Have a recommendation? We'd LOVE to hear it!
Salutations Readers!

Kalamazoo has good food.
Great food, in fact. We have made it our mission to check out all the local eateries one at a time - and more for our own poor memories than any other reason, we'll be chronicling our adventures in food here. And some places float our boats way more than others, which is why we have developed the very scientific
five golden forks rating scale. Ok. It is not scientific at all. It is actually quite unscientific. But, it is something. And now, you can search all of our reviews by the forks rating. YAY!

But, wait! There's more!
Kalamazoo Foodies no longer just eat at restaurants then review them. There are recipes posted, some easy, some less easy, all delicious. There are, or will be, book reviews, the new
Foodie Movie Review-y which will focus on movies about food or ones that have a lot of beautiful food in them. There are other food musings, and hopefully soon contests and so much more. But, Foodie Friends, it is all about food. Because we love it!
And, we want to hear from you!

We want to hear your comments on our recipes and reviews. We want to know where you love to eat. And, we are looking for GUEST bloggers to broaden our horizons a bit. And, if you haven't found us on Facebook, you should do that too. Like our page for other fun Foodies stuff like photos, polls, and more.

SO KALAMAZOO PATRONS - where do YOU love to eat? Because we'd love to check it out and share our thoughts here. Give us a comment below, and quickly! Our tummies are grumbling in anticipation.

A Note from the Foodies about our typical fair:
So, you may notice as you read our blog that we often order the same thing wherever we go. OK, maybe not quite, but we do often order similar things. Kristin has her caprese salads and mushroom dishes. Kate has her baked goat cheese and things with tofu. Well, readers, we wanted to let you know that this is absolutely intentional. A) We love those things, so why not order what you love? And, B) It is a lot easier to compare apples to apples than it is to compare apples to comquats. So, we like to order similar things to have a good sense of how to compare them. Just wanted to let you in on that little secret. Bon appetit!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Foodies on Vacay: Pearl's New Orleans Kitchen (Elk Rapids, MI)

Kate: Smoked Crawfish Dip and the Plantation Platter
Spring break was upon us, and Paul and I headed north to visit our friends (Tom, Tiff, and little Tessa) in Cadillac. The adults took off for the day and went up to Traverse City (my first visit). We talked about a few dining options, but Tom and Tiff kept insisting that we drive the extra 20 or 30 minutes to Pearl's. So, we did. And, boy am I glad we did.
The decor of Pearl's is what I would expect from a Cajun inspired restaurant. Its busy, full of energy, there's lots to look at. Its a fun place.
The bar in the center of the place has a huge jar full of fruit that is soaking in tequilla. The fruit from the week before becomes the flavor for their weekly Margatini special. I couldn't resist. That night, it was cranberry apple margatinis. Man, what a treat. Refreshing. The right blend of liquor and fruit. If you are making the trip to Elk Rapids... do yourself a favor and take a chance on the margatini!
The smoked crawfish dip was another treat that I wasn't expecting. I enjoy crawfish. I know, doesn't sound like me, but I do. But, crawfish dip... sounded a bit weird. WRONG! This dip was delicious. Served with toasted baguette, this smoked dip was again a great blend of flavors. Not too smokey, not too seafoody, creamy, and ADDICTIVE. I couldn't stop. I knew I should, but at the same time, I wanted to savor this delicious starter. There was also an order of fried green tomatoes at the table. I abstained, since they were part of my meal, but, just wanted to make sure everyone knew we did it right.
So, the Plantation Platter... one of the few vegetarian options on the menu.... consists of fried green tomatoes, cheddar grits, and their special recipe red bean cakes. The tomatoes were as expected. Fried and green. There was a nice bruschetta type topping to them that really brought out the flavor. But, nothing extraordinary. The cheddar grits were alright. Kind of bland. Needed a dab of one of the many hot sauces sitting on the table. And, they were kind of a strange consistency/texture. Almost more of a pudding than what I think of as a grit.
The red bean cakes, however, took the plate in a way that I don't know if I will be able to describe. Think of a really good black bean burger where the beans are mashed up really well with great herbs, make them red beans instead of black ones, cover it in bread crumbs, fry it up, and then add the most delicious Creole sauce you can think of. There were two on the plate, I wanted 10 more. Oh man. SO GOOD! They are served in a couple other ways on their menu: as an appetizer, or on a muffuletta, and I am sure they are great there too. Oh man, my mouth is watering thinking about them. SO GOOD!
We didn't do dessert, which I am sure is probably outstanding. But, I will definitely order a Bananas Foster or Buttermilk Pie the next time. For now, I will think fondly of the smoked crawfish dip and the red bean cakes and get excited for our next visit to Pearl's!


five golden forks out of five!

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