Re:Southwest Ohio and Environs (Open Chat)
Sun, 05/2/10 5:22 PM
We went to Andouille last night, and I wouldn't go so far as to say it doesn't compare to NOTG. We pretty much ignored everything on the menu that wasn't Louisiana-related (like burgers, steaks, and chicken fingers), although I understand why they are on there.
First, the good. The crawfish, bar none. Flown in live, something NOTG was never able to do for some reason, and it makes all the difference in the world. My wife (a native of Louisiana, born and raised not far from Breaux Bridge, the "Crawfish Capital") was scared to death of ordering them, due to several disastrous experiences up here (including NOTG), but these were far and away the best we have had locally. Our only nitpicks were that they aren't as spicy as they should have been (and they may have just been "dumbed down" for local tastes), and they weren't served with the "standard" dipping sauce (equal parts ketchup and mayonnaise, plus black pepper or Tony Chachere's to taste), or any dipping sauce for that matter. We asked for the ingredients, and mixed our own. The appetizer version was almost 20 pieces for $7, which I found pretty reasonable for this area, all things considered.
My wife also enjoyed the crawfish etoufee, which was made closer to the Cajun style (that is, a butter/onion/green pepper base, not tomato). I went with the red beans and rice, which was okay. It was a bit peppery, much too smoky (because they use smoked ham hocks instead of tasso), and not creamy at all, since none of the beans were mashed during cooking. This, I will agree, does not compare to NOTG's version. Entrees include cornbread (which was extremely moist and delicious, and ended up being our dessert) and a choice of salad. I was pleased that the spinach salad with bacon was one of the choices, and it was pretty good, although the vinaigrette dressing could have been used a bit more sparingly.
The gumbo was, frankly, terrible...much too thick, not enough of a roux base, only one piece each of chicken and andouille sausage, and far too expensive at $5/cup.
Overall, we were pleased with our experience and will go back, although it isn't in the most convenient location. (It took about 30 minutes to get there from our home in Northside, and I will admit to driving faster than most.) I personally am most intrigued by the all-you-can-eat catfish on Thursdays. My wife, meanwhile, keeps telling people back home that she finally found some good boiled crawfish up here, and that's a pretty successful dining experience in my book.