Just a self-trained home cook in an 8' x 12' kitchen honing his craft…

(To keep this page open, right-click on the links and photos and open them in a new window. When finished, just close them and you’ll be back here. The photos are well worth a look, I think!)

I had originally titled this ‘B’ is for Basque, but since it’s been sooooo long since my last post, I thought ‘finally’ apropos.

We were so glad to return to our favorite city last fall to celebrate our birthdays.

la Tour Eiffel

la Tour Eiffel

We were fortunate to have found the web-site Our Home In Paris to rent an apartment. They are an absolute pleasure! Professionalism and service that sadly, is less and less common in today’s world is for them, the norm. Dr. Jim and his e-team and personal concierge in Paris the experience was made easy and certainly made our trip more pleasurable. Next time you’re planning a trip to France, keep their site in mind and hope the apartment you fall in love with is available. Next time I might check their calendar before I book my flight!

Now for our food adventure….

My history of learning to cook is absolutely french at the instructions of Madame Child, but after several trips to France, we have learned that a favored cuisine while in France is Basque. Basque cuisine is, at least in my mind, a fusion of French and Spanish, but really not like either, yet every bit as good as both. The Basque really don’t consider themselves French or Spanish, but are Basque and even have their own flag.

We know of several good Basque restaurants in the city of lights, but one of our most favorites is Au Bascou.

We first dined there about 3 years ago and have been able to return twice for e-x-t-e-n-d-e-d lunches, and by extended, I mean dining for 2 1/2 hours in the middle of the day. This past September was our first visit as pescitarians. Even though we have since become carnivores once again, it was interesting to eat meat-less at some of our old haunts.

For this visit, we started with a starter of a fresh goat cheese salad with rocket(arugula), zucchini ribbons and peppers(a common element in Basque food).

If you've never had fresh goat cheese, well...

If you’ve never had fresh goat cheese, well, it’s like butt-ah on the tongue with a unique after-tang.

The presentation was just fantastique!

Our other starter was sautéed shrimp, in pastis(I think), shaved fennel and butter, bien sur!

shrimp starter

shrimp starter

Next came the main courses:

one a pan seared cod with curried leek quenelles, fresh coriander and more butter- mmmm,

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the other, sautéed shrimp over homemade fettuccine.

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Sorry I can’t detail the sauce more thoroughly, but I was too busy rolling those luscious leeks over my tongue, savoring the curry, cream and butter.

Two items to mention here:

1) if you’ve never had or made quenelle, look them up by opening the link above and try some. We had lunch in a new restaurant last fall that specialized in only quenelle and they were just delicious. Julia always made them with fish mousse, but the possibilities are nearly endless. They are easy to make and will keep a couple of days either cooked or uncooked under refrigeration. They are either poached in a simple liquid or steamed. After poaching, they are sliced and sautéed and served on salad greens.

2) if you’ve never had homemade noodles, you don’t know what you’re missing. As Julia said, ‘Now let’s not be noodle snobs, but homemade ones are like nothing else you’ve ever tasted.’ Once you have them, you are sure to agree.

By now, we have eaten for over an hour and a half(yes, we are slow eaters by American standards, but when in France…..), all the while sipping…and sipping,,,,,and sipping.

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Between sips, we cleared our palates with a marvelously crusty country loaf bread.

All three of our visits here we have had the same server- a young man who waits on the the entire restaurant, running up about 8 steps to the kitchen, back down to the dining room(repeatedly), all the while keeping your bread basket replenished, your water-glass full and the food delivered while it is fresh and hot. It’s no wonder the young man has what appears a 27″ waist! Here he is with the chef. DSCN0172

They were generous to allow me a photo after we finished and on our way to  Musée de l’Orangerie.

Now after all this food, you might think we couldn’t possibly eat desserts but you would be WRONG.

