Also known more generically as freshwater trout, these are small salmon caught in the rivers in or just outside of the mountains of the western United States. These are true trout, which is to say that they are members of the salmon family, something very obvious either before or after they’re cooked. The steeleyes are almost the perfect size to feed on person. They are often served whole, or near to that state. They are not seen often around New Orleans, where when you mention trout you are more likely to be thinking about speckled trout–a much different fish.

#25: Steelhead Trout.

Pesto steelhead trout at Zea.

Pesto steelhead trout at Zea.

The local chain restaurant Zea is largely responsible for the appearance of steelheads in the New Orleans area. The fish is served after being pan-grilled, most notably with a light pesto crust. Zea features this continually on its menu. It’s one of the best dishes on the menu, and because it comes from a reliable source it is almost always available there. But it’s not local, so some local diners write it off.

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