Monday, August 22, 2011


300 East Markham
Little Rock, Arkansas

Cajun food excites me. I like to cook it, I like to eat it, I like to be with my friends and eat it. It's a friendly food and delicious when prepared properly. That's why I enthusiastically chose Redbone's over the Flying Fish Friday night since I'd never tried it before.

A new restaurant, located in the old Flying Burrito space in the River Market, we'd heard that maybe they don't have all of the bugs worked out. But we weren't prepared for what we encountered.

The menu looked good with a selection of Po Boys and Cajun dishes including an alligator dish. I'm leery of alligator on a first date because it has to be fresh and perfectly prepared to be good at all, so I got the shrimp grits instead. My Bride got the roast beef po' boy and our companion got the pecan encrusted grouper.

We also ate the Oyster Rockefeller Stuffed Mushrooms and the Andouille Cheese dip appetizers. The Oyster dish was heavy on the mushrooms and light on the oysters, but tasty. The cheese dip was really good. I may start adding andouille to my cheese dip from now on! And it was about then that the sound check next door started...

A chest pounding, throbbing beat began to permeate the walls, vibrating everything from light fixtures to salt shakers and effectively cutting off all possibility of conversation. Did I mention that I like to be around friends when eating Cajun food? Curious, I wandered outside to peek in at the Rev Room next door. Mind you, it's only about seven o'clock and the door is locked but I can see the guys in there testing out their sound system. I reported back to the table and asked the waiter if it's this way every night? "Oh, no," he assured me. Somehow I didn't feel so reassured.

The food arrived shortly after that and turned out to be fairly stingy portions. The shrimp grits had some well prepared, juicy shrimp on them, but the grits and the sauce were very lackluster. I almost wondered if they had just spooned a couple of dollops of Rotel on top. Our companion remarked that he'd never had to cut fish with a knife before which I think explains the grouper adequately. My Bride said that her po' boy was good, but I noticed that she didn't eat any of the bread, choosing to pick the meat with her fingers.

The beer was cold, but the air conditioner seemed to have trouble keeping up so by the time we finished eating, between the sweating and the bouncing in our chairs from the sound check next door, we were more than ready to leave.

May give this place another try during lunch and hope that it's quieter and they have the kinks worked out...

Aug. 23 update: Arkansas Times review says that the owners had Hungry's Cafe from 1984 to 1993. I don't think this is correct, seems I remember Sherry K. starting it and owning it into the nineties. Is this possibly the guy that bought it from Sherry and ruined it? Hungry's went out of business not long after Sherry left. The article also mentions The Diner in Cabot. The Diner in Cabot was such a foodservice frozen food warmed up and schlepped on a plate that I didn't even bother to review it. This is all starting to make sense now as to how you can have such lackluster Cajun food when Cajun food is by design supposed to be exciting...


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