Category Archives: Side Trips (Reviews)

Five Day Challenge

Forget the cleansing, healthy, lean green, raw and organic diets. I designed my own, original, personal five-day eating challenge in New Orleans last week – Gumbo Every Day for Five Days. Nah, too easy. I raised the bar, requiring gumbo … Continue reading

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Don’t Let the Yard Art Scare You — It’s Louisiana

In the early seventies, front lawns in the New Orleans suburbs fascinated me with their ornate displays of yard. In a predominantly Catholic community, it’s no surprise that much of the statuary was religious. One motif of idolatry appeared at … Continue reading

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NaNoWriMo Gumbo

Tomorrow marks November first and I’ll begin my second annual writing marathon for  National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The artwork above is clever, but misleading — this event is no vacation! It’s taken a year, but I’ve just about finished revising Fit for … Continue reading

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Gumbo and Antiques

A good thing about living in a coastal community is that a gumbo gourmand can order gumbo at the most unusual places. Who would imagine antique browsing on a Sunday in sleepy Milton, Florida, at the Old Post Office Antique … Continue reading

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Silver-throated sliders (Chet’s Seafood)

While the gumbo might not be remarkable, there’s one comfort food on the menu at Chet’s Seafood that deserves the gourmand’s attention. Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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China Doll goes with gumbo in Paradise (Capt. Joey Patti’s)

I was afraid my gumbo would be served in a Styrofoam bowl when I saw the waitresses serving the orders at Capt. Joey Patti’s Seafood Restaurant in Pensacola. Everything from po boys to cole slaw was being dished out in a plastic … Continue reading

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Afloat with flavor (Marina Oyster Barn) Closed Feb. 2021

Marina Oyster Barn is an interesting spot on the gumbo map. Nothing chi-chi about this place located on Pensacola’s Bayou Texar. It’s a testament to how good cooking can overcome the wrath of hurricanes, from Frederic in 1979 to present day. While … Continue reading

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Eat more gumbo (Peg Leg Pete’s)

I think I’ll print a few t-shirts that read “Eat More Gumbo” on the back. A cartoonish blue crab with a peg-leg can point his biggest pincher at another line which says “and read about gumbo adventures at https://thegumbodiaries.wordpress.com/ Sometimes people new to a … Continue reading

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Skip the gumbo, go for dessert (Cajun Xpress)

Aromas can be deceiving on calm, overcast and humid Gulf Coast days. The elevator in the medical building smelled of burning candles like the elevator smelled on ritual days in the college sorority dorm.  When we arrived at the deli to celebrate my … Continue reading

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