Melbourne, being a large-ish metropolitan city, has waves of culture wash up on its shores every year. From style to food and everything in between. Last year, “authentic” takes on Mexican swept through the city and, for the first time in nearly 5 years, I was able to eat the food I often took for granted back home in Florida. On the topic of food, this year’s trend is food trucks. As if straight from San Fran these trucks have taken the city (mostly north of the Yarra) by storm.
We recently visited one of the more popular ones, the oft-hyped Gumbo Kitchen. Now, growing up in the Southern USA, I was especially excited for this one. To have real Cajun and Nawlins cuisine seemed almost like a dream. Po’ boys? Oh, dear God, I have died and gone to heaven. We arrived on a sunny, Autumn day, placed our order and sat down on the nice blankets they have stored in a cute picnic basket. Kim had the Beef Debris Po’ Boy, chunks of beef of indeterminate origin, slow roasted and slathered in a rich gravy. I had the Deep-Fried Shrimp Po’ Boy, complete with a smathering of Lousiana’s own Crystal Hot Sauce.
To be honest, it ain’t the best NOLA-style food I’ve had. Of course’, I’ve been Nawlins before Katrina, so it was never really a fair fight. At Gumbo Kitchen, the serves are too big and there’s too much focus on the main ingredient and not enough on the fixins, the beautiful sauces, pickles and salads that hold a truly good Po’ Boy together. It’s not somewhere I’m clamoring to go back to any time soon. But, hey, it’s Nawlins Down Under and that’s good enough for me!