Gumbo Shop (New Orleans)

Location: New Orleans, USA
Address: 630 Saint Peter Street
Type of Meal: Dinner

For a city that has bustling nightlife areas (Bourbon and Frenchmen), it’s surprising that most restaurants close so early. Having taken our time getting ready, we didn’t make it out for dinner until 9pm and found very few options still opened. After asking around, The Gumbo Shop was recommended and thankfully still taking people. Upon arriving we found a long lineup, obviously there were like minded individuals, but it moved quickly and we were seated in about 20 minutes.

Being fairly famished by this point, luckily they started us off with two large po-boy buns. It’s a type of bread that’s synonymous with New Orleans with its airy centre and dry flaky crust. Although it is derived from a baguette, it lacks the chewiness and aromatic fragrance the French counterpart embodies. Nonetheless, when you’re hungry everything tastes amazing.

To begin we each ordered a bowl of gumbo (after all, we were at the Gumbo Shop)! I opted for the seafood okra version ($4.99 for a cup or $8.75 for a bowl; cup shown below), which was thick and contained real pieces of crab and shrimp. The dark brown soup had a chowder consistency but was a tad gooey from the addition of the okra. It was very flavourful but overall wasn’t that good as it simply wasn’t hot enough. Really, a slimy lukewarm liquid, no matter how flavourful it is, isn’t the most appetizing thing to eat. As my first experience with gumbo in New Orleans it was pretty disappointing, luckily after a couple of tries I did end up having a decent one at Peche.

To try a few things at once, we ordered the Creole combination platter ($16.50). On the left was the shrimp Creole, the most simple of the three in a spicy tomato sauce. It was okay but when paired with the other options seemed somewhat plain. The scoop of jambalaya in the middle was the best part of the meal. Thick and flavourful it arrived with tons of slivered chicken and wedges of plump smoked sausage. Lastly, on the right was the crawfish etouffee, a flavourful stew spiced with cayenne pepper which gave it a kick and a more appealing colour. Like the gumbo the dish needed to be hotter, this one was a bit better but still nowhere near a temperature you’d except from a freshly made dish.

All in all, the restaurant had promise as each dish had nice flavours. If only they weren’t such a tepid temperature the experience would have been much better. Understandably, it could have been due to us arriving at a late hour or the fact we were seated at one of the draftiest tables in the restaurants. So, perhaps during normal times and conditions things would have been better. Alas, the stars didn’t align for us – we were able to satisfy our hunger but it wasn’t a fulfilling experience.

Overall mark - 5.5 out of 10

Like the blog? You can now follow me on twitter for notifications -

Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!