Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Delta

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kland01s
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Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/28 09:39:26 (permalink)
Dale, we went to the Gumbo Shop for lunch (we had 4 meals that day... too many to choose from!) and just had a bowl of house gumbo each. Remember, this was 10 years ago! I'd love to go again, there are so many new places! Thanks for taking us there!
#31
Slim Strummer
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Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/28 10:50:43 (permalink)
Utterly fantastic.  Makes me want to go back.
#32
buffetbuster
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Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/28 11:36:57 (permalink)
wanderingjew

Thanks Greymo
New Orleans is probably in my top 5....
I think in no particular order my top 5 are
Kansas City
Charleston SC
New Orleans
Austin
San Francisco

 
Our lists are very similar, although I would probably replace New Orleans with Memphis and find a way to slip Santa Fe or San Diego in there somewhere. 

#33
buffetbuster
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Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/28 11:41:16 (permalink)
Sorry to read about the awful meal at Gumbo Shop.  That plate of food really did not look appetizing at all.  So, how does it rate on your Harold's BBQ/Joe Rogers Chili scale? ( A side note:, I very much liked my meal at Joe Rogers.)
#34
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Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/28 14:18:08 (permalink)
WJ
 
That meal at the Gumbo shop did look horribly disgusting, sorry you had to endure such disgust in a city with SO MUCH to offer.
 
My top 5 Cities (No Particular Order)
 
NOLA
Nashville
KC
Austin
Boston (hey the north has to win once in a while)
#35
wanderingjew
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Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/28 18:37:25 (permalink)
Slim,
 
Glad to see you back. Are you going to join us for our big New England event this May in Worcester?
 
Buffetbuster
 
Santa Fe/Albuquerque would certainly make my top 10.  Memphis would come close. San Diego is a great roadfood town. That would certainly make  my top 20 if not top 15.  
 
Just to compare The Gumbo Shop with the other places you mentioned.
 
Harold's left me feeling nauseous
Joe Rogers left me feeling queasy
The Gumbo Shop left me feeling cheated and pissed off.
BTW The Irondale Cafe didn't do me any favors  when I visited in 2005- that just left my stomach tied up in knots.
 
 
CK
 
Boston? Maybe because its so close I just take it for granted.
 
 
#36
wanderingjew
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Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/28 19:56:54 (permalink)
Chapter 3  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jcr9_dCOusk
(yes chapter 3's theme is a youtube video)
Thursday February 9
 
 
What a better way to start the morning by walking to the French Market and have the classic N'awlins breakfast at
 
Cafe Du Monde
 

 
\
 
 

I wish I could say the Cafe Au Lait has flavor but it doesn't remind me of anything more than warm steamed milk. The beignets from recall are a vast improvement over the ones I had at Cafe Beignet 7 years ago. Certainly larger, warm and fresh, however they taste like RI style doughboys to me although I'll admit I had to dump a good load of sugar off those bad boys.
 
After breakfast I tried to find real coffee at Community Coffee- a Louisiana only Chain. Certainly a vast improvement over Royal Blend but it still didn't wow me.
 
Thursday Morning I decided to do something that I was going to do on my last visit to New Orleans but I ended up touring the Cabildo instead.
 

 
A walking tour of St Louis Cemetery No 1.
 
The guide was very knowledgable.
 
As you know they bury their dead above ground in New Orleans. Due to being below sea level, it would be somewhat disturbing to find Uncle Harry floating around the river after he died of course.
 

 
 

 
The tour guide explained how they would bury people one on top of the other and that they would need to remove the caskets, re-arrange the bones and then rebury the dead. 


 
As you can see, some of the tombs are in good condition and some not so much.
 

 
This is New Orleans oldest cemetery.
 

 
This is the tomb of Marie Laveau the famous voodoo priestess. She lived to be 98 years old-
 
Speaking of voodoo (hence the theme of this chapter)
Our tour guide dropped us off- yes she literally dropped us off and left us at the Voodoo Temple.
 

 
 
Normally I would say the inside of the temple is indescribable but since it was permissible to take photos- here you go
 

 
That's the voodoo priestess on the far right.
 

 
and there she is on the far left.
 

 
I think that tapestry on the right has been visiting me in my dreams every night since.
 