We knew from our first visit here that we wanted the Beret Basque.  It’s a triple(actually quadruple, I believe) chocolate treat, but honestly we were rather full, so we opted pour parteger (lit. for to share). The French would never plop a plate before you, throw 2 spoons on the table and run off to another table. NON, mon dieu!!

Instead, presented were these beauties.

trés delicieaux!

trés delicieaux!

This is a chocolate cookie crust topped with chocolate mousse, another layer of cookie crust under a scoop of chocolate ice cream and a final top of an ultra thin cookie(thus le beret), some icing sugar and if you need a tad more chocolate, some sprinkles of cocoa. My blood warms just from the description. And after a couple of bites…

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By now, we are in a state of euphoria. Between the food, wine, chocolate and Paris…..well, you get the idea, n’est pas?

But one simply feels you couldn’t, shouldn’t nor wouldn’t leave the table without an espresso, else they would surely have found me asleep in front of Monet’s Water Lillies.

Deux espress s'il vous plait!

Deux espress s’il vous plait!

I will leave you with a couple of shots of the restaurant.

The dining room with the zinc-topped bar to the left.

The dining room with the zinc-topped bar to the left and the signature hydrangea(notice the large painting of them in the rear, just under the kitchen window).

The BIZARRE restroom(unisex), covered with 100's of shards of mirrors on undulating walls and a copper-pipe water source for the sink operated with a foot pedal- only in Paris!

The BIZARRE restroom(unisex), covered with 1000′s of shards of mirrors on undulating walls and a copper-pipe water source for the sink operated with a foot pedal- only in Paris!

Oh, so chic!

I hope I have inspired you to try Basque food when you can or make some yourself. Better yet, get out your passport and plan a trip to the City of Lights in the near future. As Rick Steve’s would say, ‘The memories will last long after the credit card paid off.’

Toujours, bon appétit!

© Kyle A Nelson

‘N’ is for News

(and that’s with a capital ‘N’)!

(To keep this page open, right-click on the photos and open them in a new window. When finished, just close them and you’ll be back here. The photos are well worth a look, I think!)

Last August when the temperatures were soaring in the mid-90′s and the a/c was cranking for all it was worth, it was hard to think when we took the trip we planned, it would be a minimum of 4 layers of long undies, sweaters, leather clothes, hats, scarves, gloves, etc., etc., just to walk 4 doors away to breakfast….but as the temperature topped out @ 32˚…..

We left as scheduled on Dec. 11 @ 8:45(surprise, surprise, Delta was on time) and by 12:00 noon were in Manhattan. We were actually so on-time, our hotel room wasn’t ready yet.

This was a trip with a purpose and this was it:
marriage_lic

I suppose this would be the 'official' wedding portrait.

I suppose this would be the ‘official’ wedding portrait.

Killing time before the vows.

A few shots between the issuance of the license and the ceremony with our witness.

Our new Peruvian friends, Nimfa & Yeffrey who live in Jersey.

Our new Peruvian friends, Nimfa & Yeffrey who live in Jersey.

The happy & soon-to-be-newlyweds.

The happy & soon-to-be-newlyweds.

Our officiant, Jaime Chirichella.

Our officiant, Jaime Chirichella.

A couple of hours later, exhausted and trying to warm up in our room.

A couple of hours later, exhausted and trying to warm up in our room.

So, that’s the news. Now if you’d like to see a few more shots form the trip, here they are.

ralston admiring the giant LED lights along 5th Ave.

ralston admiring the giant LED lights along 5th Ave.

Another view; notice the temperature at the tip of the red bulb. It was windy, too!

Another view; notice the temperature at the tip of the red bulb. It was windy, too!

So many comments one could make about big balls.....

So many comments one could make about big balls…..

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Our fave- Harry Winston. Evita would have loved to saunter up to these windows.

Our fave- Harry Winston. Evita would have loved to saunter up to these windows.

Little Italy by night at Christmas. So cute and old-fashioned.

Little Italy by night at Christmas. So cute and old-fashioned.

