I promise I didn’t do it on purpose, but it’s pretty cool how God let it all come together. I literally had a taste for cajun-cooking and picked a place. Tomorrow just happens to be Fat Tuesday aka “Mardi Gras”. Cool, huh? What’s not cool is that I thought it had already happened. I’ve never even been to Mardi Gras.
Located on the east side of the Crosstown Concourse, in the heart of Memphis, stepping
An interesting thing about the King and me is that our first trip before we were married was to New Orleans. We had a really good time and ate some really, really good food. So, I wanted to see if this Mardi Gras away from home would be as good as the cajun cuisine I remember. Here’s what we ate…
- Appetizers: Chicken and Sausage Gumbo (King) and Crawfish Corn Chowder (Me)
- Entree: Pasta Lafayette (King) and Mardi Gras Pasta (Me)
- Desserts: Bread Pudding and Praline Pecan Pie
Let’s get to it!
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo: King (2.5/5) Me (4/5)
We all know that a good gumbo starts with the roux, and this roux was good. The flavor was rich, deep and balanced, with a back-of-the-throat kind of heat. The vegetables were masterfully seasoned and the chicken and sausage were good too. The king was disappointed that the gumbo wasn’t thicker — he tends to like his soups, stews, and pot liquor more viscous. He also likes that slightly
slimy gelatinous feel that comes from boiled okra. I like it too, sometimes, but to me, the flavor of this gumbo more than made up for the consistency. I would definitely go back and order it again.
Crawfish Corn Chowder: King(5/5) Me (5/5)
This was the bomb.com! It was thick, rich, and buttery with a sweet heat that quickly reminded me that I was eating cajun cuisine. There are many things I love about this dish, but the use of real butter and good cream really makes a difference here. Whoever seasons the vegetables has hands who were blessed by God. The savor of vegetables and crawfish really stood out, which was important to break up the sweetness from the corn and the richness of the cream and butter, and the fried roll it was served with was a perfect addition. I tell you what, I loved every bite of it, and I definitely consider it a crave-able dish.
Pasta Lafayette and Mardi Gras Pasta: King(3/5) Me: 3/5)
The reason I’m putting these together is that we found that the only difference between the two is the meat variety. The Mardi Gras pasta contained chicken, and the Pasta Lafayette hosted crawfish. They both were supposed to have mushrooms, but I didn’t find any mushrooms in either, which was a bummer because I kind of had my mouth set for some.
Anway, moving right along…
Bread Pudding: King(2/5) Me (2.5/5)
Another dish that comes down to preference. Once again, I’m open-minded and understand that everyone doesn’t do bread pudding the same way. This bread pudding had raisins in it, which I could get over (by picking them out), but it tasted like it had allspice in it. I HATE allspice. If it didn’t have allspice in it, it was a little nutmeg heavy. I like nutmeg–in small doses. The consistency was perfect, and the sauce tasted like it may have had a little bourbon in it…hey, we’re here for a little bourbon (although I’m virtually a teetotaler, I dabble once in a literal blue moon). If there hadn’t been so much spice in it, this could have been a winner for me because it had just the right amount of sugar and butter and everything else that makes for a good bread pudding. Unfortunately, as much as I LOVE bread pudding, I won’t order this again, but fortunately, I found me a new love at the Mardi Gras Memphis…
Praline Sweet Potato Pie: King(No Rating) Me (5/5)
Talk about sugar and spice and everything nice! Yass,
Y’all this pie was so good to me I had to start another paragraph. The praline topping was buttery and sweet with fine pieces of pecan in every bite. The pie was perfectly sweetened and the spices were expertly blended into the pie. Getting just the right sweetness in the pie is especially important here because of the sweetness of the praline topping. You don’t want to overdo the sweet-factor in either part; they nailed it. The consistency of the pie was smooth, yet firm, and it melted in my mouth. The crust was also done very well. I normally don’t eat the edge of the crust around the top, but this crust was so soft, that I gave it a try, and was glad I did. I was so sad to see it go. I tried to eat slowly, but it kept calling my name, and I kept answering, and then I looked around, and it was gone. Now, I want more.
Overall: Me (3.5/5)
After an evening of culinary highs and lows, we both decided that we’d visit again if we were hanging out with friends or were just in the area and wanted to grab something to eat. We saw other tasty-looking dishes leaving the kitchen window, and there were other intriguing items on the menu, AND I ordered a to-go order of about a 3.5-star shrimp and grits dish that I didn’t tell y’all about because I didn’t want y’all to judge me, but I’m still on the fence about whether I’ll drive from my neck of the woods to theirs based on a hankering for some chowder (that chowder and pie is worth the drive
As for the atmosphere and value, as I said before, if you’ve ever been on Bourbon Street, you know to expect New Orleans colors (lots of purple mixed with green and gold) and decor, Jazz playing in the background, with a cozy, vintage, jazz club-like feel. That’s what you get when you step into Mardi Gras Memphis. Their prices are just a little pricey, but it’s worth it when you realize they are serving quite a few seafood and catfish dishes, and neither one of those come cheap. So, in my opinion, their prices are justified. They also give pretty good portions.
The staff seemed friendly. Our waiter Keyron (I KNOW I messed up his name, sorry!) was really nice and helpful. He seemed to be popular with the neighborhood kids. A few of them came in after school and they all made sure to get his attention to speak to him. For some reason, this warmed our hearts and said a lot about
So, if you can’t make it to New Orleans this year, or the next, and want to feel the spirit of Mardi Gras, just let your vehicle transport you on over to 496 N. Watkins and let your mind, and your taste buds, take you to where you really want to be, that special place, Bourbon Street, Lousiana.
Been to Mardi Gras Memphis? What did you think about it? Where do you want us to try next? Let us know in the comments! Until next time, eat good and God Bless!
Happy Mardi Gras, Everybody!