Interestingly enough, the voodoo priestess noticed I was not married- of course I was alone and  don't have a wedding ring- I told her I was waiting for Sandra Bullock (or at least a look alike) she replied "done"
I guess I have to wait and see now.
 
Afterwards, I walked all the way to the uptown street car that goes up St Charles to make my lunch stop.
Casamento's Restaurant
 

 
The first place I actually hit with a line- There were only two parties ahead of me but it was a good 20-25 minute wait for a table.
Meanwhile I got some good photos of the oyster plate after they were freshly shucked
 

 
Finally my table was available
 
I started out with what is possibly the best gumbo on the entire trip.
 

 
and then continue to thoroughly enjoy this fantastic half an oyster loaf
 

 
Dresses with lettuce and tomato, adding just a touch of hot sauce put this sandwich right over the top- probably one of my favorite stops in New Orleans.
 
There's a reason why I ordered "just half a loaf"
 
Buffetbuster suggested my next stop as a must.
Walking distance (well for me it was) from Casamentos I arrive and guess what
 

 
Travelin Manned 
seasonal only
 
Ok, I'll just walk over to my next intended stop- it too really isn't too far away...
 

 
oh no! Two in a row- and today IS Thursday!
 
Now I need to console myself- a return to the french quarter and Mothers?
As I'm walking back to St Charles Avenue to catch the street car- look what grabbed my attention.
 

 
The Creole Creamery
I literally did a double take- I walked in and the young lady said that the ice cream is made right on the premises. 
They had some really cool flavors, a mexican chocolate made with real cajun spices, a peanut ice cream made with sam adams beer and spicy peanuts- I tried a bite and those peanuts were quite spicy- however this is what I went with
 

 
A Chocwork Orange- the best of both worlds- 
Ben and Jerrys used to have a very similar flavor over 20 years ago, however the Creole Creamery puts Ben and Jerry's to shame.
 
This was probably the best ice cream I've had this year, last year and possibly even the year before. Dare I say better than Ted and Wally's, The Daily Scoop, The Java Cow? If not better then just as good.
 
For those who are heading to New Orleans you would be doing yourself a great disservice by not checking the Creole Creamery out
Here is their website.
http://www.creolecreamery.com/
 
After my coma induced ice cream, I took the slow creaky street car back to downtown but not before I took a photo of one of these find mansions lining St Charles Avenue
 

 
Oh, and yes, I still decided to console myself from being Travelin Manned twice with a return to Mother's
and a late afternoon snack- 
 

 
A small bowl of Jambalaya-the best on the trip! (for those who are keeping tabs, this is now my third visit to Mothers on this trip)
 
After resting up for a few hours back at my hotel after strolling around all day, I decided one can not leave New Orleans without one of two drinks. I've never been a fan of the overly sweet hurricane. So I headed over to the French Market Cafe for a hand made (not machine made) Banana Daiquiri
 

 
 
And down to the maraschino-what a fine Daiquiri it was.
 
Afterwards, I decided on a late dinner at Tujagues. 
This is a multi course meal. And when I entered, I looked around, and thought wow, I thought the Bon Ton was dark- it was even darker here- for the first time the remaining photos are all flash photos. I paired my meal with the local brew-Abita
 
I began with the shrimp remoulade
 

 
Al the Mayor couldn't have described it better- like a shrimp cocktail that was accidentally dumped onto the salad. Actually it was pretty good.
I moved on to an interesting but solid gumbo
 

 
but they forgot to take the crab legs out!
 
And then had the interesting brisket in creole sauce
 

 
fork tender - but it should really be called brisket in horseradish drippings.
 
The killer (and I mean this in a good way) was the main course- the Chicken Bon Femme
 

 
What seemed like half a bird nestled with thin sliced fried potatoes and loaded (and I mean loaded) with garlic, parsley and lord knows what else. This was complete sensory overload
 
Dessert was inconsequential
 

 
a very ordinary bread pudding (compared to the other two I had) in Caramel Sauce. 
 
This was certainly a fine meal even with the ordinary dessert.
 
Afterwards, I walked Bourbon Street one last time and returned to my hotel as tomorrow will be my last morning in New Orleans before venturing to other points around the south.
 