Christmas at the library- the most beautiful tree, we thought.

Christmas at the library- the most beautiful tree, we thought.

Another view of the library tree.

Another view of the library tree.

View from our room. The spire in the middle is the new building at Ground Zero.

View from our room. The spire in the middle is the new building at Ground Zero.

Atrium of the Time-Warner building looking down Central Park South past Columbus Circle.

Atrium of the Time-Warner building looking down Central Park South past Columbus Circle.

...and then they change to red/gold. How cool is that?

…and then they change to red/gold. How cool is that?

This was our big splurge lunch to celebrate the occasion.

This was our big splurge lunch to celebrate the occasion.

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Our lovely room at the Mulberry Hotel just across Columbus Park from City Clerk's Office

Our lovely room at the Mulberry Hotel jet across Columbus Park from City Clerk’s Office

Our night time view.

Our night time view.

‘J’ is for juicing

About a year ago, I saw a commercial(on Cooking Channel TV, surprise, surprise) for a documentary that really sparked my interest. Little did I know what was in store…

After having been pescetarian for almost a year, we sat down to watch Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, a film by Joe Cross.  Click on the link and watch the trailer or better yet, the entire piece which is free on some internet sites.

Well, before the credits had finished rolling, I went online looking at and comparing prices of juicers. I settled on one of the same brand used in the film, but a bit less expensive than the model Joe had used. I’m no stockbroker, after all.

I found the prices about the same, so when I discovered it was available at Bed Bath & Beyond(which allowed me to use a 20% off coupon!) I became the proud owner of a new Breville Juice Fountain Plus(actually I did a LOT of research, even buying 2 juicers to compare volume output, clean-up, etc. and finally settled on the Breville). Along with my copy of Juicing For Life, I was ready to juice. Lacking a book or wanting more options than those included with your juicer booklet, there are LOADS of recipes on the wide world of the web. After a couple of runs I discovered the need for some ‘Nelson’ improvements. Here they are:

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The pulp catcher container I have lined with a plastic produce bag to make cleanup easier and in lieu of the annoyingly small juice cup that comes with the machine, I have rigged a hose which empties the juice  into a large receptacle in the sink.

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The hose modification was because I found the need to make more than one 2-cup serving at a time. Now, in a perfect world, you would do as shown in the film and only juice the amount you were about to consume. But I don’t…(live in a perfect world OR only want to make 2 cups at a time).

After  a few days, I found myself rapidly becoming a slave to my new toy and not in a good way. The clean up was easy enough as long as I did it as soon as the juicing was complete. But I was spending a LOT of time cleaning fruits and veggies and the juicer parts had become near permanent residents in the dish drainer rack.

A friend was learning to juice along with me, but she was juicing quantities at a time and storing it. Hmmm. We talked about it and she rebuked my notions that it was best to juice only what you would consume in one serving for fear of not getting the full nutritional benefits, directing my attention to Arden’s Garden whose  juice is produced long before consumption. I decided to give this method a try.

Off I went to the Buford Highway Farmer’s Market for provisions. Here are the ingredients I started with:DSCN0371

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On the menu we have carrots, ginger, apples, oranges, lemons, limes, and BEETS(especially good for a cleansing juice). Here is the sink filled with a vinegar concentrate mixture, then everything gets a scrub with Dawn and a scrungy pad, (even if they’re organic). DSCN0375

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DSCN0377How much you peel and clean is up to you. I top the carrots and de-seed the apples(the seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide, so just don’t consume too many). Sometimes I take the skin off citrus, other times I don’t.

On this particular day, here’s the refuse pile:DSCN0359Now you might look at this pile and think “Oh horrors,” but none of this is edible, so just fuhgeddaboudit.

