Sunday, September 21, 2014

Restaurant Review: Pearl's New Orleans Kitchen Elk Rapids, Michigan

Down South Creole Food in Northern Michigan


Did that sound like a contradiction?

It isn't. It's really true. Good southern comforts offered near Traverse City for those who need a landmark. A couple of weekends back, I traveled to TC for a conference. I haven't been to Traverse City, sans kids or a husband, for quite a few years (think a decade or more) and I created a mental checklist of the places I would like to revisit after all these years. This was one of the top ones on my list and I was happy to hear it was still there.

For years, I had an annual pilgrimage to Traverse City because a dear friend lived there. I usually went in the fall, after tourist season, for a long weekend. There was always a trip to Poppycock's, dessert at Amical's (which I didn't have time to hit this time) and brunch at Pearl's. Eggs Benedict. Mmm, highly recommend it. It was always my last dish on my way out of town. I typically also took a Bananas Foster home for later. . . But I digress. This time we were able to do dinner. Dinner is always good, right?

It was a beautiful evening, a last hurrah for summer, especially up north in early September. We had the patio to ourselves, despite the sunshine and started with drinks. For my friend, it was a bottle of beer. For me, despite my own good sense, a Pearl's Cajun martini. Why would I say "despite my good sense"? Well because I simply have a vow not to drink them after a bad experience with my very own bachelorette party. . . But I couldn't resist the idea of a blue cheese stuffed olive, and a jalapeno spiked vermouth. Oh it was strong but good! I only drank half (common sense eventually prevailed).

We shared a Caesar salad before our mains. Instead of croutons there was fried okra and it was delicious! Then the mains came in the form of Po' Boys!

I do love a good Po' Boy and these did not disappoint. Crispy fried shrimp on mine with remoulade sauce and yummy sliced pickles. Cajun close slaw (nicely chilled and crisp) on the side. The roll was perfectly crusty without being dry and the shrimp had a tasty batter that wasn't overly spicy but had a lot of flavor. My friend had a beef brisket Po Boy complete with a wonderful barbecue sauce, and slice onions. The meet was so tender and soft, good stuff!

No dessert; we were stuffed! Pearl's was as good as I remembered it and did not disappoint. If you are in Traverse City, or anywhere near there, it's worth the drive!

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