Creole Restaurant in New Orleans, United States: Mr. B's Bistro Restaurants, Wine, Travel, Opinions

Mr. B's Bistro
Restaurants and bars
New Orleans
Open: Lunch and dinner daily
Price: Expensive

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Phone Number: +1 504 523 2078
Address: 201 Royal Street
New Orleans, Louisiana, 70130
Country: United States
Food Style: Creole

One hot afternoon we stumbled into Mr B's in trendy Royal Street in New Orleans. It was Sunday and lunch was in full swing at this large and busy establishment. We wanted to try a great gumbo so we ordered both from the menu. Gumbo Ya Ya was the traditional chicken and andouille sausage version while seafood gumbo was based on crab meat and tiny shrimps.
The dishes appeared at the table quickly. Transported in small copper pots, the contents were poured into soup bowls at the table. The consistency of the Ya Ya was just right. It also had a fully-developed flavour that was initially appealing.
Here is where we have to go off at a tangent in this review. Food lovers from other parts of the world have to leave behind a lot of good baggage when coming to a place like New Orleans. Those of us who are lucky enough to eat in Sydney and South East Asia a lot become used to clear, clean fresh flavours. Dried herbs are never, ever used and powdered spices are only tolerated if they have been ground that day. When you then immerse yourself in a cooking culture that is based on powdered spices you really notice it.
Soon after a few spoons of the gumbo you will notice a harsh impact on the back of the palate that tastes like powdered spice. Locals seem to like this harshness. The taste doesn't go away, it lingers and remains one of the impressions of any Creole meal.
One main course saved the day. This restaurant is considered unusual because they barbeque fish and don't 'smother' (a frequently used menu term) it with sauces. The local fish (similar to redfish) was simply cooked and very, very succulent. The sauce was served in a dish on the side and stayed there. Two steamed Idaho potatoes sat beside the fish and some asparagus nestled below. It was a relief.
The other main (entrée) was a perfectly forgettable grillades and grits. Slabs of tough veal were swamped in a rich, too-strong gravy and the grits were of the right consistency but lacked salt.
Overall, this was as good as it gets for Creole food on our exploration so far.
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