A Cajun education, courtesy of chef Justin Simoneaux
The shrimp po'boy (Photo: Liza Gerschman)
Thanks to Boxing Room, San Francisco is about to receive an edible education in the food of Louisiana, with chef Justin Simoneaux as instructor.
For expertly rendered entry-level dishes, try Simoneaux's fluffy, corn-studded hush puppies, a far cry from the leaden doughballs found elsewhere, the fritters enhanced by a smear of house-made pepper jelly ($5).
And you don't need a Southern bone in your body to relish the shrimp po'boy ($15), made with sweet, snappy Gulf shrimp and bread from a Vietnamese bakery in Oakland.
Pair either--or any dish on the menu--with a Lost Dog Red Ale from Napa Smith Brewery, an Abita Amber, or some other brew on the comprehensive beer list.
For more advanced study, order the boudin balls ($5), a combination of rice and ground pork that is traditionally served in hog intestines. Simoneaux gives the snack polish, the mixture fried to a golden crisp like a Cajun version of Italy's arancini.
Want a master's degree in Cajun cuisine? Look no further than the gumbos and stews. Smoked chicken-and-Andouille sausage gumbo ($9 for a small; $15 for a large) is thickened and flavored with a deeply browned roux; the smothered okra-and-Gulf shrimp stew ($11 for a small; $18 for a large) will forever change your mind about this maligned pod (click here for the recipe).
Boxing Room, 399 Grove St. (at Gough St.); 415-430-6590 or boxingroomsf.com
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