by Marcel C. on
I like it. It feels right. (this is going to be a long one so I thought I would preface it). Living in Old Fourth Ward and being a food snob, I've been keeping my eye on Parish's progress. Situated in one of the old buildings of the metal yard that used to be located here (seems like so long ago) and originally associated with the rail line that helped our Dirty Dirty become the burgeoning city it is, Parish has reinvented this space into something that does have a good bit of the Crescent City feel. Although it is officially set to open on April 30, 2008 (tomorrow), I apparently invited myself to one of the training dinners. I walked in Sunday around noon and they told me they would be opening on Wednesday and were just having a soft launch that Sunday. I said that was fine and that I would take a 5:30PM reservation. I found out later Sunday was really an invite only type day, but they put me down anyway! That's some good people right there. The space is long, a bit narrow and has huge ceilings with exposed brick. There is a bar down one side, wrought iron, and windows all the way around. My crew showed up at 5:30, but had to wait for a few minutes while they were still covering training info. Then it began - reviewing and deciding on which of the tantalizing morsels to indulge in. We ordered about half of the things on the menu and I am going to try to remember all of them here, although I might get the official names wrong..... Complimentary bread - who would have thought I would remember the bread? Buttery, warm and served in a paper bag. Delicious! Gumbo - nice dark roux with the expected compliment of goodies. It also has tomatoes in it which is awesome for me, but some people seem to think is weird. Whatev - it was good. Strawberry Salad - I'm not a big salad person - strawberries, lettuce etc. it was good, but I dug the creamy Gorgonzola bits, although my companions don't vibe with stinky cheese Seafood Sampler - I don't even know what all of this was - a little crawfish yumminess, a seafood empanada (don't call it a calzone or they will look at you weird), an oyster on the 1/2 shell, and some little scallops I believe. Good spice. Seafood Cheesecake (I think it is actually "crawfish cheesecake") - This is more like a quiche with seafood, smoked Gruyere, and a diced pecan crust. I thought this was pretty good, but it was not a great fit for my palate. I think some people will think this is amazing. Shrimp Burger - like a veggie or turkey burger, just with shrimp. I believe this was served on a sweet potato bun similar to how Concentric does it at Stats. I liked this because the pieces of shrimp weren't ground down to nothingness, there were nice big shrimp chunks in the patty for flavor pockets! be careful, though, they sit the bun on the dressing, so if you try to pick it up, you get messy fingers. This is a knife and fork kinda thing. Catfish - mmmmm, mmmm good. Nice light batter and a generous portion. Red Fish - Nice, light (grilled or broiled I think) ... on the days I feel like being healthy, but still want some delicious "real" food, this might be my dish. Peach Bread Pudding - Actually, I don't remember exactly what this was called, but it was decadent - and I'm not even a dessert person. Warm all the way through, topped with homemade whipped cream, drizzled with some magic sauce.... uh huh! OK, so I'm a big fan so far and technically they weren't even open. They are friendly, good people, with a kick ass space, and delicious food. I think it is definitely worth checking out. Also, their downstairs is open for sandwiches, coffees, and limited market products (like flowers and oatmeal cookies) from I believe 7AM- 4PM. Plus they serve breakfast, which I look forward to trying tomorrow morning. I also am looking forward to the Po Boy or Muffaletto I will be having for lunch tomorrow.