Fat Tuesday / Mardi Gras
We snagged an early reservation at Angeline's for tonight. No crawfish boil this year (they said it's too early in the season), but they're doing a number of special items tonight (fried gator, king cake, some kind of Hurricane cocktail, etc.) in addition to their regular menu offerings.
Angeline's Louisiana Kitchen
2261 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704
Well, now I've tried king cake and will probably pass on it in the future. Angeline's version had cream cheese and blueberry. Tasted more or less just like a blueberry danish (and not a particularly good one at that). Don't know if they made it in house or sourced it from somewhere else.
I like the food at Angeline's generally, but their Mardis Gras menu wasn't anything special, so we mostly just stuck with the same dishes we normally order. The only other thing that appealed to us on the specials menu were the Natchitoches meat pies, served with peppers and sweet tea jelly -- those were actually pretty good. But again, I'm not sure if they actually made the pies in house or just had them shipped in (i.e. frozen).
No fried gator -- they had some kind of alligator chili instead, which we weren't in the mood to try.
Chenery Park has a Mardi Gras menu, including crayfish etouffe with housemade andouille sausage and dirty rice, bbq shrimp, gumbo, red beans and rice, among other items:
Service at Chenery Park has always been very good when I've gone; food generally can be hit or miss but the Southern/Louisiana items have always been the best bets there, in my experience. One of the chefs is from Missippi and trained in NOLA under Paul Prudhomme. Plus, the bartenders are great and could probably whip up something appropriate!
If I were in town, I'd be very tempted. However, Tuesday is also kids's night there, so if one doesn't want kids around during their MG celebration that could be an issue. That said, they usually seat all the kids upstairs, so downstairs near the bar should be good unless one is bringing kids of one's own....
is the food at nola an accurate representation of true new orleans food? the SO and i have been to new orleans several times, and he went to tulane, so we are always looking for new orleans food here, from mr. b's bbq shrimp to clancy's gumbo and everything in between. we've tried several places in the bay but nothing seemed right. i'd love to take him to nola if it's got the right food, but if it doesn't, it will be a bitter disappointment. thoughts? other suggestions for true n'awlins food?
If you find someplace, please let us know. I spent 2 long weekends in N'awlins eating and have never found anything here that was more than a pale imitation (and that includes some places mentioned here).
In fact the closest approximation that I found was when Paul Prudhomme imported his restaurant here for a month-long run and later for a New Orleans By the Bay festival at Shoreline. Other than that I've been most satisfied with gumbos at small soul food places like Dorsey's Locker. I did like LA Bayou but they went the way of all flush after a bathroom accident lawsuit and an armed robbery..
Nothing here will remind you of Brigtsen's or K-Pauls or anything in between.
Me, I'm going to Popeye's for the leg and thigh special for 1.29! They make a very credible Shrimp Poboy.
I fear that grail is not to be found hereabouts. You can take comfort in the fact that Popeye's here is probably the same as Popeye's in New Orleans. Their red beans and rice are pretty good, but very salty and their etoufee quite good, although they only had it for a couple of weeks last Fall. Is there some sort of crawdad shortage? I actually had their mac and cheese last night doctored up with some leftover shredded Old Quebec cheddar. I really like their biscuits too. I live between San Pablo and 4th Street and the neighborhood restaurants I've been to most have been Popeye's and Cafe Rouge (Popeye's by a wide margin).
Queen's Louisiana Po-Boy Cafe
3030 San Bruno Ave
between Paul Ave & Olmstead St.
San Francisco, CA 94134
611 Larkin St
between Eddy St & Willow St.
San Francisco, CA 94109
4542 Irving St
between 46th Ave & 47th Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94122
Brenda's French Soul Food
652 Polk St
between Eddy St & Turk St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
1166 Geneva Ave
between Edinburgh St & Naples St.
San Francisco, CA 94112