New Orleans is a great food city with a rich and colorful history. They have developed a unique type of cuisine with a diverse mix of flavors they’ve absorbed from different cultural influences throughout the years. They are famous for spicy and flavorful Cajun cooking, and food lovers travel to the city in droves to try some of their signature dishes. If you haven’t had a chance to make a trip down south, you’re in luck because we have a great restaurant right here in Philadelphia that captures the flavors and laid back atmosphere of “The Big Easy”.
Catahoula is located right on Front Street in Queen’s Village. The charming bar and restaurant offers all the classic New Orleans and Louisiana inspired fare with a nice mix of local favorites. Whether you’re craving a Po-Boy, Shrimp n’ grits, etouffee, or jambalaya you can get it all at Catahoula.
I tried a few appetizers and entrees on my visit and I was pleasantly surprised by the boldly seasoned dishes. The food prepared by Chef Amir Sharef will definitely awaken parts of your taste buds that may have remained dormant for some time. All the seafood dishes in particular really stood out. I could say that seafood is their specialty, but everything else I ate was also extremely delicious.
The New Orleans BBQ Shrimp is a great appetizer to start with. This dish includes sauteed shrimp, corn, scallions, roasted peppers and a subtle BBQ sauce placed over top a few slices of griddled cornbread.
The Fried Green Tomatoes are far from basic as they are prepared with a spiced cornmeal breading that gives them a crispy and firm texture, served with a green onion aioli.
The Bourbon Street Special includes ever-popular Fried Mac-n-Cheese Balls, Fried Pickles and Hush Puppies.
The Pulled Porkwich is piled high with delicious and tender pulled pork, pepper jack cheese, caramelized onions, coleslaw, BBQ sauce and a side of spiced fries.
If you’re not in the meaty mood, you will love the satisfying Portobello Mushroom sandwich which is topped with cheddar AND pepperjack cheese, green onion aioli and crispy onion straws on a brioche bun.
The Shrimp n’ Grits, a southern classic, is made with truffled mushroom and gouda grits, green onions, bacon braised collard greens and a New Orleans BBQ sauce. The shrimp is perfectly cooked, and all the ingredients fuse together flawlessly.
The Jambalaya is also impeccable. You can really taste every bit of the smoked applewood bacon, andouille sausage, tasso ham and the Cajun holy trinity of onions, bell pepper, and celery; the base of most cooking in Louisiana.
My Jambalaya was a special that was served with catfish, shrimp and a mini crabcake!
Please, Please, Please save room for dessert. Always a good ending to a great meal, but It is rare when dessert actually outshines the meal itself. New desserts are featured each week so make sure to check out their chalkboard menu when you visit.
We tried the Bananas Foster Bread Pudding and the mini cheesecake cupcakes. These will blow you away!!
As if that wasn’t all enough to get you running to Catahoula for your next night out, they also have a beautiful outdoor courtyard that will be open all summer long. This is an ideal and picturesque setting to enjoy their live crawfish boils offered on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays after 4pm while they're in season. All that is missing is the live Jazz music, which I’m sure will be offered at some point (fingers crossed). Check out Catahoula Bar and Restaurant and enjoy the charm and hospitality of the deep South right in South Philly.