Tabasco or Crystal

I’ve been watching what I eat with some success but sometimes I give in. Candy left a newspaper article in my office from last Friday – there is a new Cajun Restaurant in Richardson, Wicked Po’Boys. I couldn’t resist.

It’s located in the Eastside development not far from where we live.

Wicked Po’Boys in Richardson, Texas

They have put up a bit of an iron balcony out front to try for a little New Orleans style. Not quite the Garden District, but a nice touch.

A real balcony in the French Quarter.

Balcony in the Lower Garden District

The place is long and thin inside – but attractive, with a big bar and a big menu. I ordered a grilled shrimp po’boy and an Abita Amber, Candy ordered a roast beef po’boy. Most people think about po’boys and seafood (shrimp, oyster) but the roast beef or debris style is right up there too.

Blackened Shrimp Po-Boy from Wicked Po’Boys

Roast Beef Po-Boy from Wicked Po’Boys

Our sandwiches were greatness. I’m afraid we’ll be back. There are pots of gumbo that beckon. There are still oysters.

Now, if you are going to eat Cajun, you need to make a huge decision. There are a number of eternal “this or that” questions you must face during you short time upon this mortal plane. These questions must be faced and must not be shirked. Ocean or mountains? The book or the movie? Hot dog or hamburger? Paper or Plastic? Shaken or stirred? White or wheat? Boxers or briefs? Tea or coffee? Dogs or cats? Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings? Coke or Pepsi? Shower or bath? Chocolate or Vanilla?

But the most basic question, the one that truly reveals the tint of your deepest soul, the most difficult conundrum of them all….

A tough choice.

Tabasco or Crystal?

Now I know some folks will put Original Louisiana  (the one with the red dot) there (and it is a worthy contender) instead of Crystal – but I’ve been to New Orleans and I know the truth. It’s Tabasco or Crystal. A tough choice.

Choose your weapon.

Here is the condiment rail at Wicked Po-Boys. If you are a true hot sauce eater you will recognize the bottles from the shapes on the top.

Now, I understand the duality of the Crystal and Tabasco choice. But, really in life, things do not come in twos. The duality of nature is an illusion brought on by our own weakness of perceiving the true nature of things. Life is not a duality – there are really three choices. Wicked Po-Boys recognizes this deep philosophical truth by offering Sriracha. Oh, and in Richardson, you had better have Sriracha.

But, as much as I love the rooster sauce, I’m not quite adventurous enough to put it on Cajun food yet…. It’s not that I’m afraid as much as I’m not sure how to improve on perfection. Sometimes the classics are that way for a reason.

So what did I choose? Ever since my visit to Avery Island I have held a deep respect for Tabasco. It is truly a culinary treasure. But it is also too vinegary. I respect Tabasco… but I ate the Crystal.

A lot of it.

By the way – take a look at the “best used date” on that bottle of Crystal in the photo above. You have to eat it by March 7, 2015. Don’t worry – it’ll be gone by then.

Wicked Po’Boys Set To Open In Richardson

Wicked PoBoys Facebook

First Look: Wicked Po Boys

Nick’s Birthday

Today is Nick’s twenty-first birthday.

Time flies – it’s hard to believe it’s been that long.

After work, I drove down to Big Shucks on Mockingbird to meet the family and friends for dinner. We always love the place – great, unhealthy, cajun and fried food (I had an oyster po-boy – usually I get the Mexican Shrimp Cocktail, but not tonight) and we packed a bunch into the back room.

Texting

Nick and some friends laughing at the text messages some strange woman sent Lee.

After stuffing our faces, everyone came back to our house for further festivities. Lee and I then drove the revellers into old downtown Plano and dropped them off. They’ll call us when they need to be picked up – I think Lee will make two trips to bring everybody back.

I have to work tomorrow, so I’m messing around the house and will try to get some sleep – I’ll be the only one, I’m sure.


In other news, Lana Del Rey has a new video out for my newest favorite song, Video Games. I really like it.

from her facebook page – HOLLYWOOD SAD CORE SUMMERTIME SADNESS DOPE SPECIAL THANKS TO Tim van den Hoff (vloedlicht.nl) and Andrew Livingston whose films inspired this video. Super-8 …..

Fish Fry

Last week I cooked up a bunch of Kingfish that Nick brought back from a deep-sea fishing trip off Galveston. I had no idea on how to cook Kingfish, so I cut some into steaks and grilled them and fried the rest up Cajun-Style, dredged in spicy cornmeal. The steaks weren’t great, but the fried stuff was fantastic.

Kingfish

Nick and a Kingfish caught in the Gulf of Mexico

This week is the kids’ softball team’s last game so I fried up another frozen batch of the Kingfish. Since there were so many hungry kids coming by I needed to stretch the fish as far as I could, so I decided to make hush puppies and fritters to go along with the fish, and to make po-boy sandwiches to serve up the fried Kingfish, if anyone wanted one.

Frozen Kingfish

One of the packages of frozen kingfish Nick brought back. This is a big mess of fish.

Skinning the fish

The Kingfish has a tough skin. Cleaning it and cutting it into fry-sized pieces is a job. It takes a couple sharp knives and patience.

Frying

I like to use a cast-iron Dutch Oven on the stove for frying. It takes a while, but gives good control over the frying temperature. The fish is dredged in seasoned cornmeal and fried.

Plate

Last week we ran out of fish so I made a bunch of cornmeal hushpuppies, corn fritters, and served fish po-boy sandwiches.

I cooked up a big mess of fish and a big pile of hush puppies. We had plenty of leftovers… y’all should have come over to eat.