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New Orleans has always been a food lover destination. Whether you adore beignets, gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish, gulf shrimp, muffalettas, or po’ boys, Nawlin’s is the epicenter of good eating and drinking. I still remember my café brûlot at Galatoire’s, the oysters and crawfish at Acme, and the beignets from Café Beignet (which I prefer to the famous ones at CdM).

Finding Crazy Créole Café nearby, serving authentic créole dishes, has made me a regular in a span of only a few weeks. The first excellent sign was the selection of hot sauces on every table 🙂 Depending on what I am eating, I chose a different hot sauce, but my usual go to is the Red Rooster. I love that some dishes require NO ADDITION of anything because the flavor and seasoning is absolutely balanced! I am always happy to find food that has layers of taste beyond a simple one-note spice. At Crazy Créole Café, they play with their food like a harmonious band of talented musicians, creating a melody of joyous notes that will make your mouth dance!

Gumbo is one of the mainstays of créole cooking, and this wonderful medley of shrimp, sausage, crab, and chicken will make you wonder if you are in New Orléans. It took me about an hour to get every delectable morsel out of the generous portion of crab, but it was worth every minute. The roux is rich and satisfying, and for those who want some heat, just choose your preference of Louisiana hot sauce.

Fresh crawfish is rare in these parts, and even rarer is a great etoufée (smothered) that combines the tender morsels with a rich creamy bath of deliciousness.

The meals are all around $20 and come with two sides, so I chose the red beans and rice

and the boiled cabbage, both of which could have been meals in and of themselves. Neither needed any seasoning or hot sauce, but if you wanted to, you could of course add heat to the very tasty dishes.

If you follow them on Facebook or Instagram, you will see when they have Oxtails on the menu; I HIGHLY recommend you follow them because these are some of the best I have ever eaten (that I did not make myself 🙂 They offer delivery within 6 miles for $25 minimum order, so if you don’t want to drive to Long Beach (much closer than Nawlin’s) you can relax at home and let les bons temps roulez chez vous 🙂

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I’ve been to Stevie’s Creole Cafe for lunch, but that was a year and a half ago (see my previous post here), and since I haven’t had a chance to go back to New Orleans this year, it was time to go back to Stevie’s for my Creole food fix. They are even more enticing now because they just added Chicken and Waffles to their extensive menu of Southern comfort food.

So on a cold and rainy night I met up with my Southern eating partner for some stick to your ribs hearty fare. We were greeted with hospitality and warmth by everyone in the place. As soon as we ordered, a piping hot basket of cornbread was delivered and devoured as we waited for our food.

I had to get the seafood gumbo again because it was such a stand out last time and it still packs the same gastronomic punch, packed with crab, shrimp, andouille sausage, chicken and rice, a cup of this hearty spicy concoction will warm your heart and your body. The wonderful sauce was so good that I wanted a cup of it to drink, but I settled for using a spoon to scoop into my mouth.

We decided to split the oxtails and the chicken and waffles so we could both have tastes of everything. The oxtails came with two sides, so my Southerner ordered the fried okra and collard greens. The okra was light and tasty, with just the right amount of spice in the crisp batter. The collard greens had a nice flavor, but needed some punch, so either some bites of the spicy pepper served with it, or some hot sauce sprinkled on it made it perfect. The oxtails were falling of the bone tender, served on a bed of rice, and the brown gravy covering them was fabulously rich accompaniment. A very nice version of oxtails.

The Chicken and Waffles was great! I have not yet been to Roscoes, so I can’t compare, but the chicken was moist, the crust on the batter was crisp and perfectly seasoned. The waffles were better than the version most breakfast places serve, and there are TWO on the plate, served with three scoops of butter (I used one and scraped off the rest) and two sides of maple syrup. I don’t see how anyone could finish this dish by themselves unless they are playing sports professionally.

We paid less than $60 for both our meals, including tax and tip and we were so full after eating that we simply lay back on the bench against the cushions and nearly fell asleep from the joy of a happy belly.

If you haven’t been to New Orleans, go eat at Stevie’s and you will want to go; if you have been, go to Stevie’s to get your fix of soulfully delicious Creole in the San Fernando Valley anytime you want without having to go through LAX.

They also have live music, a happy hour, and a full bar, so even if you just stop in for some fun, go and enjoy this friendly casual cafe.

Stevie's Creole Cafe and Bar on Urbanspoon

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