More to come later in the week.
#37
Ralph Melton
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Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/28 22:45:55 (permalink)
You tempt me to return to Mother's. (The Ferdi special I had in 2010 was unimpressive.)
#38
Louis
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Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/28 22:54:46 (permalink)
I'm really enjoying this report!  I think I would have haunted the Creole Creamery until I had tried everything that had intrigued me.  Those flavors sound great!
 
#39
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Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/29 06:58:40 (permalink)
What a great report!  And those oysters......mmmmm!!!
#40
Foodbme
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Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/29 08:58:58 (permalink)
You've gone to Mother's enough to qualify as an adopted son!
#41
lleechef
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Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/29 10:20:06 (permalink)
Another great report Dale.  I love New Orleans, it's my favorite "food city".  When the plane lands I go straight to Acme for oysters then to Mother's for a "John G plus debris" or just an oyster po' boy.  I also like Olde N'awlens Cookery where they serve a killer Cajun prime rib and really good fish. 
If the 2013 Glee Club meets in Mobile, we are for sure going to NOLA for a few days! 
#42
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Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/29 10:42:00 (permalink)
How were the raw oysters, salty or not so much?  The only time I had the oysters there they had no salt what so ever, but they were graham cracker sized!  I've been eating appalachiacola oysters here for 3 days, they are somewhat small but VERY salty.  I love this trip report wishing I could reach into the screen and pull off each item I'd like to be eating right now!
#43
buffetbuster
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Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/29 11:29:57 (permalink)
Hmmm, the opinions on Mother's seems to be fairly split.  In my three visits there, the food has always been excellent!
 
Sorry about leading you to a closed restaurant like that.  Too bad, becuase you would have enjoyed.  Of course, you more than made up for it at Creole Creamery.
 
The photos all look really good.  And as much as I am enjoying the New Orleans part of your trip, I am even more eagerly awaiting the MS/AL/AR legs of the trip.
#44
Greymo
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Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/29 12:03:42 (permalink)
I, for one never havecared for Mothers.  It was never as great as I had expected.  I went there twice and thought the same both times.  Maybe,  I just ordered the wrong things.
#45
BuddyRoadhouse
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Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/29 13:55:13 (permalink)
We made Mother's our last stop before leaving NOLA.  It was an excellent goodbye kiss from the Crescent City.  We split a Ferdi Special, a cup of Jambalaya, and a cup of shrimp etouffe.  We were very happy when we left.
 
Buddy
#46
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Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/29 16:49:46 (permalink)
Glad you got to experience the Creole Creamery. We stopped in there on our last foray to NOLA and were astounded by how good their ice creams were. I am a huge fan of their Coffee ice cream. May have to get back there again this year.
#47
mayor al
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Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/29 17:20:29 (permalink)
Another Outstanding report, Dale.
Thanks for sharing with us.  I can already taste the Oysters at next years Glee Club sessions.
AL
#48
mayor al
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Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/29 17:20:39 (permalink)
Another Outstanding report, Dale.
Thanks for sharing with us.  I can already taste the Oysters at next years Glee Club sessions.
AL
#49
joerogo
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Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/29 18:49:47 (permalink)
I have only had breakfast at Mother's, and let me tell you, it was one Mother of a meal!


 
The biscuits, the ham the debris, all outstanding.  Did I mention the biscuits?
 
WJ, Nice report.  Good go to guide for future visits.
#50
ann peeples
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Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/02/29 20:52:36 (permalink)
Oh, my gosh, Dale!This is what Roadfood is all about!
#51
wanderingjew
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Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/03/01 18:16:27 (permalink)
Ralph
 
I think it was the gravy that won me over with the Ferdi Special- simply intoxicating
 
Foodbme
 
Every "Mothers" should have an adopted son- stay tuned for the next chapter for my last visit
 
Rusty246
 
I didn't have the raw oysters- I just snapped a quick photo right after they were shucked and ready to be served. They do look good
 
Buffetbuster
 
I don't blame you- I blame Travelin Man
 
Louis and Root beer Man
 
The Creole Creamery was definitely the top unexpected find of the trip.
 
joerogo
 
I must ask what you were doing in a restaurant that doesn't serve Italian Food ?- I'm shocked!, completely shocked I tell you!
 
