Wednesday, October 18, 2006

My Perfect Casamento's Meal

Food Week! Food Week! Food Week! Food Week!*

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!

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.
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.

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.


  1. Anonymous7:54 AM

    Something I just learned from Sara R. - that hot oil is really hot lard. No wonder I dream about the fried shrimp and those lovely, wilty french fries.

  2. Slim,
    Cassamento's opened Oct6. A friend and I ate there opening day.
    A dozen on the half-shell and oyster loaf! Sadly, tea for the bev since I was working.
    It was heaven! And the company was good too.

  3. Anonymous8:55 AM

    This is not the perfect Casamento's meal, but the perfect meal as such.

    A fancy restaurant in Boston offers expensive, gourmet versions of exactly this food.
    They used to even have iceberg and tomato salad on the menu. If you look closely at the photo, you'll see the (artsy) white tilework.