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Just did 17 Gumbos in 4 days

ezron Dec 5, 2011 01:56 PM

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

  1. t
    teachergirl23 Dec 11, 2011 04:40 PM

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

    1. l
      lawstudent Dec 7, 2011 01:40 PM

      Did you go to my favorite - Mandina's?

      10 Replies
      1. re: lawstudent
        ezron Dec 7, 2011 02:43 PM

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

        so many restaurants .....so 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
          califkatie Dec 7, 2011 04:21 PM

          get crackin' on that trip report!

          1. re: ezron
            JazzyB Dec 9, 2011 06:20 AM

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

            1. re: JazzyB
              ezron Dec 9, 2011 06:51 AM

              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"....it is the ONE flavor that is haunting us a week later

              1. re: JazzyB
                GDPhalp Dec 9, 2011 10:44 AM

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

                1. re: JazzyB
                  expatorleanian Dec 10, 2011 04:18 AM

                  What is LBBT?

                  1. re: expatorleanian
                    texasredtop Dec 10, 2011 05:52 AM

                    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
                      texasredtop Dec 10, 2011 05:27 PM

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

                    2. re: expatorleanian
                      ezron Dec 10, 2011 10:35 AM

                      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
                        texasredtop Dec 10, 2011 04:16 PM

                        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. c
                collardman Dec 6, 2011 11:03 AM

                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
                  ezron Dec 6, 2011 11:25 AM

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

                  1. re: ezron
                    texasredtop Dec 6, 2011 03:49 PM

                    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
                      lenwood Dec 7, 2011 01:55 PM

                      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
                        Bill Hunt Dec 7, 2011 05:20 PM

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


                        1. re: Bill Hunt
                          texasredtop Dec 7, 2011 07:10 PM

                          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
                            Bill Hunt Dec 8, 2011 08:32 PM

                            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
                              texasredtop Dec 9, 2011 06:35 AM

                              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
                                Bill Hunt Dec 9, 2011 07:00 PM

                                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
                              lenwood Dec 12, 2011 01:39 PM

                              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. Bill Hunt Dec 5, 2011 08:21 PM

                    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.

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