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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A = Anna Ree's Andouille!

As I mentioned for 2011, I'm changing it up a bit and one thing I'm doing is the ABC's of Cincinnati dining! Every week or so I'll be moving through the alphabet and hitting up a new-to-me dining experience. Most times I'm going to try and have you all vote on it. First up - the letter A! We had options like Amarin, A Forkable Feast, Aunt Floras House of Soul and a few others. But the readers of Food Hussy chose Anna Ree's Andouille in New Richmond!

Larry and I are big fans of New Richmond and Rt 52 - we've driven by Andouille many of times and always thought - we should stop - but finally we HAD to go! If you're headed there - it's about 25 minutes from the Hyde Park area and is past New Richmond about 5 miles.

We took our good friends Rob & Sarah with us and Rob immediately decided on one of the appetizers - the Twice Baked Gator Tator ($10.99). Having never eaten gator - we were all excited for the treat.

This is a whole lotta stuff in one dish - and yes - we asked for the cheese on the side for my non-cheese 2011. Really it was a baked potato with 2 breaded & fried medallions of gator slathered in ranch. Everybody tried a bit of the gator and it doesn't taste like chicken. It's almost a fish/chicken hybrid - if that makes any sense. It was a fairly light meat - which I guess surprised me a bit.

Overall we liked it - but I'm not sure it was worth $11 - maybe that's just because the gator is more expensive.

We also got Cajun Crab Cakes ($12.99) and these were really great! Rob had already confiscated one before I could snap the picture! Again - I think $13 is a bit steep for them but they were really good. Lots of crab meat - and the remoulade was a unique sauce for them.

I asked for a side of cornbread with my dinner and then Rob heard - cornbread - so we decided to just get a whole order for the table. Cornbread varies so much - this was a hybrid between cake and cornbread - which is just the way I like it! It was really sweet and moist but yet had that grainy texture that I like so much in cornbread. The butter - well - it wasn't soft (argh!) so that was annoying but it softened up pretty quickly. 

Based on Cincinnati Bites earlier review, I decided somebody should try the catfish ($13.99) and that somebody was me! It came with hush puppies, fried potatoes, cole slaw, tartar sauce and cocktail sauce. The fish was really good - I've never been one to say something tastes "fishy" but I've heard that complaint many times about catfish - this had none of that. The breading was good and very crispy. The portion was ginormous! The hush puppies were fine but nothing too special. I loved the fried potatoes under the fish - not sure why but they were great. The cole slaw was just okay so I didn't waste my belly space on it. All in all - really a great choice!

Larry got the pork chops ($12.99) and the portion was again - huge! There was a fried okra underneath. I tried it - and for having never had it - wasn't too bad. Larry ate a couple but then started to get itchy throat and realized it must have an egg-dip so he skipped the rest.

Rob got the Jambalaya ($12.99) and let me snag a bite. It had a smoky flavor and was very mild. Not the most appetizing when you see it spilled out in the bowl but it has a lot of flavor. They sure do love their lettuce & scallion garnish don't they?! 

Sarah went for the Crawfish Etoufee ($15.99) which had such a different flavor from the Jambalaya. This was chunkier and a lot spicier. I have to say - I liked this one better - at least what I could tell from one quick bite. 

All the entrees (except my fish) also came with a side salad as well - I just forgot to photograph before people started eating...

Lastly I'd heard about their bread pudding so we got one to share. We were all pretty stuffed but decided 4 people could conquer this one. It was okay - the sauce was really sweet (which I liked) but the bread pudding muffin seemed like it had been sitting out a while. I'll stick with Bella Luna for my bread pudding fix.

And we had to snap a pic of each of us - these guys are veterans in the marriage ranks - having been married for 4 years (I think) - I was a bridesmaid for them way back when!

While we're still working on our first year...but we're all smiles! 

I should also mention service - we were there on a Saturday evening around 730pm. We made reservations but they definitely weren't necessary as there were plenty of empty tables. We had a very happy and attentive server - she was oozing bubbly all over the place! 

Why Should You Go? I've never been to NOLA so can't really answer the "is this authentic" question but we all enjoyed our dinners and only Sarah had leftovers which she did take home. So I think it's definitely a thumbs up from our group. If you head out - be sure to drive through New Richmond on the way if you haven't been - (take a right at any of the signs) and drive by the river. It's a nice view. A was a success! 

Can't wait to find out where we'll be going for the letter B!

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