Best Approximation of New Orleans - 2010
The Gumbo Shop
The Gumbo Shop is barely big enough to contain those eating and those waiting in line to order. Yet within such cozy confines, the cuisine of New Orleans feels right at home. Yes, the gumbo is fantastic: thick and spicy and chock-full of shrimp and andouille. But this is no mere one-dish specialty shop. The jambalaya is nearly as good as the gumbo, and no one in St. Louis makes a better crawfish étouffée. The overstuffed po' boys are a delight. If you order the shrimp po' boy, remove a shrimp from the sandwich and marvel at how beautifully it has been fried. The batter is crisp and perfectly seasoned, neither too salty nor too spicy to detract from the shrimp's buttery flavor. Whatever you plan to order, be prepared to order it to-go: You never know how crowded the Gumbo Shop will be. If you're feeling impulsive, drive it all the way down to Louisiana. The locals there won't notice any difference.