Friday, March 30, 2007

Mardi Gras Grill

I ate a whole basket of battered and deep-fried pickles.

I didn’t mean to. I certainly didn’t start dinner Thursday night with such a thoroughly unhealthy intention. I didn’t even harbor much of an appetite and had no plans to blog about the meal. (Then again, when has lack of hunger ever prevented me from eating? Plus, it's so rare that I actually get any kind of hunger pangs!)

CabbageLover and I went to Mardi Gras Grill for boiled crawfish. (Boiled crawfish is one of my favorite things about living in Houston.) It was my third time at this joint. The first visit last year resulted in a lame, overpriced experience, when I mistakenly ordered a bland-tasting, unsatisfying entree of crab-stuffed shrimp. I remember leaving and thinking: I would’ve been so much happier with a Sourdough Jack or some Popeye’s Chicken. The second time I went, I was joined by a different crew, including LexingtonNative. We got a bunch of wonderfully seasoned crawfish and a few appetizers, among them LexingtonNative’s choice of fried pickle slices. Yum! She grew up eating the delicacy in Kentucky.

So this time, I knew what to get. CabbageLover and I started with a basket of pickles and two pounds of crawfish. We got two small red potatoes and two tiny pieces of corn on the cob with our crawfish. (I wish they’d give you more veggies, but I guess they don’t want you filling up on the cheap filler.) The pickles arrived first, with a mildly herbaceous buttermilk sauce (um, watery Ranch dressing, perhaps?). Wow! Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and not a bit oily – even better than last time! Instantly I knew these pickles would become my next food obsession. As we neared the end of our two pounds of crawfish, I proposed another pound. Then we eyed the empty pickle basket. We wanted more, but could we, in good conscience, continue this deep-fried mania?

Of course. We caved and asked for a half order. Well, Mardi Gras Grill does not do half orders, we learned, so we got a regular, full order. CabbageLover mumbled something about bringing the leftovers home, but we polished them off completely. I bet they are fantastic on a burger.

I am definitely going for fried pickles in Lexington!

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