -- I tend not to focus so much on the cost of the basic ingredients and focus more on the skill to execute the dish.
In what may be the ultimate rationalization, the cost of Ethel and Ramone's gumbo is a lot less expensive than traveling to New Orleans, the only place I've eaten gumbo as good as theirs.
My hubby and I eat at E&R about 4 times per year. While I agree with Hon's comment about the price, please be aware the portions are HUGE. If you order the jambalaya, you'll be taking home 75% for future meals.
I particularly like the pasta with marinara and shrimp. It is satisfying without being HUGE. I've also had the best rockfish there that I have ever had in my life, however, I had it on another occasion and it was sub par (perhaps previously frozen?).
It is a little late in the year, but I should also mention they have fantastic outdoor seating where you can enjoy the sunset over wine and tasty little cheese plate they prepare. They are dog friendly outside and will bend over backwards to please their customers. I have always thought it a treat to dine there.
I ate there recenlt. Excellent fried oysters, nice remoulade, very little breading. Andouille gumbo was quite good, altho not very spicy--not spicy was fine for me. It is funky, but very friendly. Well worth the money
I've been there many times, but I never stray from the delicious gumbo or jambalaya. The other menu options look wonderful, but I go for NOLA staples. I tried the red beans and rice once, but didn't rate it with the gumbo and jambalaya -- I should give it another chance sometime.
The atmosphere is easygoing, fun and funky, just as a casual NOLA restaurant should be. Great for a fun date.
Pricey for a gumbo, hon? Is there somewhere in B'more I can get a cheaper bowl this good? Please, let me know! Well, the portion is BIG -- this is no mere "bowl" of gumbo, its an entree. Maybe a touch more gourmet than what you'd get at a funky NOLA joint. I've never found the jambalaya to be too rice-y, bobvespa, but I usually get the shrimp and andoullie.