I've been struggling for a while to figure out my perfect Casamento's** meal, and I think I've finally got it:
Oysters. What's there to say? A squeeze of lemon, a dollop of horseradish, a dash of Louisiana Hot Sauce, slurped off the shell—one of the best things in life. We order a dozen. Sarah eats a few, and the rest are mine, all mine!Each element is quite lovely in it's own right, but collectively they form a harmonious unison of glory and delight, a symphony of delectable delirium, that's pretty hard to beat.
A cup of gumbo. Mine is better (forgive the horn-tooting), but theirs is still good—seafood with a touch of tomato. It's very rich, and a bowl is too much, but a cup is just fine...
A lettuce and tomato salad. Iceberg lettuce gets a bad rap. I like it. And a bit of greenery—even if it is pale greenery—provides a pleasant contrast to the richness of the other items.
A grilled cheese sandwich. You might think this is an odd choice, and you might be right, but it works. And it comes with a pickle.
Stolen bits of batter fried catfish and shrimp. As my aunt would say, "they fry beautifully!" A big heap of fried seafood isn't my thing, but the little bits I nab from the gals are quite lovely.
Abita beer. Time was, this slot would have been held by Dixie. This, sadly, has not been an option since the storm, though the latest word is that a return is imminent (at least to the shelves of Dorignac's). For the present, Abita rises to the challenge and does an a-okay job of washing everything down.
Dessert? Drive across town to Brocato's.
Damn, now I'm hungry. When are they open again?
* I like that Food Week wasn't planned but just kind of happened.
** For my local compadres, Casamento's requires no explanation, but allow me a few words for those of you in the great beyond. Casamento's is old. It's long and narrow and decorated like a 1920s bathroom—floor to ceiling white tiles. If you don't arrive at the moment they open, you'll probably have to wait, but as you stand shoulder to shoulder with other latecomers, you'll enjoy the remarkable diversion of watching the oyster shucker ply his mysterious craft. They're closed a lot. The oysters are wonderful, and everything else is very good. The staff is slow but likable. The third best thing after the food and the atmosphere is that, to get to the bathrooms, you have to walk through the kitchen, past a burly, bearded, sleeveless man with a Bluetooth earpiece standing over a large pot of boiling oil where beautiful things happen, and into a little courtyard occupied by various kitchen-y things and an obese cat.