Chasing A Crop

Written by Mary Ann Fitzmorris June 01, 2020 11:19 in Dining Diary

Months of sequestration finally made me snap. I have joked to friends that I have discovered my inner recluse these last few months, but yesterday I finally needed to get out. Way out. It seemed a good idea to go to Plaquemines Parish to get some creole tomatoes. 

Frank Brigtsen was on the show Friday talking about visiting his personal farmer and the delicious Creole Tomatoes he got and the six inch okra and other premium vegetables. He’s keeping him to himself though, so we went to Plaquemines in the hopes of visiting one of the Becnel stands, which one must do absent one’s personal farmer. 

But first we dropped in at a favorite Saturday spot, the Blue Crab. We love this place, and it was sad to see it 25% full, as per requirements. Reservations only except downstairs. Owner Nick was extremely good-natured about these devastating regulations. And lack of staff. And everything else.

We got some chargrilled oysters with a sticker shock of $30. Delicious as always, yet different. And we split a combo oyster/shrimp platter. I always complain about the amount of food served here, not because it is skimpy, but because we are used to getting more. In reality, this is the proper amount of food on a plate. It’s just that these are hand-cut fries and perfectly battered fried seafood, hot, and you just want more if it.

Nothing was too much trouble for our lively waitress, who was still delightfully cheery behind her mask. At a properly distant table a woman sat with a mask and gloves, and I could only wonder why she bothered.

We moved on to Plaquemines by way of the French Quarter, which was only slightly less-deserted than before. Traveling through Belle Chasse brought back a lot of memories. Going to air shows at the Naval Air Station, visiting a plantation for a party given by Southern Comfort, and an especially fond one of visiting a  100 plus year old camp that Katrina washed away a year later. Great family times. I called the camp’s owner to reminisce, so I didn’t stop at LA 23 Barbecue right by the Naval Air Station. 

Never did see any if the Becnel stands I remembered, so I had to stop by the one at the Industrial Canal. There were no boxes of culls (the uglier runt tomatoes) which are definitely the best. There was an astonishing amount of Covid protocol here, which was a surprise.

It’s easy to love it down there, and had I been with a willing companion, I’d have driven to Venice. Just because.