The Search for New Orleans
416 21st Ave South
When we were in New Orleans, we went out of the French Quarter into some neighborhood with a little diner and laundromat. It was the best bread and seafood gumbo we had in New Orleans. This was before I started blogging about my dining experiences, so I cannot tell you the joint name, the area of town, nor how we got there. I just know the bread and gumbo was awesome, inexpensive, and served by an old salty dog. It has become a magical meal in my mind.
So we have been lucky to have a few NOLA trasplants here in Nashville, and we went to another NOLA inspired joints in town, and it was Crescent Cafe (behind the San Antonio Taco Company). It is supposed to be an oyster bar, but I don't think they do that anymore. The place has changed to be more of a bar for a singer and songwriter venue, rather than a NOLA joint. It was quite smoky in there, as the dining room and bar are all one little room, and all the 4 other people there were smokers. We tried to order some beer to start, and the first few choices, the waiter said they were out of them, and we started to get a little scared that they just did not have their act together.
Dispite to the cigarette smoke, no oyster bar (eventhough the name implies that there would be), and the lack of beverage choices (eventhough the beer menu was extensive and they were out of most beer) we stayed. I got the cup of combo gumbo and salad. The salad dressing was fresh and lemony. The gumbo was surprisingly good. The toast rounds were also surprisingly like the bread you get for po-boys in NOLA. Hmmm. OK, it seems as though Crescent scaled down on the menu to a NOLA version bar food instead of being a restaurant.
Matt ordered a crab imperial special appetizer. It was kind of a strange presentation. Instead of it being in a small bowl or cup for dipping, it was all spread out thinly on a plate, served with four toast rounds. The flavor was better than it needed to be, but difficult to get up off the plate to spread on the toast.
We also ordered 1/4 of a muffoletta sandwich. The bread was a bit much for the filling of two thin slices of ham, cheese and olives. The flavor was good, but a bit too much bread for me. Matt did not seem to mind the great amount of bread to filling. Despite the slow start of being out of a lot of the food and beverage offerings in the menu, the smokers, and the strange presentation choices, the food was actually better than I expected.
Labels: Nashville Eats