Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Acme Oyster Co

For the extended Christmas weekend, the wife and I decided to visit New Orleans, since we had never visited NOLA before. Though we had planned on going weeks ahead of time, we did not make reservations until the day before we left. This was mainly to try and get a better deal on the hotel for the weekend. And it paid off. I got the hotel in the French Quarter to agree to a reduced rate with free parking that ended up saving us over $100 on hotel for the weekend. Of course that $100 still went towards food instead of savings, but c'est la vie. So on Christmas day we drove east on I-10 in virtually no traffic in search of some Cajun goodness.

Our favorite meal there was at the Acme Oyster House. Sure, it was just fried seafood but it was some of the best fried seafood we've had.

We got a dozen of their chargrilled oysters as an appetizer. The wife was happy because she can only eat cooked oysters (she's pregnant) and I was happy because it was full of butter, herbs and cheese. It was like the oysters were seasoned escargot style and then thrown on top of a flame grill. It's an amazing sight when they're cooking these babies because as the butter drips the flames dance higher. If you can get a seat facing the grill, you'll be entertained for the meal. And since it was herb butter, I used the table bread to sop up the remaining butter and cheese left inside the empty shells. It was so good we ordered another platter of these buttery beauties.

I got their Peace Maker Po' boy which is designed to prevent the turmoil that one experiences when debating between the shrimp and oyster po' boy. What you get is half of each. In all honesty, I was originally disappointed because I was expecting a po' boy with both shrimp and oysters mixed through out the entire sandwich. But that was easily remedied by alternating bites between the two halves. So what distinguishes a po' boy from a sub sandwich? It's the bread. Po' boy bread is a French-style baguette specific to Louisiana. I'm no bread expert so I can't tell you the specifics of the po' boy bread. I just know it's not as chewy as a French baguette because of a thinner crust but it's crispier than an American baguette with a fluffy interior. There. Now you know exactly how much I don't bake bread.

My wife got their two soft-shell crab plate. Not only were these the biggest soft shell crabs we've ever seen, it was also the most delicious. Just look at how the crabs dwarf the thick-cut french fries. The crabs tasted extremely fresh and were full of plump meat and flavorful crab mustard. That's right. The yellow mushy stuff in the middle of the crab's body. The mustard is by far our favorite part of the crab. It's almost like digging for gold since I eat every crab hoping for mustard but don't always get any. We both were glad she ordered two crabs so that we could each have one.

We also had a plate of their red beans and rice. That's char grilled smoked andouille sausage with seasoned red beans and white rice. Though there was nothing spectacular about this dish, it's still as authentic as it comes.

We ended up eating here twice over the weekend. Between the herb butter and colossal soft shell crab, it was hard to justify eating anywhere else.