Quirky name aside, Stinky’s Fish Camp stays true to its Florida roots and seafood dishes that appeal to everyone.

Quirky name aside, Stinky’s Fish Camp stays true to its Florida roots and seafood dishes that appeal to everyone – [225]

As a regular at the beaches along Hwy 30A in Walton County, Fla. I have been to the original Stinky’s Fish Camp several times. It’s an icon on the freeway in Santa Rosa Beach, so I was curious how this restaurant adjacent to the coast would translate inland.

Unlike the seaside vibe of the Florida version, this incarnation is found inside the Baton Rouge Marriott, with uninspiring decor except for a scattering of paintings of fish and life. marine hanging on the walls. Flat screen TVs are in abundance.

On our visit, we bypassed the extensive oyster menu and focused on Crawfish Hot Tamales. Unfortunately, while the aperitif was on the online menu, it was no longer available in the restaurant.

Instead, we chose Firecracker Shrimp at the suggestion of our server, who described it as “our version of Bang Bang Shrimp”. Aptly named, these babies were bursting with warmth with a hint of sweetness from the sauce and shrimp. Finished with black sesame seeds and served with a lively and flavorful coleslaw, this dish kicked off our meal with lots of flavor and spice.

The Firecracker Shrimp is Stinky’s take on Bang Bang Shrimp and doesn’t skimp on the heat.

Left: Silure Meunière is served with Brabant potatoes and sautéed green beans.

Right: Chef Matthew Farmer worked at Apolline and Trenasse restaurants in New Orleans before becoming a business manager for the restaurant group behind Stinky’s.

Moving on, we ordered the Stinky’s Fowl Gumbo and The Wedge salad. Like all okra should be, but rarely is, this version contained large chunks of poultry and sausage in a sauce so dark and tangy it made the rice almost useless. As for the salad, who knew that all that was needed to brighten up a staple corner was to substitute for a tangy green Goddess dressing? Blue cheese, tomatoes and bacon completed this fresh take on the classic.

For a variety of flavors on a plate, The Taste of Stinky’s appetizer is unmatched. A huge crayfish pie, usually available as an appetizer or as a starter, was included, along with catfish meunière and shrimp and grits, which are also offered as stand-alone entrees.

The pie’s super flaky buttery crust encapsulated the crayfish stew and created an almost perfect crayfish pie. The catfish was sautéed well in the pan, maintaining a crispy crust and moist meat. The sauce in the shrimp and grits was heavy on the cream, and while too rich for me, my friend loved the creaminess as well as the gargantuan peppers and shrimp.

Another great plate, the Vegetarian 2 Course featured a bunch of dishes that appear on their own elsewhere on the menu. As an aperitif, the fried green tomatoes are prepared with crayfish stew, but on this entry, it was accompanied by a jalapeño rouille and a too onion corn relish without sweetness for the corn. The cauliflower steak was topped with a rich Saint-André cheese that would have been enhanced with a broiler. Still, the cheese gave just enough oomph to what can be a very bland vegetable. To complete this alternative seafood platter was hearty angel hair pasta mixed in a punchy and bright sauce with parsley, lemon, garlic, and pepper flakes.

Stinky’s Poultry Gumbo

To complete our dinner, we added a side dish of Crawfish Hushpuppies, because why not? While we expected the usual crispy rounds, these misshapen nuggets were soft and sweet. There was little cornmeal flavor and crayfish seemed scarce. The remoulade sauce helped and an included coleslaw added crunch, but overall the dish was not what we expected.

For dessert, Heaven and Earth offered multiple frozen layers of sweetness molded into a large square. A thick layer of compressed chocolate cookie crumbs on the bottom was followed by creamy layers of chocolate and vanilla ice cream and finished with another layer of cookie crumbs on top. The vanilla layer was more like cake frosting in terms of sweetness and texture, while the chocolate was a firm, dark bittersweet mass. We kept trying to love him, but we never really felt Cupid’s arrow.

Another dessert, Key Lime Pie in a Jar, was exactly as the name suggests. Tart and incredibly creamy with a low amount of graham cracker crumbs on the bottom, this was a great representation of a traditional lime pie.

Aside from the bland decor, we found the food at this indoor version of Stinky’s to be a delight. The dishes were superb with spice and zest. The service was equally exceptional and attentive. While I still love the coastal decor and the setting of the original, this local outpost is a wonderful substitute for my stinky cravings.

THE BASICS: The Florida favorite opened an outpost in Baton Rouge in 2017 inside the Baton Rouge Marriott on Corporate Boulevard. Known for its relaxed atmosphere and seafood-centric dishes, the restaurant also serves as a catering service for events at the hotel.

WHAT IS A MUST: Firecracker shrimp for an appetizer with a kick; The Taste of Stinky’s entry to enjoy a tart with crayfish, catfish meunière and shrimp and oatmeal all on a plate; and the Key Lime Pie in a Jar for a unique take on the refreshing dessert.

5500 Hilton Avenue

6-10 a.m. Monday to Friday and 7-11 a.m. Saturday to Sunday
Breakfast: 11 am-3pm every day
Having dinner: 5 pm-10pm every day

The name of our food critic may be wrong, but the references are not. This foodie has been studying the history, culture, preparation, science and technology of food for over 30 years.

This article originally appeared in the July 2019 issue of 225 magazine.

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