The rules of juicing are simple: start with the softest and move to the firmer. If I get something that needs a little help though the hopper, I throw a carrot in and that usually does the trick. DSCN0378

DSCN0379After all this effort, here’s what your reward is which in my house is about a weeks worth.DSCN0366
I have tried juicing vegetables and honestly, I prefer to eat them. Celery is overpowering in juice- not matter what else you add, the celery flavor predominates. Kale is kale. It leaves me uninspired. Period. Spinach turns brown and hideously unappetizing when you don’t consume it immediately. You can juice a king’s ransom of tomatoes and end up with a cup of tomato water and if you juice cucumbers, use them sparingly or your juice will taste like gazpacho(which I love, but not necessarily for/with breakfast).

Concoct your own combinations and see what your preferences are.  Juicng is well worth the efforts and I’m hooked for life. Try it and you will be too.DSCN0387

Here’s a parting shot ralston took which I think is magazine-quality dramatic and tastes good, too!DSCN0388

Toujours, bon appétit!

© Kyle A Nelson

‘H’ is for holiday

If there is any season of the year that promotes over-eating, you have to agree that season is upon us. Now, as you know, I’m a great student of Julia Child, and she promoted moderation in everything, even in moderation, so when faced with the holiday that promotes gluttony above all the others, I decided to practice extreme moderation (oxymoron-ish phrase isn’t it?), especially since this was my first year as a pescatarian.

Now for a little history….

From the editor of the winter 2011 publication”Gastronomica” -

“This national holiday(Thanksgiving) was the brainchild of Sarah Josepha Hale, the editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book magazine, who campaigned for it tirelessly. Between 1846 and 1863 she lobbied all who would listen- seven presidents, endless congressmen, the governor of all the states – to have the last Thursday in November declared a day of national thanksgiving, an act she believed would help heal the country’s profound social and political rifts.”

My decision was to steer clear of any traditional Thanksgiving food, but thought for the main course I would go ‘hole hog’ and use lobster. However, one particular guest who is ALWAYS at my table doesn’t like anything served in a shell, so whole lobster was off the list. I decided to create a lobster pot pie, even though I had never heard of one, much less had a recipe for such. To go with it, a simple salad of blanched green beans with a chopped tomato garnish and a side of a corn dish that I honestly don’t know the origin of (more about this later).

I began with a bag of lobster knuckle meat from Inland Seafood and simply followed my instincts, my nose, and taste buds.

(Please do click through pictures to see the details!)

The lobster gets sautéed.

Here the lobster gets sautéed with shallots and clarified butter (nothing but the best for lobster!), then flambéed in brandy. If you’ve never flamed food, try it, but read good instructions before your attempt and keep your face well away. It’s great fun and your guests will be so impressed as long as you don’t singe your eyebrows (trust me, this looks odd and smells worse!).

Next, I created a roux with additional butter (did I mention moderation?) and some flour. Cook this for 3 minutes to cook the flour, then add fish stock or bottled clam juice and water. I used crab stock. Now before proceeding, always taste for salt and pepper. If it don’t taste good now, it never will and you don’t want to waste your lobster, chicken or what ever you’re pot-pie-ing.

The roux in progress.

The sautéed lobster goes into the cooked roux.

Now in my mind, no pot pie exists without some vegetables since it is the ultimate comfort food and should need little else besides the pot pie itself for a complete meal. I blanched some diced carrots, peas and potatoes for the vegetable addition.

The vegetable and lobster combined in the roux.

Finally the mix goes into the baking dish(es) which I had decided to make individuals.

The mixture ready for its pastry top.

Nothing wows a diner quite like real puff pastry, and it was, after all, a holiday dish, however homey and comfort food-ish it was, so real puff pastry was mandatory in my mind! I won’t go into the details because there are so many formulas and instructions, you can find them on the internet. Just remember to keep it cold and work rapidly. Here’s the pastry I made on Wednesday.

The block of pastry dough chilled and ready for rolling.

This block needed to rest a few minutes (15) before I could roll it. Keep in mind there’s a ton of butter in this (did I mention moderation?), so when it’s well chilled, it’s like a brick.