Ann
 
ab-so-freakin-lutely
 
Everyone else- thanks
 
I'm going to continue with chapter 4 later this evening before I suspend for the weekend (I haven't even uploaded all of my photos yet!)
 
#52
CajunKing
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Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/03/01 18:58:52 (permalink)
WJ
 
I still hear the voodoo drums echoing now and then from my time in Haiti.  The first day we got into port au prince that night at dark the drums started beating and didnt stop until about 5am.  A very rythmic/hipnotic beat.  In the morning we asked what the drums were, and were told that a voodoo doc and priestess lived up the hill from where we were staying.
 
I love that cemetary, many famous and not so famous people buried there.  It is a cool place to wander around.
 
The Creole Creamery sounds wonderful.  I loved you ice cream pick.
#53
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Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/03/01 19:52:19 (permalink)
Chapter 4- The Perfect Roadfood Day
Friday February 10
 
If I were to pinpoint the best roadfood day of the trip- today was it.
 
Waking up to overcast skies, I would be leaving New Orleans after breakfast.
 
What a better way to say goodbye to NOLA than a 4th visit to- you guessed it!
 
Mothers!
 
Beginning my meal with a nice-big -dense- leaden - warm biscuit
 

 
I moved on to a nice mess of eggs, debris and gravy and grits
 

 
Again, like I noted  to Ralph Melton it's the gravy that makes the meal- In addition, the grits, were solidly firm and buttery.
 
Afterwards I walked over to PJ's Coffee House- a New Orleans chain. The coffee reminded me alot of Starbucks. Which isn't a bad thing. Probably the best I had in NOLA but it still didn't grab me.
 
After checking out of my hotel, I took the shuttle back to the airport. The shuttle driver actually pointed out some areas that were hard hit by Katrina- the first time I noticed the devestation that hit the city back in 2005.
 
I arrived in Birmingham AL in the early afternoon, greeted by gray skies and occasional passing sprinkles. After rentng my car, I knew where I was heading..
 

 
Miss Myra's Pit Bar-B-Q in suburban Vestavia Hills
 
I knew I was in store for something good when I could smell the smoke in the parking lot
And being greeted by this bunch of happily masochistic smiling pigs solidified my hunch.
 

 
 
 

 
 
I wasn't coming here for pig though. I wanted BBQ Chicken accompanied by some Northern Bama White BBQ Sauce.
 

 
 

 
The chicken was outstanding. Smoke permeating the taut skin into the tender meat. The white sauce had a vingegary- mayo flavor and paired well with the bbq.  It blew Big Bob Gibson's right out of the water.  Even the deviled eggs and the beans were really good- These weren't bbq beans- these were mildly sweet, almost reminscent of Boston baked beans.  You think it could get better than this?
 

 
The nanner pudding was orgasmically amazing. Remarkably similar to that served at The Galax Smokehouse in Galax VA 
 
Miss Myra's was a fantastic find for those stopping in or passing through Birmingham you would be doing yourself a disservice by not checking it out.. Thanks to Heartbreak Soup  for confirming their excellence.
 
After lunch, I had some time to kill before my drive to points west.
 
During my last visit to Birmingham, I went to visit Vulcan
 

 
Unfortunately during my last visit, it was on a Sunday and I arrived too early, before the monument opened
 
This time, they were open. although I was disappointed that the staircase was being renovated and that I would have to ....GASP...take  the elevator..... There is a small museum next door that celebrates the Magic City's history of mining. 
 
I also admired the view of downtown Birmingham in the distance.
 

 
This was also the perfect opportunity to check the potential of my zoom on my new camera.
 

 
more...
 

 
 
even more!!!!!
 
 

 
 
This wasn't even at full zoom!
 
and yes, all of these photos were taken from the ground.
 
I wanted to leave Birmingham before friday evening rush hour hit.
 
The drive to Meridian MS took just over two hours. Unfortunately when I arrived I had to make an unscheduled stop at the local Mall to buy a sweat shirt- You see, before left, I checked the weather and it seems that all the places I was going to visit were enjoying temps into the 60's- well they were expecting low's in the upper teens in Mississippi and all I had was my LL Bean spring jacket.
 
