Carry In, Castaway (Castaways)

The first bite of the gumbo surprised me. The coarse vegetables hadn’t been chopped fine enough to suit me, but something else was wrong — the okra.  I don’t mind okra in gumbo, but this okra caused me to laugh, and grab my not-so-numb right arm. It was Taste on the Beach, but I’m still not well enough to take the operative extremity out for a tasting. So, I asked the “fam” to bring me gumbo. And they did — a nice white styrofoam cup of gumbo and rice from Castaways on Pensacola Beach. But I had based my expectations on a bold assumption. From the location, event and name of restaurant I assumed I would be savoring seafood gumbo. Wrong! I was trying to chew chicken and sausage gumbo made by a chef who needs a better prep chef. I stirred the cup and stared at big chunks of canned tomatoes and one-inch squares of bell pepper, but it was the okra that was funny. It was frozen breaded okra, like the kind restaurant cooks fry-up as an appetizer. I wonder if someone told the cook that the frozen okra would thicken the gumbo? Don’t fall for that short cut. I’m just glad they didn’t waste good seafood on this gumbo. They were right to go with chicken and sausage, because you can get away with a lot when you just throw a bunch of stuff in the pot and call it gumbo. Traveler’s Tip: Ask what’s in the gumbo, and if the answer sounds good, ask for a sample of gumbo before you order it.


About thegumbodiaries

On the search for the perfect gumbo!
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