I’m going to be honest with you. I used to not be a big fan of Cajun or Creole food, think gumbo or jambalaya. I can never remember eating it growing up, and things like okra and alligator? No thank you. Instead, I grew up eating things like sushi and Thai food. Seattle had a wealth of Asian food, but not much southern food that I can recall.
But when I started dating Jonah, I began to like southern food. You see, Jonah grew up playing in a Cajun band (one that still exists in Chicago today), and I started going to dances or concerts or festivals once a year or so, and I began to learn to like things like… well… gumbo.
These days, the cuisine has a soft spot in my heart, and I’m lucky to have found Acadia, a New Orleans bistro, serving elevated, light, and fun Cajun food only a few minutes from my house here in Portland. This weekend, Chef Seamus Foran is hosting Gumbo Weekend at Acadia, inspired by the Tremé Gumbo Festival that happens in New Orleans every year at this time. Between November 13-14, you can get yourself a gumbo flight (yes, that’s three kinds)! Last week I got a little preview and dang, is it good!
There are three gumbos: seafood made with a dark roux, perfect for the chilly weather, that comes with crawfish, shrimp and blue crab; cajun which is a tomato-based, more traditional gumbo with andouille sausage and chicken; and gumbo z’herbs, which is a greens heavy stew – think collard greens.
We also got to eat some Louisiana BBQ shrimp, which was served in the most delectable, finger-licking sauce, an arugula salad with apple, kohlrabi, and Portland Creamery goat cheese, and for dessert, vanilla bread pudding with whiskey caramel sauce and whipped cream. I highly recommend getting over to Acadia to experience this food!