Anyway, after taking care of business, I eventually made it to my dinner stop in downtown Meridian.
 

 
Weidmann's 
 
The Stern's wrote about Weidmann's in the pre-website Roadfood books. Unfortunately Weidmann's closed down and changed ownership over the years and word has it the quality had gone down hill considerably. A year ago or so, new owners bought Weidmann's, took control and the word on the web is that they returned the restaurant back to it's original splendor. When I arrived, it was close to 9pm and the place was still hopping.
 
To carry on with tradition each meal begins with an assortment of crackers and a ceramic crock of peanut butter.
 
 

 
Oh, the peanut butter wasn't anything special, but the presentation was pretty unique.
 
I ordered a local brew
 

 
Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan- a nutty brown ale surprisingly made with pecans. 
 
I started out with the Fried Green Tomato appetizer served with comeback dressing
 

 
I'm knit-picking if I said they were just a tad overdone but then again, who wants soggy fried green tomatoes?- they were crunch and the interior was just bursting with flavor and the homemade comeback dressing had a serious kick- this would be my first of three opportunities to enjoy comeback dressing on this trip- and Weidmann's was by far the best.
 
For my main meal- I ordered Redfish Hannah with a side of creole cabbage.
 

 
The sauce that accompanied the Redfish  was creamy and spicy and loaded with shrimp and  mushroom and did not detract from the sweet flavor of the redfish. The creole cabbage was remiscent of the City that I had just left earlier that morning. 
 
I concluded my meal with a decadent slice of black bottom pie.
 

 
Chocolate pie with a graham cracker crust dusted with cocoa.
 
My bill was actually quite reasonable for the outstanding meal that I had.
 

 
When I left, the crowd had thinned out
 

 
But I was glad that I had the opportunity to stop at thiis fine Roadfood establishment.
 
Afterwards I returned to my hotel for a good nights rest- tomorrow I'll have alot of driving to do.
 
Much more to come after the weekend.


post edited by wanderingjew - 2012/03/01 20:17:21
#54
1bbqboy
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Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/03/01 23:57:45 (permalink)
Cool! What's creole cabbage, Dale?
#55
ScreamingChicken
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Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/03/02 08:36:55 (permalink)
The Redfish Hannah sauce looks really good...is it a Weidmann's specialty or do other regional restaurants offer similar versions?
 
I love the color of Miss Myra's chicken, too.  Any idea of the smoke wood?  I'm guessing pecan, hickory, or a combination.
 
Brad
#56
Louis
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Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/03/02 09:51:52 (permalink)
Most interesting entree at Miss Myra's!  I have never seen barbecued chicken prepared that way--with white sauce.  I'd like to check this out.
 
I'll have to check out Weidmann's next time I revisit the Jimmie Rodgers Museum in Meridian.
 
#57
kevincad
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Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/03/02 11:55:14 (permalink)
ScreamingChicken

The Redfish Hannah sauce looks really good...is it a Weidmann's specialty or do other regional restaurants offer similar versions?

I love the color of Miss Myra's chicken, too.  Any idea of the smoke wood?  I'm guessing pecan, hickory, or a combination.

Brad


Mixture of hickory and oak.
#58
BuddyRoadhouse
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Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/03/02 13:59:32 (permalink)
Louis,
White sauce is the predominant BBQ Sauce in parts of Alabama, at least when it comes to chicken.  As Dale describes it, it is a thin vinegar and mayo base with other seasonings brought in to give it depth.  The trouble with it is, as good as it may be served fresh in a restaurant, the white sauce just doesn't bottle very well.  Store bought versions, even the best of them, have an "off" taste, a little like the oil in the mayo has gone a tad rancid.
 
As I say, it's almost exclusively for chicken, no beef or pork, but I think it works pretty well on fish too.
 
Buddy
#59
Louis
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Re:Cajun, Creole and Ozark Adventures with a Bite of the Bluff City and a Dash of the Del 2012/03/02 15:49:15 (permalink)
Thanks, Buddy!  I'll take your recommendation and stick to using the sauce on chicken.  I had just never seen this type of sauce before.  It may taste only so-so, but it sounds intriguing!  Undoubtedly a regional taste.
 
#60
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