Sherman's Food Adventures: Emeril's


Originally, we didn't have any plans to visit Emeril's in New Orleans.  In fact, one could say we were doing our best to avoid something so typical and touristy.  However, before all of this food snobbery crept into our consciousness, Emeril's was a place I've always wanted to try.  Looking over the menu, some reviews and the prices, we changed our mind and it ended up back on our "to-eat" list and consequently was our first spot for lunch after an overnight flight from Vancouver connecting in Dallas/Fort-Worth.  It was actually pretty convenient since it was only a 5 block walk from our hotel.

I do not talk about House Bread very much because it sometimes is pretty plain and not very interesting.  However, the 3 types we were started off with did satisfy the "different" quotient.   They included Roasted Red Pepper and Honey, Cornbread Muffin and Honey Wheat Bread.  My favorite was the roasted red pepper as it had the texture of soft focaccia, but was cheesy and sweet. Seeing how we were going to visit Mr. B's Bistro the next day, Viv decided to do a comparison with the Emeril's New Orleans BBQ Shrimp.  The de-shelled shrimp tails were buttery with a snap while naturally bring and aromatic.  The sauce was extremely buttery and creamy with smokiness and umami flavours.  It was silky and rich with a concentrated saltiness.  This was surely tasty if not heavy and a bit too salty.

For myself, I had the Lobster "Tchoup" which was more like a slaw consisting of shaved brussels sprouts, apples, grilled bacon, lobster, spiced pecans, blue cheese and soft egg.  When mixed together including the silky runny egg yolk, the whole thing was dominated by the sharpness and pungency of the creamy blue cheese.  Texturally, the crunch from the brussels sprouts and apple was appealing, yet at the same time, hid the plentiful sweet lobster.  In addition to the blue cheese, the firm and salty bacon was a perfect compliment while somewhat offset by some pepperiness.  

For her entree, Viv had the Chicken & Waffles that featured two large pieces of perfectly fried chicken.  The batter was crunchy, yet not overly heavy while the chicken was moist and nicely seasoned.  Underneath lay a sweet corn Belgian waffle which was tasty, but ultimately soft and lacking in texture.  The side of watermelon slaw was crunchy and nicely acidic.  The whole dish was drizzled with a fairly sweet Crystal hot sauce syrup.  I decided to go for one of their signature items being the Andouille Crusted Gulf Drum.  As the name suggests, the fish was coated with an andouille "dust" of sorts which created a crispy exterior that was salty and smoky.  The fish itself was mild, flaky and buttery soft.  I found the Creole Meuniere sauce to be buttery and sweet.  Underneath, the crispy shoestring potatoes were on point texturally, holding up to the moisture.  The veggies consisting of squash, eggplant and red peppers were on point being cooked all the way through while retaining a bite.

For dessert we shared the Banana Cream Pie, which to be honest, has never been a favourite of mine.  However, this version was actually quite good.  It featured plenty of banana chunks (probably 70% of the pie) that wasn't overripe.  The cream portion was more like a semifreddo and was just sweet enough and aromatic.  The crust was light and buttery while the caramel on top was rather important as it added even more aroma and necessary sweetness.  Although it didn't wow us per se, our visit to Emeril's was pleasant enough and crossed off another bucket-list item.

The Good:
- Excellent service
- Food is actually quite good
- Not that expensive with all things considered

The Bad:
- Heavy food, but not uncommon for New Orleans


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