Second Sense (H2O on Pensacola Beach)


I know taste buds have a memory function. They make my mouth water when I think about brownies fresh out of the oven or my stomach growl when I smell fried chicken at WalMart. So I wonder — can taste buds get Alzheimer’s? I ask because the gumbo that I often remember as fantastic is usually a disappointment when I go back a few months later for another bowl. 

Yesterday I went back for seconds. It was a sunny winter day and my mind kept whispering gumbo at the beach, gumbo at the beach.  After two hours of resisting the brain telegraph, I returned to H2O, the Hilton’s Asian Fusion restaurant on Pensacola Beach.

My taste buds remembered their gumbo as some of the best I’d ever eaten. I guess I’ve eaten a bunch since then, because the gumbo didn’t live up to the reputation my memory had on file for it. It’s my favorite type — real Louisiana seafood gumbo with a dark brown roux. I just didn’t remember all the andouille in it. Andouille is a spicy smoked Cajun sausage with a real kick.  My bowlful had more diced andouille in it than seafood, vegetables or rice. The sausage gave it a kick, all right – the kind that burns your throat right after you swallow. The andouille also made the gumbo way too salty — yet my taste buds were begging for saltines. Maybe they just needed something soothing after the andouille jolt.

Next time I’m craving gumbo I might stick to the mainland. There’s a dollar toll to cross the bridge to the beach, so tack that on to the tab and it becomes a $10 bowl of gumbo, without the tip. It’s good gumbo – just not as good as I remember it.

About thegumbodiaries

On the search for the perfect gumbo!
This entry was posted in Side Trips (Reviews). Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Second Sense (H2O on Pensacola Beach)

  1. Scott says:

    I’ve had the same experience with different foods at different restaurants–I think everyone does. After all, we tend to remember things as better (or worse) than they were–it’s human nature.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s