(Editor’s note: This is Part 9 of a 10-part series on an Uncommon Journeys trip aboard a Pullman train to New Orleans)
One of the first dishes I ate in New Orleans many years ago was barbeque shrimp. Sitting at an outdoor café in the French Quarter with sweet street jazz drifting my way, I savored every last bite of that special meal.
So wonderful was it that I make it a point to have barbecue shrimp at least once on every visit to the Crescent City. This time, with less than 24 hours in town on a Pullman train trip with Uncommon Journeys, that tasty treat was enjoyed at the Palace Café.
Opened 10 years ago in a former department store on historic Canal Street at the foot of the French Quarter, the Palace Café is part of “THE” Brennan family’s delicious dining dynasty. That lets you know it must be good.
And it is.
A beautiful filigreed staircase leads to seats on the second level. We chose to sit by one of the large picture windows overlooking Canal Street where we could watch the streetcars and the parade of humanity.
Take time to savor the menu. Although I knew exactly what I wanted, I was pleased to find that I could get an appetizer of barbecue shrimp ($9.50) and still have room for one of the Palace Café’s specialties – the fried oyster salad.
At $17, the salad was huge with plump oysters fried just the way I like. The oysters were glazed with Crystal hot sauce instead of that awful breading that often drowns the taste of a good oyster. The sauce was tangy and tasty but not overly hot.
The oysters were served with a Bibb lettuce wedge, spicy buttermilk chive dressing, julienne carrots, green onions, and Stilton bleu cheese. Yummy!
If you’d like to try New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp at home, the Palace Café generously shared their recipe. But, instead, I think I’ll just plan another trip back to New Orleans. Never need a reason to visit and partake of that special shrimp.
NEW ORLEANS BARBECUE SHRIMP
Barbecue Shrimp is one of the Crescent City’s most classic dishes. At our Brennan restaurants, we prepare it by peeling the shrimp and leaving the heads and tails on to maximize the flavor. Serve with a side of crusty bread or on a load of hot French bread to make a delectable po-boy.
1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound jumbo Louisiana shrimp
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Crystal hot sauce
1 lemon, juice only
2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
1 cup Abita Amber beer
1 cup butter, chilled and chopped
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced.
French bread, thickly sliced on the diagonal, warmed
Over medium heat, lightly sauté garlic in 1 tablespoon butter. Add shrimp and cook for one minute on each side. Increase heat to high and add Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, lemon juice, Creole seasoning and cracked pepper. Add beer and stir to deglaze the pan. Cook until reduced by half.
Reduce heat to medium and add remaining butter 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing until completely incorporated. Cook until sauce is thick enough to coat spoon. Stir in rosemary. Ladle into bowls. Serve with hot French bread.
For more information: Palace Café at www.palacecafe.com or Uncommon Journeys at (800) 323-5893, www.uncommonjourneys.com