May 17, 2018 – Make Ya Own Damn Gumbo At Home!
Good God Almighty! – My adventure into various grocery stores on my 2018 visit to the gulf coast showed me all the many short cuts you can take to make gumbo at home. Here’s a tip, make your own! Most have artificial ingredients in them and some have things no one should ever put in gumbo like anchovies. Bless they hearts!
February 26, 2018 – Herbsaint in New Orleans, LA
A trip to mama’s is not complete without a sideways jaunt over to New Orleans for a day. I squeeze as much as I can into the trip and it always includes lots of food, drink, and shopping. After having liquid libations at Hermes Bar, SoBou, Brennan’s, and Cafe Lafitte in Exile I danced over to Rubensteins for clothes and shoes, and then to Meyer the Hatter for two hats. I didn’t get the sunglasses at Krewe because I wasn’t tipsy enough. I also squeezed in a bite at Pesce , Willa Jean, and Herbsaint. Of course I had the gumbo at Herbsaint which was chicken, tasso, and andouille. iiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeee! Damn it was good. Spicy and rich with a dark roux, this gumbo put me in the same spot I imagine a heroine addict goes to. Damn son.
5 out of 5 Stars
February 24, 2018 – Kravers in Mobile, AL
Walter Kraver was born and raised in Bayou La Batre, AL and became one of the most successful local businessman in the seafood industry. His newest family venture is a restaurant in West Mobile and on the Eastern Shore. I visited the Mobile location with daddy and mama and I got to listen to a few of their bayou stories. Daddy told stories of Tinkie who is Walter’s wife, at least I think so. They never even knew her real name but everyone knew Tinkie, and the bar is built like the stern of a shrimp boat and is named after Tinkie. Men typically name their boats after their wife, mother, or daughter. We had the Mary Agnes who was named after Grandma Pendarvis.
The gumbo was loaded with shrimp crab and had a light roux base with a light spice and a great seafood flavor
4 out of 5 Stars
February 24, 2018 – Bozo’s Seafood Markey and Deli in Pascagoula, MS
Off to Pascagoula, MS, where I was born, via the Bayou-Grandbay Highway and Highway 90 past the areas of Pecan, Orange Grove, Kreole, and Moss Point, MS. Deep in the heart of Katrina torn Pascagoula lies a brick and metal building that’s been dishing out Po-Boys, gumbo, and fresh boiled/steamed seafood to patrons since the 1950’s. I always have to visit and get a combo shrimp and oyster Po-Boy and this time I wanted to try their gumbo. Owned by the same family and currently ran by Keith Delcambre, this place has grown in size and popularity. It’s hard to park and the lines are long but it’s a gulf coast institution and one that is worth the wait. I also used to buy my filé here and it came in a Gerber baby food jar. Needless to say it was homemade filé which only a handful of old-timers make anymore. Once they stopped carrying the filé I knew the person who made it was no longer able to make it or was no longer on this earth with us.
Bozo’s seafood gumbo was served in the finest black plastic bowl and had shrimp, crab, crawfish, and okra. With a light roux as you should have with a seafood gumbo, it had a more homemade taste.
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Outside Bozo’s in Pascagoula, MS
February 23, 2018 – Fishers in Orange Beach, AL
The Mardi Gras madness is over and the dust has settled. This means I need to visit others parts of the gulf coast and get myself out of Bayou La Batre and Mobile. I headed over to The Redneck Rivera to see how things have changed in the past few years and I had a particular restaurant in my sights. Fisher’s in Orange Beach, AL has been under the guidance of Chef Bill Briand and owner Johnny Fisher since its opening in 2013. A James Beard nominated restaurant in 2016, 2017, and 2018 this place was sure to have excellent gumbo. Chef Briand of New Orleans trained under Chef Emeril Lagasse and Chef Donald Link and knows the coast and its cuisine.
Chef Briand did bring the classic bayou addition of potato salad to his gumbo. This is something you see in bayou towns throughout Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, and it’s basically a glob of potato salad in gumbo without pickles, because that’s gross anyway. Overall it had a great spice but was sweet. I couldn’t really put my hand on it but I thought it may have red wine in it. Full of shrimp and okra it was disappointing that the roux was burned a tinge. Even a little burn in a roux ruins the whole thing.
2 out of 5 Stars
February 22 2018 – Bayou Seafood Market in Bayou La Batre, AL
The bayou has struggled because of hurricanes, oil spills, bad leadership, and lack of education and opportunity. It’s always nice to see a place stay open and to do so it must be good. I visited the Bayou Seafood Market in Bayou La Batre, AL after a morning trip to Dauphin Island and went during lunch. It was filled with shipyard workers and seafood workers so I ordered a takeout oyster Po-Boy and a bowl of gumbo. I took it to mama’s up the road and ate it up. The gumbo had a light roux and was very good, homemade, and loaded with shrimp, crab, and okra. I hope this place is around next year when I visit.
February 10, 2018 – Gumbo at Cream and Sugar in the Oakleigh Garden District Mobile, AL.
It was a rainy day with flooding and Mardi Gras parades were cancelled. I sat a spell at Cream and Sugar Cafe and had their famous gumbo grits. Take a bowl of seafood gumbo and add a glob of yellow grits in the center. It’s heaven in a bowl ya’ll, and it comes with a biscuit! What else could you need? Factoid: A Chevron gas station in the Mobile suburb of Satsuma was one of the first places to combine the two.
4.5 out of 5 Stars
February 10, 2018 – Mystics of Time Parade in Mobile, AL.
Mystics of Time is a secret, fully masked, mens Mardi Gras krewe that was formed in 1948. It’s typically the largest parade of the Mobile Mardi Gras season and is held every Saturday before Fat Tuesday. This year it was held on Lundi Gras because of flooding rains on Saturday. This is Vernadean the dragon.
February 12, 2018 – Lundi Gras – Chuck’s Fish on Dauphin Street in Mobile, AL
The day after Joe Cain Day is one that is always painful. I’ve never fully understood how my body takes Mardi Gras, especially the last week of the madness. Parades every day and every night including the Mystic Stripers, Crewe of Columbus, Mystics of Time, Joe Cain Day (always a doozy), and then Lundi Gras brings King Felix III, Infant Mystics, and Order of Doves. Then Fat Tuesday happens with Order of Athena, Knights of Revelry, Comic Cowboys, The Mamga Mammoth Parade, and then it all ends with Order of Myths which is America’s oldest parading society.
All of that madness means you need to eat, and eat I did including gumbo at Chuck’s Fish in Mobile, AL. It’s a new establishment in Mobile’s LoDa (Lower Dauphin) entertainment district. They have a dock in Destin, FL where they get all of their seafood directly from fisherman. This gumbo was very spicy which I like and was loaded with shrimp and fish. It was oddly thick and very salty. It’s excellent for a Joe Cain Day hangover but I wouldn’t be able to eat more than a cup.
3 out of 5 Stars
February 6, 2018 – Gumbo at Felix’s Fish Camp in Spanish Fort, AL on the Mobile Bay Causeway.
With shrimp, crab, okra, and no sausage this gumbo is a basic seafood gumbo and those never have pork. I think they added sugar which can cause you to be struck down by god. It also had a very mild spice and was loaded with rice, too much rice. I won’t be back plus the place smelled weird. They need a re-do because it used to be much better!
1 out of 5 Stars
February 5, 2018 – I made it to Mama’s!
The dogs are free from the Boston cold and can run, sniff, pee, and generally be country dogs. With six fenced acres my two dogs and mama’s two dogs can run off but not too far unless they find a way to get under the fence. This is mama calling for her dogs. She uses a cow bell now.
February 4, 2018 – Gumbo in Asheville, NC
On my way south to mama’s on the gulf coast, I stopped at my sister’s home in Asheville, NC and taught them how to make gumbo. Her husband also grew up on the coast in Mississippi and never learned how to make it. We did a turkey andouille and shrimp gumbo. They don’t eat pork so turkey or chicken andouille are great alternatives. Lance crackers are a staple on Alabama restaurant tables that serve gumbo.. at least it is at The Lighthouse in Bayou La Batre, AL. Underneath all that gumbo is a glob of potato salad. That’s how people deep on the coast eat their gumbo.
January 30, 2018 – Gumbo Cooking Event at Down The Road Brewery in Everette, MA
Gumbo for 20? Yes I did it at Down the Road Brewery. The owner contacted me and wanted to pair beer with gumbo. I had a blast and the folks attending raved about it. I paired a Kölsch beer with shrimp and andouille gumbo. Instead of white wine that I typically add to gumbo, I added Kölsch.
December 7, 2016 – The Noble South in Mobile, AL
This is one of the best gumbos I have ever had! Pork gumbo with a piece of cornbread. Simple and damn good! Not long after eating that I gave a gumbo course to a family in Boston, MA and they requested pork gumbo.. man it was good and I made cornbread for them for their lagniappe.