STOP! Gumbo Time...at Chef Ron's
Updated: May 14, 2020
At Chef Ron's Gumbo Stop not only are you getting a delicious #gumbo but you're getting a talented staff, incredible drinks, many other fantastic meals, and quite a bargain on some #NOLA favorites and some of Chef's personal creations. These dishes may not always picture perfectly, but they hit your stomach in a way many others cannot. Check out this absolutely jaw dropping #Crawfish Etouffee.
Chas says to me one day "The best restaurant in New Orleans sits on the exit ramp from the highway". I am no stranger to finding good meals in locations that I was not expecting...but this one was kind of wild to think about. All you ever hear is the main streets down in the French Quarter. Decatur, Bourbon, Dauphine, Chartres, Royal...I did not imagine that one of the best places i'd dine in New Orleans would be located on an exit ramp off Route 10 a few miles outside of the downtown #French Quarter area.
“This is seriously Smack Your Mama good.”
Upon meeting Chef Ron you realize why this food is so good. He has a humble restaurant (that he fills many times daily) and he is a very even tempered and calculated Chef. People outside of the industry may not understand this as much, but the difference between working for/with an even tempered chef and a hot tempered chef often is the difference between a happy and unhappy life. It also always reflects in the chef's food. The flavors here are so well crafted and the dishes are carefully selected and are clearly items that mean a lot to the #Chef.
BEVERAGE - NOLA #HURRICANE
Chef Ron's has their take on the classic New Orleans Hurricane drink. If you were to get this same drink at Pat O'Brien's (where it is widely believed the drink originated) it's far darker in color and was also sweeter and fairly one dimensional. The hurricane at The Gumbo Stop was a significantly better beverage. This is classically a #rum beverage that features sweet flavors like passion fruit and grenadine. At Pat O'Brien's (not to knock them in any way) they have their standard mix that they put with rum and the beverage is complete as where you can tell a little more work goes into the drink here at Chef Ron's. They also had a variation where they use a praline liqueur to change things up a bit. Chas loved that variation of the beverage as where I personally preferred the original.
APPETIZER - #GATOR BITES
This was one of the daily specials for the day so you will not find this on the daily #menu, however, we ordered multiple items off the menu as well as the specials and honestly it was all incredible. The seasoning in the flour mixture for these really made the difference. I (Chuck) am no stranger to gator and how to prepare it and this might be the best deep fried and breaded gator i've had. These are served over Chef Ron's traditional gumbo stock as well as a creamy #creole mayo type sauce. It was recommended to drag each piece through both sauces and I am happy to announce that was a wonderful idea. The gator with both sauces was a really nice blend of flavor.
OOOHH OOOOH THAT GUMBO!
So as a Chef who has worked in many kitchen's over my 20-ish year career in #Culinary and has tried many different gumbo's, I am very comfortable saying that this is the best Gumbo I've ever had. That is including my own, which is a very hard thing to say, but it's true...Chef Ron has perfected the art of the gumbo. Pictured above is the standard seafood gumbo which had a lot of crawfish, shrimp, and other morsels of excellence that were fantastic in this stock which was clearly cooked down over a broad amount of time and #layered perfectly. Chas orders the same gumbo but he has them add fried shrimp over top. The fried shrimp made this dish even BETTER because there was a texture variation with the crunch of the fresh fried shrimp. I believe the seasoned flour was the same for the shrimp as it was for the gator. Similar flavors...both awesome.
SIDE DISH - JAMBALAYA
This is quite possibly the best #Jambalaya i've ever had. The rice was seasoned perfectly and the sausage and chicken were both juicy and packed with flavor. There isn't much else I can say about this except that it's for sure a worthy choice as your side dish! This is seriously "Smack your Mama" good.
MAIN COURSE - CHICKEN #JEFFERSON
Chicken Jefferson seems as far as I can tell, to be a Chef Ron original. A juicy floured and fried chicken breast is topped with a cream based sauce that has a very healthy portion of shrimp and crawfish and served with white rice. I wouldn't call this dish super complex, however, it was super #flavorful. The combination of the seafood in the cream sauce with the chicken is a real winner. This stuff is so good that Chef Ron offers the sauce alone as a side dish on the menu!
SHRIMP CREOLE OVER CRAB RAVIOLI
Chef Ron had another special on for the day that intrigued us greatly. These are handmade crab #ravioli that are covered in Ron's take of a shrimp creole. Shrimp creole is a NOLA dish that is traditionally a spicy red sauce served over rice or pasta. This creole was less spicy than I had anticipated, but had a great deal of flavor. With each bite you could taste all the flavors that were layered for this sauce, every time you chewed it was like another level of taste. The ravioli itself was very creamy and was a nice ratio of pasta to filling. Chef Ron is Italian and used to cook with his mother when he was young so there was zero apprehension in trying some Italian fare!
Meet your Match in #Metairie
We tried dishes I didn't even speak much to in this post. The Crawfish Etouffee (pictured at the top) was incredible, the bread pudding was incredibly sweet and delicious with great body, the sausage grilled cheese was not at all what I expected but nearly caused me to immediately order a second one. Chef Ron has got something special going down in the bayou and you absolutely, positively, CANNOT visit the area without getting a meal here. He was named one of the top chef's in Louisiana and there is an absolute truth to that claim. Don't visit him during lunch Monday through Friday though unless you get there when he opens...or you won't be getting a seat. Lines out the door is what you'll encounter, and for good reason.
Chef Ron's Gumbo Stop ... Didn't Suck!