Our annual holiday trip to New Orleans to visit my family is always a big food-fest. Like anyone visiting New Orleans, we do our best to eat as much of the wonderful local cuisine as we can. I should point out that though this is a health blog, I would not call New Orleans cuisine “healthy” It’s full of butter and cream and lots of fried things. So, occasional indulgence is o.k., but we always have to “detox” with lots of fresh veg and brown rice when we come back to Boston!
We had a fantastic meal of raw oysters and perfectly fried seafood at Casamento’s on Magazine St. in the Garden District. This is definitely an old-school, family-run restaurant. They aren’t open every day, and don’t serve both lunch and dinner every day. If you go, you should plan to wait at least 30-45 minutes for a table as the place is tiny and no one (employees or customers) is in a hurry. We found the wait worth it–the oysters were amazing and came with a set up to make your own cocktail sauce with Ketchup, horseradish, tabasco and a lemon wedge. My husband and I shared a fried seafood platter that had fried shrimp, oysters, catfish, and crab claws. It was probably some of the best fried food I’ve ever eaten–it was completely grease-less, and almost seemed light!
For those of you avoiding gluten in your diet, please check Casamento’s out! Their fried seafood is gluten-free, though you should be sure to ask them to leave the bread off of the plate.
We also ate at Deanie’s seafood in the French Quarter and had grilled oysters and blackened redfish (both also gluten-free).
Sadly, crawfish were not in season when we visited, but we made sure to eat as many boiled shrimp as we could on this trip. In New Orleans, we boil our seafood whole (that’s with the head and tail intact), and we like it spicy. If you’re lucky, you can also get some potatoes, onions or maybe corn on the cob that’s been boiled in the “crab boil,” as we call any spicy boiling mixture. Boiled seafood is another good option for people with food sensitivities as it does not contain gluten, soy or egg (or corn, unless the restaurant boils corn cobs–just ask).