Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Toulouse Petit

Toulouse Petit

601 Queen Anne Ave N

206- 432-9069

Hey everybody! I'm going rogue once again, because the Seattle Weekly didn't want this review of Toulouse Petit. So enjoy! The Weekly never lets me say "retard" but I control all the variables here, so... retardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretardretard.


When I heard about Toulouse Petit I was immediately intrigued, but skeptical. Normally I try to keep my nose out of the politics but I heard a rumor that the dude who owns Peso’s had something to do with Toulouse Petit. That was strike one because Peso’s sucks ass. Actually, I’m sorry: I can only CONJECTURE that Peso’s sucks ass because you aren’t allowed in there if you don’t drive either an Escalade or a
Hummer, and everyone knows that my ride is your mom so of course I’ve been denied entry to Peso’s.

I was also extra skeptical because I don’t like the name. Toulouse Petit. It’s like they tried to come up with the most “New Orleans-y” name possible. I could have come up with some better ideas: how about “Bayou Billy’s Bourbon Street Bordello?” or “A Streetcar Named the Superdome?” or “Show me Your Tits: the Restaurant?”

Still, I’m a glutton for punishment so I went to Toulouse Petit. Much has been made of the interior, but I don’t think words can describe how over the top this fucking place is: the multicolored rough plaster walls look stupid. Or maybe they hired blind hookers to paint it. The menu brags about how many gazillions of pieces of glass are in the windows. And yes, I’ll agree that the windows look cool, but that’s
only from the INSIDE. From the outside, Toulouse Petit’s extra- awesome windows just look like a lot of expensive handcraft embedded into a green stucco box. And the tables, with their intricate wood inlays, are just fucking ostentatious.

I’d call the showy interior a fail. It looks like a crayon factory exploded inside. They DID, however, get one very important thing right: the menu. Toulouse Petit’s menu, like Galatoire’s or Antoine’s or any one of the old school New Orleans pleasure palaces that it’s trying to emulate, is a vast decadent Bible of
gustatory excess. We started with the boudin blanc ($7.50). This boudin blanc is similar to the watery, pallid, rice- filled sausage you find in Louisiana convenience stores in name only. Toulose Petit’s boudin was fantastic: plump, juicy sausages, sautéed to a glossy bronze, strained in their cases and practically begged you to cut into them. And when you did, it was awesome: rivulets of juice ejaculated from a deceptively light and airy pork stuffing.

The duck confit salad ($10) had lots of radicchio, crescents of sliced celery, and lurid glistening purple chunks of duck confit, topped with a poached egg and a mustard vinaigrette. The vinaigrette combined with the grumbling bitterness of the radicchio was ALMOST too much until you cut into the egg and mixed the yolk into the salad, which mellowed the fuck out to the point where it was JUST painless enough to wolf the fuck down.

Fried alligator seemed a bit pricey at $9.95. For this price you got a small pile of alligator: pink slabs of fleshy tail meat sliced thinly and fried in a really shaggy but crisp breading. This was served with twin pools of remoulade: one chili flavored, smoky and burgundy; the other bone- colored and speckled with herbs. Both remoulades were finely textured. Sometimes when eating alligator, you get the
shittiest, most rank taste you’ve ever had in your mouth, similar only to the shitty rank taste I get when eating your mom. The gator was in no way contaminated by the rancid flavor of reptile fat.

Fried Chicken Gumbo was, for $7.50, a rather small bowl. They wisely didn’t try to stretch the gumbo with too much rice; all of the shitty bowls of gumbo I’ve seen at tourist traps always feature an enormous ice cream scoop of white rice, or even TWO scoops sometimes, mounded into twin bosomy heaps, with only a meager splash of thin grey dishwater gumbo on top. Toulouse Petit’s gumbo was nothing like this: the roux itself was thick and chocolatey, with a satin finish, and there was just enough
rice to mix into the soup without blunting the flavor. Perched on top were crisp chunks of chicken breast fried in that same crunchy shaggy batter as the fried alligator. Well done.

Beignets cost $7. This is pretty fucking pricey for 6 triangular beignets. That’s highway robbery in Louisiana. In Louisiana, beignets are CHEAP. But that’s BECAUSE THEY FUCKING SUCK. Beignets are for old people and drunks: drunks can’t taste how shitty and leathery these fucking things are, and old people remember the time they ate a rat at the height of the Great Depression, so to them a stale,crumbly fake donuts tastes delicious. The beignets at Toulouse Petit are not much better: they’re fried to a dark brown varnish, folded into crumbly triangles like middle school paper footballs. They were okay but a creamy chicory crème anglaise that accompanied was brilliant: when you dipped the beignets into the chicory cream the overall effect was like a million 5 am breakfasts with your grandparents.

I reluctantly found myself genuinely enjoying Toulouse Petit. The food is actually quite tasty. The only way it could be more reminiscent of the actual Louisiana experience would be if the food caused you to drop out of high school and drive a Firebird and wear white rubber boots.

Rating: 8.5 Louisiana experiences out of 10