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Dec 5, 2011 01:56 PM

Just did 17 Gumbos in 4 days

What a blast--

The standouts FOR US were

K-Pauls (classic dark roux)
Herbsaint (see above)
Mr. B's (the Ya Ya--not the best but very good)
GW Fins (surprised us)
Luizza's BTT (more soupy but fantastic flavor)

2 disappointing things of note---MOST places we found (even some of note) water their Gumbo with either stock or H2O in order to stretch it out ---YUCK.

and second --could they please use some DECENT size shrimp in the Seafood Gumbo?--popcorn size seems to be the norm (we would GLADLY pay more for larger ones)

All in all a great great trip--
I'll post more about it later

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  1. Wow, you have me beaten there. Quite a few years ago, we were back in NOLA, and then to the Gulf Coast for about 10 days, and for some reason, decided that we would do gumbo and fried shrimp for nearly every lunch and dinner. That trip ended up with about 14 gumbos and 14 fried shrimp plates, but was spread out.

    In the course of our tastings, all were pretty good, but some really stood out. Unfortunately, many of the restaurants are gone, and those on the Gulf Coast are REALLY gone.

    You are much more focused, than we were. Way to go.

    As for the size of shrimp - if the restaurant is sourcing locally, the size can depend on the time in the season, and then the season itself. Though not in NOLA, I also encounter a lot of shrimp sourced from China, Vietnam and India, where the sizes are small, and highly uniform. They are also not fresh, so the texture will usually be very different from the fresh shrimp. I would hope that any good NOLA restaurant WOULD source locally (entire Gulf & Lake), where possible.


    PS - As gumbo is a big topic (as it should be) on this board, a detailed review would be helpful to many.

    1. When locals go to the grocery for packaged "gumbo" shrimp, it is the popcorn shrimp that is in the case. But I agree with you and I prefer cooking my seafood gumbos with the one bite 20+ count

      9 Replies
      1. re: collardman

        In the Gumbos that I have tried I just do not get ANY flavor from the popcorn shrimp---

        1. re: ezron

          The flavorless shrimp are farm raised. I won't eat them, taste like nothing. I always inquire if they use Gulf shrimp or something else before ordering any shrimp dish. But I rarely get shrimp in NO. I'm after the oysters in the winter and soft shelled crabs in the summer. I have a freezer full of Gulf shrimp and my fried shrimp are better than any others I've ever eaten.

          Mr. B's uses Gulf shrimp. Their seafood gumbo is the only one I've tried and it was really good. I thought the gumbo at Dick and Jenny's was excellent, the best I've had in NO. It's so rich though, couldn't eat a lot of it that late at night.

          1. re: texasredtop

            I like Charlie's Seafood's gumbo. (sister restaurant of Brigtsen's) They add the shrimp and oysters just before serving. Did you try this one?

            1. re: lenwood

              Just had that one, early last week, and it WAS quite good.


              1. re: Bill Hunt

                So Bill and lenwood, what else is good at Charlie's? Is is worth adding it to my list for the week before Christmas? I love gumbo but rarely order it in a restaurant so just good gumbo won't get it for me. What else have y'all eaten there?

                1. re: texasredtop

                  While I am a big fan of Chef Frank, and also lived just up the Jefferson HWY from the old Chariles, I was a bit underwhelmed by our lunch. The gumbo was very good, and everything else was mediocre. Now, my lovely wife had their softshell, a few months back, and really sang its praises. We arrived long after softshell season, so I have never had that.

                  I'd go back, and sample more.


                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                    Ok, I think I'll pass this trip and maybe hit it for ssc next summer. Did you just go to NO Bill? I have been too busy to keep up with the NO thread day-to-day and have missed a lot. Can you post a link to your reviews?

                    I'm still undecided about whether to try the Drago's in the Hilton. I'll be there for 5 days starting the 19th. I will not miss Drago's in Metairie though, it's my FIRST stop :-) Can't wait.

                    1. re: texasredtop

                      We were in for three days, but for a wedding, and then had to fly to San Francisco for a meeting, so every meals was done with the family, with one exception - Charlie's Seafood, which was very good on one end, but just so-so on the other. It was lunch, so I need to give them another go, and really spend some time.

                      Travel safely,


                  2. re: texasredtop

                    Two other dishes I recommend over there: 1) Catfish and grits with some kind of tomatoey sauce. 2) Non fried seafood platter- I forget the exact name but has several good items on it that although I haven't been to Brigten's do match descriptions of several items. The fish served has a crabmeat topping and there is some sort of oyster cornbread casserole served in a ceramic container. There is a third item on this platter that escapes my memory.

        2. Did you go to my favorite - Mandina's?

          10 Replies
          1. re: lawstudent

            no--did not hit Mandina's or Charlies(or Brigstens)

            so many restaurants few days

            but here are the ones we did get to

            Bon Ton








            Gumbo Shop



            GW FIns


            Red Fish Grill

            Luizza's BTT



            Mr. B's (2)

            OMG--that's 19 !

            1. re: ezron

              get crackin' on that trip report!

              1. re: ezron

                You missed one of the best...Commanders. Is it just me, or does LBBT taste like tamales?

                1. re: JazzyB

                  I know CP is a great one---and we will do it again on our next trip.

                  believe it or not we did not start out on a Gumbo

                  Tour .....instead we were cherry picking 1 or 2 great dishes (and splitting them)

                  at as many places as our stomachs would handle.....and once we started ordering

                  Gumbo at the first one, we just kept on doing it (curiousity as much as anything).

                  But I have to admit, even though Luizza's BTT does not have the heartiness of many

                  of the "classic gumbos" is the ONE flavor that is haunting us a week later

                  1. re: JazzyB

                    wow, now that you mention really does - any chance they use masa or maseca as a thickener?? is that even possible?

                      1. re: expatorleanian

                        Luizza's (By The Track) I'm not sure but I think it's by the Fair Grounds (the NO horse track). I have some idea in my head that Fair Grounds was moved in the last several years so I'm not sure if that means the old location or the new location. But the move might just be something I dreamed. I haven't been to the Fair Grounds in over a dozen years. Caught my trainers racing my horses there under the table and never went back. Stopped in Vinton on the way home and put them both up for sale. :-(

                        1. re: texasredtop

                          It didn't move, it burned down and they rebuilt.

                        2. re: expatorleanian

                          LIUZZA'S BY THE TRACK---a great dive in Faubourg St John that is known for

                          BBQ Shrimp Po Boys, Bloody Marys and Gumbo ---NOT to be confused

                          with LIUZZA'S another great neighborhood corner restaurant not too far away in


                          1. re: ezron

                            You know ezron, given some of the remarks about your tons of gumbo in a couple of days, I have to say I think you rock. I could never handle it now, those days are gone but I certainly appreciate knowing someone can. I'm wondering what your theme will be on your next visit. I look forward to your reviews in the years ahead :-)

                  2. I have most recently enjoyed the gumbo at Lil Dizzy's. Chock FULL of everything. Even got a little crab leg in there.