Long time readers of this blog may know that, although I consider myself a Floridian, I was born in New Orleans. I love Creole and Cajun food (no, they’re not the same thing), and can get a bit dogmatic about certain things, such as…
I don’t care how “untraditional” you proclaim yourself to be, real jambalaya, truly honest-to-God, born on the banks of the Big Muddy jambalaya, proper jambalaya, does NOT have salmon in it. Period. Full stop. If your dish has salmon, it might be tasty (I don’t think so, but then I don’t like salmon), but it is NOT jambalaya.*
[Edited to add: before anyone goes all Green Eggs and Ham on me, I feel compelled to state that on a previous visit to the restaurant I had tried the dish in question. Not a fan, and not simply because it was called “jambalaya.” There are many spicy vegetarian stews that I have tried and liked, although I would never have graced them with the title “chili.”]
I’m not completely inflexible: while I’ve never heard of anyone using mascarpone cheese in their shrimp and grits before, it was quite tasty. The sliders were terrific (I’m still a little fuzzy as to what “bacon jam” is, other than delicious).
The hurricane was way too weak. A properly made hurricane (and I have had a number of them over my adult lifetime — they’re one of my favorite mixed cocktails, along with mai-tais) should leave me kind of wobbly. (What can I say? I am a really cheap drunk.) I barely even noticed this one; whatever rum was in there was barely detectable. The Ginger Mule that the Rocket Scientist had, on the other hand, tasted great.
So, all in all, a mixed review. Three and a half stars.
*”Jambalaya does not have salmon in it” is only second to my other great Louisiana food dogma: there is no universe in which real, proper, red beans and rice is a vegetarian dish. Red beans and rice has at least two types of meat, preferably three.