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Sunday 28 October 2012

Louisiana Purchase Edmonton, Spicy cajun fare that needs work

Rating Food 6.75/10, Service 6.5/10 For a friend's birthday recently, we headed to Louisiana Purchase for what we hoped to be some soul food with a bite of heat to take the chill off as windows frost and we look warily at the sky for snow. We weren't impressed a few years back and hoped our last experience with dry jerky like alligator skewers and heavily spiced and mediocre food would a thing of the past. Unfortunately, the food was hit and miss, and service at times puzzling. We asked at one point if we could have extra bread brought out as the kitchen was behind, and the waitress said yes, only to backtrack and said "oh, but you have some bread at the end of the table" (3tables down)and disappeared. We wouldn't have asked if we didn't want more...?
While waiting for everyone to arrive, we shed our coats and admired the alligator themed art in the restaurant, including this little guy.  He wasn't featured on the menu as they haven't had alligator skewers available in months - though its still listed on the menu.

Being a birthday celebration, most of us got a round of happy drinks (except for the designated drivers). My Caesar was nicely seasoned, bit too much ice and could have used some pickled veges instead of just the plain Jane celery stick. The cocktail shrimp, while a nice thought, was a bit freezer burnt and anemic.

Since there were so many of us, only took pics of food easily within camera reach - I was too lazy to get off my butt to take pics hahaha! Several of use ordered the Grilled Crab Cake. Advertised as cornmeal crusted, with garlic and green onion cream, the crabcake was tasty, though it consisted of more seasoned cornmeal throughout (and not just encrusted) than actual crabmeat.

While the crabcakes were good, the saffron rice that came with it... was not. Well seasoned, the rice had one big issue - a good third of it was hard and dried out (the darker brown bits). Not just a bit undercooked hard, but scraped off the bottom of the pan after several hours on the back burner turning it into rock hard shards hard.  If its been premade, don't scrape the hard bits off the pan, as it sure resembled leftovers from lunch service.

The Louisiana Shrimp Bisque, a homemade shrimp and tomato stock finished with cream was given the thumbs up by LG.

Again, didn't take pics of everyone's food. A few of my friends got the Satisfaction Plate, a platter with Louisiana Jambalaya, shrimp creole and red beans and sausage. There was a choice of creole sauce or tomato with tequila salsa. Forgot to ask which one he got, but since he was hungry, he found the combo tasty and polished it off.

My boyfriend and several others ordered the Blackened Catfish. Rather than the rich buttery fish we were expecting, the catfish was actually quite lean, and could have easily been mistaken for a flattened piece of basa fillet dredged in a ridiculous amount of cayenne pepper, not really blackened and served in a pool of tomato sauce which only really served to mask some of the cayenne pepper as you couldn't taste much else.

The potatoes weren't memorable, and the mixed veges, though colorful, were a bit undercooked, lending the very firm zucchini bitter notes, and strong chorophyll notes to the green beans.

The Grilled Crab Cake Entree was a variation of the crabcake appetizer. Instead of one crabcake, you got two along with mixed veges and linguine tossed in olive oil and parsley. It was a bit strange they didn't give more sauce to this dish as while the crabcakes were good, the linguine needed a bit more seasoning or sauce. Fresh aromatic herbs like basil or sage instead of a few flecks of parsley would have helped.

My entree was the BBQ Rib Combo Plate.  Advertised as a smoked mango BBQ baby back ribs paired up with a hush puppy, black bean salsa and Louisiana Jambalaya. Despite not tasting a trace of mango, these moist to semi-dry small portion of ribs were tasty and coated in a good amount of glaze. The hush puppy I discarded as it resembled biting into a dry, hard tennis ball, and the sausage in the jambalaya had an overcooked dry texture on the outside and mushy interior. Luckily, the sausage was quite scant in quantity. Some friends had ordered the Steamboat Jambalaya (sorry no pic), with a few pieces of crab legs, and a smattering of shrimp, mussels, whitefish and spicy Italian sausage baked with saffron rice - served with the tennis balls disguised as hush puppies. Unfortunately it was also very very overcooked so food was pushed around plate rather than being eaten.
Overall, with the poor execution, over/underseaoning, overcooking and puzzling service, LP has a long ways to go before it lives up to its motto of "fine Southern cooking".

Louisiana Purchase
Address 10320 111 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5K1M9
Phone (780) 420-6779
Hours Mon-Thur 11am-10pm, Fri 11am-11pm, Sat 4:30pm-11pm, Sun 4:30pm-9pm Louisiana Purchase on Urbanspoon

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