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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Cajun Food Out

One of the most unique cultures in the United States occurs in the Cajun homes of the Louisiana Coast and surrounding areas. The cuisine that originates in the meld of French, Spanish, Indigenous and American traditions results in an incredibly flavorful style of cooking.  One of the really interesting aspects beyond the complexity of melding these cultures in the nature of simplicity in life and direct rural style of the food that has come to be known as Cajun food.  It is a style of food and eating that I truly enjoy.

For a variety of reasons, I had cause to eat out far more than I normally care to, in one case it was due to a meeting in Berkeley running rather longer than I had expected.  No time to do that perfect roasted chicken. Darn, I knew it was going to be perfect too.  Instead, I finally followed the recommendation of my friend Brian, manager at the Zocalo Coffeehouse in San Leandro, He has en excellent palate, and he recommends Angeline's Cajun Kitchen to everyone.

I had a Shrimp Po' Boy, a grilled boudin and some mac-n-cheese (more on that soon to follow).  I loved the Po' Boy, the only miss was that they did not ask if I wanted it 'dressed' or not.  This is, I think, a flaw in service.  A Po' Boy dressed means with the remoulade, lettuce and tomato, undressed means just the fried meat selected.  As it happens, I prefer dressed, so I enjoyed my sandwich anyway.  The shrimp was fresh tasting, the seasoning bold enough to stand out and the coating perfectly fried and crunchy.  The grilled boudin was a true boudin, tender with rice, meaty with pork and very flavorful.  Rather than steamed, the grilling gave the sausage a crisp bite through skin.  This also passed the test.

Now, to that mac-n-cheese, the real problem was that I did not order it, I ordered hush puppies.  When I got home I discovered the error to late to correct it.  I love macaroni and cheese, and this was a very good version, quite similar to my own efforts.  But, I ordered hush puppies as I consider them a good way to measure the quality and skill of a Cajun cook.

Still, I will go here often.  And I will make sure my nuggets of fried corn mush are in there.

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