Boiled Crawfish, Grilled Oysters, Fried Plantains, oh my!

I just spend the week in New Orleans, and though our beloved Casamento’s Restaurant was closed for the summer, we ate very well and gluten-free all week. Crawfish were in season, so we (happily) ate boiled crawfish probably every other day, and lots of oysters. The oysters were not as good as they were on our Christmas trip, though. But, that didn’t seem to affect the grilled oysters we ate at Quarterview Restaurant in Metairie and Deanie’s in the French quarter. They were proof that using ample butter, garlic and cheese makes anything taste delicious!

Aside from boiled crawfish (and shrimp), our best meals were at Bennachin, a tiny West African restaurant at 1212 Royal St. in the French Quarter. They don’t have a website, and I’ve been unable to find their menu online to post here. We happily dined on Jama Jama ni Makondo, a plate of tasty sauteed spinach, coconut rice and sweet fried plantains. We also had the Kone ni Makondo, a tomato-based black eyed pea stew, also served with coconut rice and plantains. For desert, we had more fried plantains topped with a rich yogurt-based sauce (I think it was vanilla yogurt with some sour cream mixed in) that really knocked us out! It was delicious! If you are avoiding gluten, just make sure you tell them not to put bread on your plate (actually a good thing to do anywhere you dine in New Orleans).