The puff pastry rolled out and ready to be cut.

The rounds of pastry are cut, placed atop the pies and then an egg glaze applied.

The final egg glaze before baking.

All this up to the egg glaze can be done well ahead, but wait until you’re ready to go into the oven to glaze it.

Now for the story of the corn dish (and most of you know how I love to tell stories)…..

Several years ago when I was taking french classes at Evening at Emory, one of my fellow students invited us to a birthday party for several of her Aries friends. When we arrived, the house smelled so wonderful and Liz was still hustling around the kitchen. I began asking about the various dishes and nibbles she had on the table and discovered she had made most everything from scratch, including the corn chips and pickles. Wow, was I impressed. A bit later, a most enticing aroma lured me back to the kitchen. When I inquired ‘What is that I’m smelling, Liz?” she said, “You might want to stay close by, because the dish about to come out of the oven always disappears quickly.” What came out was a 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish with a slightly puffed yellow mixture that smelled of sweet delicious corn. We swooned over each spoonful and tried not to be too hoggish about the servings, but you know how it goes with a buffet i.e. first come, first served! I asked if she would possible share the recipe. As she grinned sheepishly, she said “I think you can remember this one, Kyle.” Her mother had shared it with her.

Well, it was 2 months before I made the dish, but what a dish it is.
Here’s the recipe:

1 can whole kernel corn not drained
1 can cream corn
1 8 oz. carton sour cream
1 box Jiffy corn meal mix
1 stick margarine (butter will not work, Liz claimed and I have never deviated), softened or melted and cooled.

Combine and put in dish, bake @ 350˚ for 35-40 minutes.

How could ingredients this simple be so delicious you may well ask?


Ready for the oven.

I will recommend if you you if you bake in a soufflé dish as I have shown here your cooking time will increase to 70-85 minutes. You want a skewer to come out clean and cover with foil to keep it from browning too much.
The dish is rich and satisfying. Remember moderation is the keynote here. I did, after all use reduced-fat sour cream.

After 45 minutes, here are the golden brown delicious results.

All the dishes just out of the oven.

(I baked the corn a few more minutes on its own).

While it probably will never take the place of the Norman Rockwell magazine cover depicting a whole turkey presented at the table, my meal was thoroughly satisfying, fully appreciated and no one left the table laden with gluttonous guilt screaming ‘Get your coat, we’re leaving!’

A pescitarian Thanksgiving!


Here’s a close-up of the pot pie with its crispy, buttery delicious puff top.

The finished pot pie

The finished pot pie.

So when you’re planning your upcoming holiday feast, try to moderate yourself and your diners by keeping the meal balanced and satisfying. We all should tell the story of Thanksgiving and it’s crusader, Sarah Josepha Hale to those who gather around our table- or simply do as the British do and take everything for granted!

Toujours, bon Appetit et Joyeux Noël!
© Kyle A Nelson

Admittedly, I took the title of the post directly from the name of my blog, but when I was perusing my photo archives to decide what to write about, there it was, my first adventure with good french food in Nice on the Côte d’Azur.

It was 11 years ago and while my french is not good now, belive me, it was extremely limited on that first journey to a mere ‘Oui, non, and merci.’ Now while that might seem rather limiting(and it is, trust me), it certainly didn’t prevent us from having a great adventure with good food. One of our first days there we visited the very famous Cours Saleya flower and food market.

Enticingly colorful!


Offerings from the nearby sea (and beyond).

As you can see from the photos, it was raining, but if there’s one thing we’ve learned in traveling, always have an umbrella at the ready!

There's always a few Brits in Nice...can you spot them here?

