The List: Mara’s Homemade

crawfish-in-bucket1

I just love Louisiana Creole Cuisine. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but my trip to New Orleans last year was really eye opening. I loved it so much, I’m going back in April. But what is truly impossible to describe is the atmosphere that surrounds the food. Sure you hear about the craziness of Bourbon Street, and the hurricanes that seem strong enough to eat through the plastic cup your drinking them from. And sure everyone tells you about the beignets from Cafe Du Monde and the never ending crawfish and oyster dishes. But what no story nor any website can tell you, is how welcomed you will feel when your down there. And ultimately isn’t this what great dining is all about? We get tricked into thinking that the best restaurants are the ones with the largest bill at the end of the night but is it really worth all that money if you felt like just another guest. Maybe it is for some people, but it’s just not my cup of sweet tea…

I have been dying to try Mara’s Homemade because despite its East Village location, I’ve always heard it feels like your eating in New Orleans. Now I know other places will serve Abita beer and etouffee but as I just mentioned, the right menu is not enough. However, just in case I was worried about the replication of my favorite food, our waitress let us know that many of the seafood options were indeed imported from Louisiana; two of which we had to try for our appetizers. The fried alligator bites were delicious. If you have ever had alligator, you’ll know that the overused saying “it taste like chicken” really does apply. However, the cornmeal breading was light enough to maintain the subtle flavor of the alligator which went great with their remoulade. We also shared Louisiana oysters which I prefer over anything you can get off the shores of the Northeast. They are big and juicy and at Mara’s they are only $9 for a dozen. (In my experience, you’d be lucky to find a happy hour special offering oysters for $12 a dozen.)

After the apps, our entrees came out along with our second order of drinks (Abita on tap). The Po’ boy was perfect. I’m always surprised when I’m served a less than decent Po’ boy because it seems fairly straight forward. But what you realize is that despite only having a few ingredients (lettuce, tomato, mayo, pickles, fried seafood, and flaky french bread are the must haves), if those ingredients aren’t fresh and in the right proportion the whole thing is thrown off. We got a half and half, oyster and crawfish and although we liked the crawfish more, we were definitely pleased. We also ordered a plate of fried chicken which had a very thin breading which gave way to really moist chicken without having to sacrifice for greasiness. Lastly we shared a side of the crawfish etouffee, a staple of Louisiana cooking, and once again were thrilled with the flavors and textures. The crawfish tasted extremely fresh and the portion was ideal. In fact all the portions were ideal.

The main reason I would suggest going to Mara’s however is the atmosphere. The whole place seems like it was swept up in a tornado from Tchoupitoulas and Canal and dropped down on East six and 1st ave. marasThe decor is funky and Mara herself does an amazing job of making you feel right at home…she wants to make sure your coming back and after the meal and service we had….we definitely will be. Overall I’m going to give my experience at Mara’s an 8/10. I’m excited to go back and try more although there are more restaurants on the list awaiting….next Piadina

Advertisements

One Response to The List: Mara’s Homemade

  1. Emily says:

    Wow! Ricky, you really paint a delicious and truly authentic picture of Louisiana cuisine at Mara’s. After reading this mouth-watering post, I must say, I will definitely be heading over there soon. Having been raised in a Louisiana-bred household, I will be a tough critic, but I will let you know the results of my experience.

    Thanks for opening my eyes to Mara’s – I’ve been searching for Louisiana cuisine in this city and hopefully I have found it!

    Emily

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: