Wednesday, April 30, 2014

“They Have the Best Beignets…

outside of New Orleans.” we were told. We have always thought that the second best—after the legendary Café du Monde in the French Quarter—were those served at the Coffee Depot in Scott, LA. But, willing to be proven wrong, we set off one noon to the Gumbo Diner for lunch with a serving of beignets.
“Offering the first true American Diner option for the area in years, owners Danny Hart, Johnny Smecca, and Joey Smecca recognized a demand on the island. ‘With Southern breakfast staples, chicken & waffles, tasty burgers, and the best gulf fried shrimp on the Texas coast, this soon-to-be Galveston legend has something for everyone’” (galvestonrestaurantgroup.com).
“Minimalist decor

and a Gulf view give the eclectic fare a starring role.
"Breakfast features timeless diner favorites, from eggs and sausage to biscuits and gravy, as well as…chicken strips on a Belgian waffle with butter and maple syrup. Come lunchtime, po-boys, entrée salads, and heaping bowls of gumbo take center stage. A few dashes of Tabasco enlivened our otherwise excellent crawfish étouffée, and we cheered the chopped salad, the diner’s version of a Cobb, flanked with six jumbo boiled shrimp. Despite the name, the L’il Daddy serving of eye-opening seafood gumbo delivers a generous bowl of shrimp, oysters, and crab; the Big Daddy is large enough to wash in” (texasmonthly.com).
Both of us decided to eschew the gumbo. It was a Tuesday and the plate lunch that day was
blackened tilapia with lemon butter sauce and two sides. But we both decided on po-boys—the full soft shell crab for Chuck and the “shorty” BBQ oyster for me.

All of the seafood po-boys at the Gumbo Diner come dressed with Tabasco infused mayo, cocktail sauce, shredded cabbage, pickles. You don’t often see shredded cabbage on a po-boy other than at the famous (and we think over-rated) Mother’s in New Orleans. That’s too bad. I like the extra crunch that comes with the substitution of cabbage for lettuce.

Both of our sandwiches came on really good toasted rolls, which is always a good start, but the oysters on my sandwich left much to be desired.
When I asked our server what they meant by BBQ, I got a somewhat confusing answer (after our server consulted with at least two other staff members) that the oysters were fried and then a special sauce added. Well, this sauce completely obscured the taste of the oysters.

Chuck fared better with his soft shells. You could actually taste the sweet crab.
Now for the beignets. Are they the best outside of New Orleans? No. But they probably fall in second place—or third depending on how you look at it.
A few days following our 3.0 Addie lunch at the Gumbo Diner, we headed back to one of our new favorites—Medicinal Purposes. Anyone interested in the story behind the name, the décor, and the owner can refer to our blog of April 4, 2014 titled “The Trouble with Tuesday.”

He so liked the grilled brat on our previous visit, so Chuck decided not to tempt fate and ordered the same again.
And again a large and juicy sausage sat in a toasted roll and topped with sauerkraut and red bell peppers. Since they were out of the Cajun fries, his sandwich came with shoestring fries that I think were lightly dusted with cinnamon.
I ordered the day’s special—the meatball marinara po-boy with house-made chips.
The roll contained four large meatballs which were soft, but not mushy. And there wasn’t so much of the marinara, and it didn’t hide the taste of the meatballs. And the potato chips were delicious. They were a bit thicker than a kettle chip and had been lightly coated with Cajun/Creole seasoning.

To round out the meal we shared an order of onion rings that were nice and thin but had a somewhat thicker coating than we prefer.
As I said in my longer blog about Medicinal Purposes, were we Galvestonians, I would probably be a regular fixture at this 5.0 restaurant.

To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.