I had some dental work done and for the past two months, it's been off and on just defaulting to soft foods. And I realized that gumbo was the perfect meal to have out. As of July 2021, I've hit about 13 places, and, with recommendations coming in all the time from friends, I can see that this little project is going to be my fun project for 2021.
I was at Art of Coffee in Clear Lake, planning to check out Abe's Cajun Kitchen, but the barista said "Go try Viola & Agnes".
And he was right. The gumbo here was excellent, possibly the best that I've in the greater Houston area. I was surprised by the amount of oil in it. And this "could" be a deal breaker from some people. I was to learn that Chef Aaron (from Lake Charles) renders chicken fat in house and adds a dollop just before serving.
The $7 "cup" is a meal in itself. Their "cup" is like someone else's bowl. I've paid more for less interesting gumbo around town. It was full of chicken, a crab claw, and a boiled egg. That broth. Just delicious. I'm already dreaming about when I can make my next trip out that way.
I also ordered his riff on a classic Jamaican vegetable curry stew. Again, a bargain, as it comes with two sides, and some pretty spectacular cornbread. Just delicious. If someone put a gun to my head for constructive criticism, I might tell Chef Aaron that if he tempers his curry powder in a little oil and onion to take the raw-ness away... but, this is just fine tuning a really good dish. My sides were rice and beans, and, grits with butter. Carbo load.
Since I was eating lighter, I asked others if I could photograph their entrees. Sticky chicken. Chicken and strawberry waffles. Etc. An added bonus. The shelves are stocked with cookbooks and I ended up hanging out for an hour and a half just eating and reading from them. Let the photos begin: