I freely admit that I’m a sucker for New Orleans cuisine. So when Dr. Science and the G.V. Jogger suggested that we check out a new joint that specializes in Creole and Cajun cuisine last night, they didn’t need to twist my arm. Our destination was Way Down Yonder New Orleans Finest Restaurant, located a few miles south of German Village on High Street in the Great Southern Shopping Center.
W.D.Y. easily passes the crucial “menu test” that I automatically apply to any restaurant that serves New Orleans food. The menu test is as follows: when I look at the menu, are there so many obvious, mouth-watering traditional choices that it’s impossible to make a selection? After a few minutes of careful analysis, I was still debating between the Louisiana crawfish etouffee, red beans and rice, and fried catfish with mac ‘n cheese and dirty rice. After Dr. Science gently reminded me that red beans and rice is a core component of any New Orleans restaurant, that’s where I landed. Dr. Science went for the gumbo, which comes with actual crab claws, and the G.V. Jogger tried the crawfish etouffee.
Way Down Yonder offers red beans and rice in medium and large portions, and I’m glad I decided on the large. The dish checked all of the crucial red beans and rice boxes — a deep, rich sauce with a good spicy kick to it, plenty of sliced sausage, well-cooked red beans, and just enough white rice to allow for mixing. It was excellent. The cornbread it comes with is excellent too — slightly sweet, with a crunchy top, and baked to a perfect consistency, so that it holds together when picked up to be eaten but also is easily crumbled to mix in with the entree. Way Down Yonder offers an impressive menu of desserts, but I didn’t try any because after polishing off every last part of the red beans and rice and cornbread, I was full to the brim.
“Way Down Yonder New Orleans Finest Restaurant” is a mouthful, but that’s appropriate because so is their food — a flavorful, tasty, mouthful of some of the best regional cuisine the U.S. of A. has to offer. I expect that we’ll be heading back down south for more. Having tried the red beans and rice, I feel the fried catfish calling.