Your Appetite will “perish” at The Parish Restaurant

Gumbo

VIA SBINSIDER’s FOOD CRITIC GLORIA WOLF| January 27th, 2024

Served in a stone bowl with a side of hush puppies, the gumbo at The Parish is a thick hearty soup, perfect for Tucson winter nights. If you want to make a reservation here, plan two or three weeks in advance. It does appear that you can walk in, but you may have to wait for other patrons to finish. With a historic bar and a few tables, this is a cozy restaurant that evokes a bygone era.

The description of the restaurant describes the food as a fusion between Louisiana, Texas, and Arizona. You might not find some Louisiana foods you would expect, such as blackened chicken, or an etouffee, but you will find a watermelon salad, beer battered catfish, and red beans and rice. The famous Parish Burger is an award-winning entrée that is lively and perfectly prepared.

Étouffée

Louisiana food can be categorized as Creole or Cajun. Think of Creole as the food the New Orleans city folk eat with seafood and chicken, including tomatoes. Cajun originated in the more rural areas and has a foundation of a dark roux. Instead of seafood, you might find smoked and spicy meats, often andouille sausage. Whether jambalaya or gumbo, in addition to the roux foundation, you will find the trifecta of Louisiana flavors, onion, bell pepper, and celery.

While the Parish presents a fusion of Louisiana, Texas, and Arizona, Creole emerged as a fusion of French, Spanish, African and Native American cuisines. Cajun started out with a French influence as well, beginning with the Acadia, the French settlers to Louisiana who had been kicked out of Canada in the 18th century. Influenced by Native American and African roots, Cajun food has more bold, spicy flavors and is locally sourced, before it became a trend.

The Gumbo at The Parish leans more to the Cajun with a solid roux. The term Mississippi mud comes to mind. Even though Mississippi mud is a dessert, a Gumbo should be thick and dark, as it is at The Parish. I did not detect a hint of tomato, but it had a chicken base, heavy with andouille sausage. You can choose to add a more sophisticated touch of shrimp or crab to your Gumbo. The hushpuppies served on the side were the best hushpuppies I have ever eaten. They were perfectly prepared and had a little bit of a kick, just as one would hope.

The Parish will host a Mardi Gras Festival on Tuesday, February 13, 2024. At this event you will find live music, a crawfish boil, Cajun sampler plates, and an alligator roast. The entry fee is $15 on first come, first served basis. Food and drink sold separately. The Cajun expression laissez les bons temps rouler describes the event: Let the good times roll!

Click the link to The Parish restaurant.

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Ilsa Wolf
Ilsa
4 months ago

Best hushpuppies ever!