If you’re lucky enough to have a kitchen(ette) in your hotel room, or have rented an apartment or nearby villa(which we usually do now if we’re staying on one city for at least a week), take your taste buds and let your eyes and nose lead the way. If you’re limited to a ‘normal’ hotel room, buy some fruit that only needs washing before consumption. Now, I will not travel, even for the day without a vegetable peeler, my opinel knife, a cork screw, bien sur!(tr. of course), and a couple of napkins. Yes, I have to carry these in my checked baggage or visit the nearest dime store upon arrival, but on more than one occasion, I hate to admit, I have had no choice but to push the wine cork into the bottle and drink directly from it, which by the way, the french locals didn’t bat an eye at, much to my amazement! It did none the less make me feel a bit like a well-dressed wino.

With your fresh fruit, a slab of cheese and a baguette, you have a picnic ready to go anywhere. How about a few minutes by the harbor while we lunch?

Now besides the thousands of raw food offerings, there are also slices of pizza and socca, honey, jams, soap and flowers. There are literally thousands of flowers.

Gorgeous floriferous display on shining pavement.

Once the cannon booms, the market begins to wind down until the next morning(every day except Monday when it’s an antique/flea market) and once the vendors are gone, the sanitation crew comes in, hoses the entire plaza and by 3:00, the restaurants fill the plaza with tables and you’d never know what had transpired that morning.

The beginning of the end. The yellow building is where Matisse once lived.

The beginning of the end. The yellow building is where Matisse once lived.

Please do take a few seconds and click on the photos to open them into their full size to appreciate and enjoy the marvelous colors. Hopefully you’ll even feel the warmth of the Riviera sun on your face and in your heart, if only for a second or two!

So the next time you find yourself in a foreign land where the language is not your native one, visit a market, even if it’s the corner grocery to have an adventure in good food. Some of our most memorable travel experiences with locals have come from these unexpected moments, where faced with a seemingly insurmountable language barrier, through a love of good food and with some discreet(and sometimes not so discreet) pointing and gesturing, we found a common thread.

Now isn’t that a real adventure in good food?

Toujours, bon appétit!
© Kyle A Nelson

If there’s one thing our culture is more obsessed with than meat(just start noticing how many times TV commercials show you meat in a span of 30 minutes and you’ll understand what I’m saying), it’s the burger. There are hamburgers, veggie burgers, Boca burgers, portobello burgers…..you get my point. This is why after several kitchen experiments trying come up with a meat-less version, the household consensus was to begin with no longer calling it a ‘burger.’ Once that comparison was off the table, better results ensued.

Now call it what you will and if you look for recipes on the internet, you may have to call it a b*rg*r to get a reliable search result, but the word itself is almost forbidden in my household.

Now, I’m not one to re-invent the wheel, but then again, I’m not one for too many shortcuts in the kitchen either, so when the recipe called for a can of black beans, I took out some dried ones, the box of salt and brined their little hard outtards(this word is my invention- it’s the opposite of innards) overnight. I first saw this method in Cooks Illustrated and I use it almost every time I make beans from the dried form. Simply add 1/4 cup salt to a couple of quarts water and soak overnight.

After their overnight brine.

The next day they’re ready for the pressure cooker.

A great time to utilize your pressure-cooker. 2 minutes and they're done.

How’s that for energy-saving!

Next, I mashed them(I use a bean mashing tool that’s made just for this purpose, but a potato masher or even a sturdy fork will get the task accomplished), then add diced onion(I used red), cooked brown rice and one edible egg.

Additions of red onion, brown rice(cooked) and one incredible, edible egg.

Now mix together and form into portions, patties or ‘cakes.’ What you call them is your prerogative.

The mix ready for dividing into 4 portions.

Ready for a brief chill before cooking.

I practice the chill period after I form any food for grilling, griddling or broiling. It seems to congeal whatever you have chosen as a binder and most foods need a binder. Trust me on this- I’ve had plenty of my hard work disappear through the grates and disappear in a puff of smoke!

After about 20 minutes(or longer) here we are sizzling away on the griddle.

Sizzling away.

I could hardly justify calling it a patty melt without the ‘melt’ now could I?

A little slice of pepper jack couldn't hurt.

