New Orleans Gumbo @ Cafe Orleans

Price: $7.00

When: January 28, 2017, 6:15 PM

Reservations: Recommended

Verdict? Recommended

It’s dinnertime. We’ve strolled the parks, noshed on snacks here and there, and are now in the mood for a proper, sit-down, table-service dinner experience. While the Blue Bayou gets a lot of love (and justifiably so), I find that Cafe Orleans is under-appreciated. They have indoor and outdoor seating, a strong menu, and friendly service. So tonight, that’s where we’re eating.

We start with the New Orleans Gumbo.

Let’s address the negatives: it’s small and expensive. This is not a generous portion. Tiny, really. And yes, it’s a starter, and yes, it’s intended to whet your appetite. But at $7, it rivals gold in terms of dollars-per-ounce. Be warned.

But know what? It’s also wonderful.

Each spoonful has a ton of flavor and happy. The broth – almost a gravy – is slightly spicy, and harbors bits of chicken and carrots. There’s white rice and green onion on the top, adding texture (and extra pops of goodness). This is one of those dishes that delights and never overstays its welcome. (And, as an aside, you can also get this same gumbo at the Blue Bayou.)

Given its small size, this isn’t really a share-able portion. Which is a shame. But if you want a great starter, it’s a wonderful, easy choice.