I last went to New Orleans when I was 15 years old. It was several months after Hurricane Katrina’s deathly blow, and I was there with my church youth group to gut out a house that had been 9-feet-underwater for months.
Smells are incredible memory triggers, so I’m easily brought back to that trip by smelling a baby wipe, and here’s why: we had to wear those 3m face masks to keep from breathing in the harsh mold. But because the smell of the moldy clothes, furniture, and carpet that was pungent, we’d cut baby wipes into quarters and line the face masks with them. For 5 days, the mixture of baby wipe perfume + mildew filled my nostrils. And that’s the smell that immediately brings me back to my first trip to NOLA.
Ok, so that wasn’t the best memory to share with you…
But the other thing I remember about New Orleans is the final day of our trip, when we were given a few hours to visit the French Quarter. Our first stop was Cafe Du Monde for beignets. Warm, sugar-dusted pastries served in groups with cafe au lait for dunking. I remember thinking, all that hard was worth it just for this.
If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you either live in Austin or you’re about to be visiting Austin and you want to find some cool places to eat. Here’s a good choice: Gambino’s Cajun Creole.
try this -> The “catfish BLT:” a piece of crispy fried catfish, A slice of tomato, thick bacon, and a layer of lettuce tucked between a soft hamburger bun.
This is a food truck at Picnic Barton Springs, one of the busiest and trendiest food truck parks in Austin. There are about 8 trucks there in total, with a covered area with fans and picnic tables in the middle.
Kevin Gambino started this food truck in early 2017 when he realized there was a shortage of Creole food in Austin. He lived in New Orleans until Hurricane Katrina misplaced him and his family, and he has a background of cajun cooking.
He puts 100% into every dish served at this food truck. Those Boudin Balls? They take a total of 4 days to make. There are no short cuts in his cooking, and I could tell when I tasted almost everything on the menu.
TRY THIS -> “ALLIGATOR BITES:” Crispy fried gator and kale slaw served with chili garlic aioli
I have a major sweet tooth, so beignets are the main meal for me (although I did taste everything else that Chef Kevin kindly brought out for me to try.) Anything fried and dusted in powdered sugar? I’m probably game.
Gambino’s Cajun Creole
Open 10 am – 9 pm daily (closed Wednesdays)