So whether you call them sandwiches, b*rg*rs, a patty melt or savory cakes-on- a-bun, you can call this version healthy and delicious!

Ready for service.

Toujours, bon appétit!
© Kyle A Nelson

‘P’ is for po’ boy

Honestly, I don’t remember how we first discovered this addition to the Buford Highway food scene about 2 years ago, but I’m so glad we did. Several New Orleans transplants run The Crawfish Shack and they are efficient, great foodies and attractive to boot. The menu is seafood as you might suspect, so if seafood is not your thing, then you might just as well keep driving.

The front counter displays an enticing assortment of fresh shrimp, tilapia, catfish, oysters and whatever offerings were fresh enough to pass inspection of the young purveyors who are usually working behind the counter in one capacity or another. The menu is on the website and I encourage you to print it out and study before you get there. The choices are not terribly numerous, but once in front of the cash register, you’re expected to order and not be too contemplative.

Now I am not one to ‘work for my supper’ when I go out to a restaurant. I do that at home, thank you. It was years before I would order fajitas because I was put off by having to put them together at the table. If I want to cook or assemble my plate, I’d just as soon stay home. Hence, I have yet to order the crawfish or boiled selections at the Crawfish House. If that’s you cup of tea, by all means, this is probably a great place to gorge on boiled/ steamed seafood. The bowls are generous and served steaming hot. The diners who partake of them seem to do lots of licking of fingers- it’s just not my preference.

But when I’m in the mood for fried shrimp or oysters, this is the direction to drive.

Now for some history excerpted from Wikipedia….

“There are countless stories as to the origin of the term po’ boy. One theory claims that “po’ boy” was coined in a New Orleans restaurant owned by Benny and Clovis Martin (originally from Raceland, LA), a former streetcar conductor. In 1929, during a four-month strike against the streetcar company, Martin served his former colleagues free sandwiches. Martin’s restaurant workers jokingly referred to the strikers as “poor boys”, and soon the sandwiches themselves took on the name. In Louisiana dialect, this is naturally shortened to “po’ boy.”
One restaurant in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, Trapani’s, insists that the name “po’ boy” came from a sandwich shop in New Orleans. If one was new to a bar and bought a nickel beer, then he got a free sandwich thrown in. This was sometimes called a “poor boy’s lunch”, which came to mean just the sandwich itself.”[end excerpt]

If you’d like to read more about the origins, here’s the NY Times article which covers the subject in-depth:

Saving New Orleans Culture, One Sandwich at a Time.

Whatever the origins, the Crawfish House has just about perfected it as far as I’m concerned. Their bread has enough body to hold together until the sandwich consumed and the seafood taken from the counter display(yes, they count the shrimp or oysters) before your very eyes, fried to order and rushed to your table as soon as the sandwich assembled.

Whether you call it po' boy, poor boy or just plain hero, it's awfully good eating.

Now if you’d like to ‘gild the lily’ so to speak, go whole hog and order onion rings and hush puppies, too. The table is laden with accouterments of ketchup, hot sauce in 2 or 3 varieties, salt, pepper and a couple of spicy sprinkles which I’m not sure what they are, but they are certainly delicious if you like it spicy(which we seem inclined to more so since we have given up meat- go figure).

Rings and hush puppies, also made to order.

Notice: These are hand-breaded. Everything here is made-to-order, so be ready to wait- it will be worth it, I promise.

Now as if you need proof, here’s the table when we had finished lunch.

Can you spot what's missing? It's the sandwiches and onion rings, silly!

And if you just can’t live without dessert…..

These are delivered to the restaurant by a real southern cook(as opposed to a 'fake' one?).

Let’s just say we pick up our desserts the moment we enter, even before we order!

So whether you call it a po’ boy, a poor boy or a hero, which is what a po’ boy is, by definition, ultimately, I call it satisfying- and delicious indeed!

Toujours, bon appétit!

© Kyle A Nelson

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