9-4-05 A Fond Tribute to New Orleans
The following is a list of motherfuckers I will surely miss now that they're under 10 feet of water:
Fiorella's (45 French Market Pl)
We Never Close (10240 Chef Menteur Hwy)
Samurai (239 Decatur St)
Parasol's (2533 Constance St)
Central Grocery (923 Decatur St)
Siam (435 Esplanade Ave)
Manuel's Hot Tamales (4709 S Carrolton Ave)
Napoleon House (500 Chartres St)
I never scraped together the cash to hit Commander's Palace, and I regret the fuck out of that. And no, going to the one in Las Vegas isn't an option. With Siegfried & Roy out of commission (the only thing I love more than magic is a magician- eating tiger), Las Vegas has nothing to offer me. I hate gambling. The last gamble I made was fucking your mom without a condom. And I don't care that you can drink 24 hours a day, in the street. If I want to drink all night I'll go to, uh... New Orleans. Never mind.
In New Orleans you could walk into any shitty looking convenience store and get a sandwich that's offhandedly better than anything you can get in sandwich- deprived Seattle. Better than Honeyhole. Better than The Other Coast. And all for about 1/2 the price (and actually about 1/5 the price of the sandwiches at Salumi's ).
My experience in Seattle with so-called “New Orleans favorites” is a litany of disappointment. Behold: one time I went to Bad Albert's in Ballard. I was incredibly surprised to see a shrimp poboy on the menu! I was so excited, I ordered one immediately. I should've known better. The “poboy” didn't come dressed with the traditional diced iceberg lettuce, sliced tomatoes, pickles, mayonnaise, and french's yellow mustard, but was instead covered in a gross miasma of the kind of cheap tartar sauce only available in middle school cafeterias. Even worse was the fact that THE FUCKING POBOY ONLY HAD TWO SHRIMP ON IT! Yes, TWO. One. Two. I counted (all those years of watching Sesame Street finally paid off, I guess). I couldn't believe my fucking eyes. In a real poboy, more than two shrimp should roll off the bread and onto the floor while you eat it. Bad Albert's= POSERS.
Another time I had the muffaletta at Roxy's Deli in Fremont. I know, I know, I shouldn't have ordered it, but hope springs eternal, I guess, kinda like the guy I know who's had the same long distance relationship going with this girl for 9 years but has never fucked her. That muffaletta was sort of like a girl who doesn't put out for 9 years, too: dry and retarded. It came on a sourdough roll, not the authentic sesame seed muffaletta bread. While the meats were correct (black forest ham, mortadella, and salami), the olive salad was too garlicky, and didn't have enough (or any, actually)of the diced celery, marinated cauliflower, and pimento that a proper olive salad should have. Furthermore, there wasn't nearly enough olive oil on it. A good muffaletta should fucking swim in extra virgin olive oil. There should be so much oil on it that it drips off the bread and stains your shirt when you bite into it, so that you say “My shirt's ruined but who gives a shit? This muffaletta is so damn good I just spontaneously ejaculated!” This actually happened to me once. True story. But that mufalletta came from the Central Grocery, not Roxy's. Roxy's is a fucking pale imitation.
Then there's the New Orleans Restaurant in Pioneer Square. Where do I even begin to disparage this fuckfest? I ordered the fried catfish platter. As I recall it cost about $12. For that price, what you'd get in any hole in the wall in New Orleans (or even an upscale place like Deanie's ) would be: a huge pile of catfish, sliced razor thin so you can't actually taste the catfish, breaded in cornmeal, and deep fried, with a huge pile of fries, hushpuppies, buttered french bread, and a shitty iceberg lettuce salad. In contrast, the New Orleans restaurant sucks. Their catfish platter? A single breaded catfish filet which appeared to have been BAKED (blasphemy!), two hushpuppies that were hard enough to use as ball bearings, and a cup of undercooked red beans that were still HARD INSIDE! Fuck! What a bitter, bitter meal that was. I weep just thinking of it.
Don't get me wrong: there's plenty of good eating to be had in Seattle. But the food in New Orleans is effortlessly awesome, and cheap as well. It's just too damn bad we won't be able to get any of it for at least a year. To the citizens of New Orleans: rebuild, my brothers, so we might once again enjoy a decent poboy!