Saturday, April 3, 2010

Mermentau is a River in Louisiana

This restaurant appears to be closed.

Someday there will be horse shoe pits, beach volleyball and basketball courts, An arcade, two stages and plenty of outside tables. For now, the Alabama Crawfish Company and Restaurant is a small place that's really all about the food. Great food.

Open only about 6 months at the time of our visit the ACC is a pretty low profile place. A nondescript building outside. A handful of tables, a TV, a friendly staff and some very happy customers adorned the inside. They don't have a website and they don't advertise. They're doing strictly word of mouth business. Oh, and a Facebook page.
According to the couple we talked to, there Friday night (and again for lunch on Saturday), about 20 people were lined up in the parking lot. The word is getting around.
ACC serves up just about all the Cajun hits from stews to po' boys to seafood boils to the fry-o-lated arts.

The seafood boils are in season only, Thursday through Saturday. In season right now it's crawfish, (or crawdad's, which ever you prefer). They do it the right way, Cajun style. A spicy broth cooking sausage, potatoes, corn and the seafood du jour.
A good beer selection at a really good price rounds out the menu nicely. Mrs. Sippi was excited to find Abita Root beer too. One of the best root beers you'll find.

Nearly everything is made in house from recipes spirited away from Louisiana. The noatable exceptions are the fries, jalapeno poppers and the tamales. The later made by a little old man in the Mississippi delta.

Unfortunately for us, there was a kitchen snafu and the crawfish boil we so eagerly anticipated wasn't available. Some how the bugs ended up too salty and Chris (manager/minority partner) wouldn't sell them. We pushed and bugged him enough that he put together a 2lb platter for a photo op and so we could see for ourselves just how salty they were. He was right, close to inedible. I have to respect a man who'd rather "eat" $100 than to serve a second rate product.
It was kinda tough to tell but the spicing seemed to be excellent.
One thing that did stand out though was the sausage. It was a nice garlicy, smokey sausage to begin with that took on a substantial amount of heat and flavour but stood up to the salt very well. It was fantastic. Unfortunately my photography skills weren't up to the challenge and the photo is a little blurry.

So on to the rest of the food.

We ended up cutting a decent swath through their menu. Between myself, Mrs. Sippi and our niece, Madam Butterfly we ended up with fried green tomatoes (free with the purchase of two or more entrees), pistolettes, catfish, hot tamales and a shrimp po' boy.

First up, the fried green tomatoes. Not the best I've had but a solid first course. The breading is of the cornmeal variety that is used on all the fried items we had. The mermentau sauce that came with it though was awesome. It's kinda like a spicy, thinnish remoulade.

My niece had the fried catfish which came with fries and choice of two sides which turned out to be hush puppies and mustard slaw. The breading was very nice and concealed a very flaky, juicy, sweet meat. The mustard slaw was very good as was the hush puppy. The fries are from frozen but no one is there to eat fries.

Mrs. Sippi ordered the pistolettes. A pistolette is a french roll, hollowed out and stuffed with crawfish etouffee. It's then breaded and deep fried. It came out blisteringly hot and we had to leave it quite a while to cool off. Once we dug in it was very nice. I'd like to see a little more stuffing and a bit less bread but all in all, very enjoyable. The choice of sides here was onion rings, hand battered and good as well as sweet corn. The sweet corn was well, sweet corn. Not much more to be said.

My shrimp po' boy was excellent. The shrimp was still very crunchy, juicy and delishious under the breading. On nice french bread with lettuce, tomato and some of the mermentau sauce. It too came with fries.

I've never had hot tamales and as such, I can't tell you how good these were other than I really enjoyed them. At first I didn't think they were too hot but the heat really grew on me. Nice and meaty with a good corn taste. I added a little cheese on top too.

The mustard slaw was good. It does a nice job adding colour and being a palate cleanser.

You can find the Alabama Crawfish Company and Restaurant at 3175, Hwy 72 East, Huntsville, Alabama.

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Well that's all from the food court today. Time to unbutton my shorts and sit on the couch.


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