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Mambos Seafood (NOLA)

We were in New Orleans and it was raining, a warm and wet humid tropical rain that was both refreshing and magical. We were back on Bourbon Street, as an easy way to find a place to get shelter from said rain. I was heading to a few theme bars that caught my online interest, but my friend wanted some food.

So Mombo was within eyesight and the line was minimal so we went in. The rooftop patio was unfortunately full so we got what we could on the main floor.

At this point I was done with the over sugary cocktails and was looking to cleanse. I sought out a very reasonable sparkling wine for $7 and my guest an IPA for $6. I must say the price for liquor in the South is very reasonable. I can see why people are so jovial, they can afford it. However, the sparkling was hard and acrid, and it definitely tasted like a $7 glass, especially coming from BC with our Okanagan wine country.

In order to try a little bit of everything we got the Taste of New Orleans platter which included Chicken & Sausage Gumbo, Crawfish Étouffée, & Red Beans & Rice with Smoked Sausage. We then opted for the add ons of gator and catfish for extra.

Apparently the Crawfish Étouffée is the regional cuisine to try. Instead of committing to a full serving we got it as a side in our platter. I thought this to be a smart idea, especially seeing how salty we have been finding food thus far. This is a Southern Cajun Stew with Steamed Rice. It ate like a chowder with a creamy and thick texture, and an over arching peppery gravy-like taste. This was a great way to have crayfish without any of the tedious work to crack it open and scrape out what little meat is available. There were plenty of shrimp-sized chunks. This was nice with rice because it was tad on the salt salty side, as I expected.

The Chicken & Sausage Gumbo was similar in the gravy-like mix, but with less chunks and had more of a congee consistency. This version was tastier than the one we had the previous night, and not too salty. I especially liked the juicy chunks of chopped sausage embedded throughout, as it gave contrasting bites. This one was best eaten the side of sweet bun, ripped and dipped as a neutral base.

And in case things weren’t filling enough, there was plenty of red beans in a cup. They were whipped smooth with a lasting grit. A lovely side with a smokey finish. I just wish the sausage wasn’t drowning it in. It was hard to fish out and the former did not aid in the flavour of the latter.

For our add on of Gator we went with it
blackened over fried for $7.50 more. This was our first taste of the widely popular and accessible marinated White Meat Gator Tail, all of which is farmed for consumption. In hindsight we should have gotten it fried. It didn’t come with a sauce or remoulade like it would have as a whole serving. The result was a dry meat with the texture of shredded chicken. The blacken didn’t offer much char or any smokey flavour. As much as it was not pleasant in the mouth like overcooked white chicken breast meat, it was at least well seasoned. This we would have to mix into the gravies for moisture and to hide all my grievances above.

The catfish on the other hand was the crowd pleaser, well worth the $5 add on. This we got fried, over blackened as recommended by our server. An entire fillet of fish, this was a large serving, as I am learning that everything is bigger in the states. There was great seasoning in the crust of this. And enough breading to carry through to the centre of the white fish. So far all the catfish, I’ve had, had not disappoint.

In conclusion, there is plenty of food and it all filled, although I wouldn’t necessarily come back there were not standouts and there so many other different seafood options to explore.

411 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70130, United States
+1 504-407-3717

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