New Orleans Day Two, Part Two: Dinner at the Creole Tomato Festival, Second Dinner at Harrah’s Acme Oyster House

Continuing on with our day two food adventures…

We were lucky enough to be in town during the city’s 29th Annual Creole Tomato Festival, so thought we’d check it out one night for dinner since it was near where we were staying anyway.  The Festival took over space at the French Market*, a flea market of sorts selling anything from small local trinkets to authentic Southern comfort food.  We were most excited to go to try some Creole tomatoes, which, FYI, are generally defined as tomatoes grown in Louisiana soil.

While roaming the Market, looking for an option for dinner, the Nawlins Cafe & Spice Emporium stand caught our eye with its insert-Southern-delicacy-here Creole Tomatoes.  (They also have shelves upon shelves of spices and sauces!)  We couldn’t resist trying it out, that is, the Alligator-Stuffed Creole Tomato!  And with a hefty price tag of $12 per, we were ready to be dazzled by a wondrous explosion of flavors in our mouth…

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Well… personally, I must say I was slightly unimpressed.  While our order tasted okay (or better), I couldn’t be sure of exactly what I was eating.  That is, I couldn’t quite discern what was mixed into the stuffing in the tomato.  I’m sure there Mr. Alligator was in there somewhere, but the mixture was so creamy that I couldn’t quite tell individual pieces of meat from other ingredients.  However, the stuffing did have a nice (strong!) kick to it — maybe a bit more than I would’ve liked since I kept having to wipe my noise every two bites — which I’m sure fans of spicy would have thoroughly enjoyed.

The Creole tomato was the saving grace of the meal.  Ripe, delicious (i.e. subtly tasty), and surprisingly crispy — very good!  Locals had told us that the tomato was unique because it was noticeably crispy, and upon taking my first bite, I could definitely tell there was higher water content packed into this fruit!  If only I had taken some home with me…

Since we ate an early dinner at the Festival, we got hungry again before we were ready to retire for the evening, and decided to head to Harrah’s, a casino at one end of the main downtown thoroughfare, for a quick bite to eat.  We remembered it had a mini Acme’s**, one of the well-known seafood restaurants on Iberville Street, with hardly any line!  In the spirit of maximizing variety, we ordered the New Orleans Medley, a combo of (pictured below, from left to right) red beans and rice, grilled smoked sausage, gumbo, and jambalaya.  I enjoyed the combo and would rate it a fine.

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Aside from the sausage, which was packed with flavor, I think I enjoyed the jambalaya the most, though the red beans and rice were a close second.  The gumbo was just all right, so I’m not sure I’d order that particular side again given a choice.  Maybe I’ll try the real Acme’s next time — I certainly have higher expectations for it after eating at the casino-version!  I’m sure the hour and a half line out the door for dinner is not unwarranted…

*Location:
1235 North Peters St
New Orleans, LA 70116

**Location:
8 Canal St
New Orleans, LA 70130

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