Acadia: A Slice of New Orleans in Portland, Oregon
Wednesday, August 5, 2009 at 8:58AM
off the vine
By: Laura Sabo  Journey east through the Fremont neighborhood in NE Portland, slow down when you get to the corner of 13th and Fremont, and you’ll find Acadia, a gem of a restaurant serving the epitome of New Orleans cuisine. Lunch is served only on Wednesdays and has legions of fans, so get there early or make reservations in advance. Acadia is small in size but big in the flavor factor. Walk through the door and the aromatic scents of spices will take you right down Bourbon Street, sans the beads.

Staycation is the current buzz word of the moment, so if you are sticking around town, save yourself a trip to the Big Easy if you are a fan of Cajun or Creole fare. Even if you aren’t a Southern fare groupie, you’ll soon become one. Reminiscent of Cajun chef Justin Wilson’s tagline “I guarantee it”, and possibly borrowed from Men’s Warehouse founder George Zimmer - “We guarantee it.”

There is a plethora of offerings on the menu including these delicious appetizers: the $2 Gulf oyster shooter with Bloody Mary mix and jalapeno vodka and the high-end Cajun fruits de mer for $22 (translation: “fruits of the sea”, referring to a combination of seafood). Soup and salad items are smoked oyster, rabbit and andouille gumbo with popcorn rice ($9) or a blue crab and arugula salad with almonds, asparagus and radishes tossed with green goddess-horseradish dressing ($10).

Don’t have a case of your “eyes being bigger than your stomach”…absolutely save room for the main course. While the blackened catfish with pickled corn relish ($13) or the Louisiana barbeque shrimp with Worcestershire sauce, butter, black pepper and lemon on white rice ($15) are TDF (to die for), the real star of this show is the bona fide Po’ Boy sandwiches, dolled up with red beans. There are chicken, catfish and shrimp Po’ Boys, but do yourself a favor and attempt the soft shell crab Po’ Boy, a rarity in these parts. All Po’ Boys range in price from $9-$11.

Acadia’s chefs search the South for native ingredients like Gulf oysters and shrimp, blue crab and Louisiana crawfish, and have them shipped via air cargo twice weekly for freshness.  Cajun popcorn rice from Gueydan, Louisiana and andouille sausage from Breaux Bridge, Louisiana are also brought in.

When you get home, kick off your shoes, put on your beads (well, maybe not) and enjoy the remainder of your staycation.  Your hammock should be looking real good ‘bout now.

Acadia
1303 NE Fremont Street - Portland, OR
(503) 249-5001 
Article originally appeared on off the vine magazine (http://offthevinemagazine.com/).
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