Parrain’s popular, but worth the wait

We were told we’d have a 20 minute wait on a recent trip to Parrain’s Seafood restaurant, but we were seated in about five. The popular eatery was full though, and around us we could see lots of families, a big birthday party and even a wedding party still attired in their finery from the ceremony. The restaurant is divided into different sections and offers tables and booths. We were seated in a booth that was roomy on one side but oddly tight on the other and the table was bolted down and couldn’t be moved.

Busy as it was though, our server was prompt, and we started our meal with two delicious appetizers. Most at the table thought the crab and crawfish au gratin, served with toast rounds ($11.95) was the best of the two. The rich and creamy dish was full of crab meat and small crawfish served piping hot (and with a little bit of spicy kick). We spread the delicious cheesy serving on the toast and if truth be told just ate spoonfuls from our small plates. A minority at the table preferred the bacon wrapped barbecue shrimp ($10.95). The five wonderfully seasoned grilled shrimp combined with the smoky strips of thin bacon wrapped around each made a wonderful bite. The shrimp were beautifully presented on two thick slices of char-grilled yams that were also delicious. Both appetizers were a hit.

For our entrees we tried the crawfish etouffee ($11.50), a huge bowl full of the flavorful south Louisiana dish atop a mound of fluffy white rice. Our guest does not like food that is overly spicy and thought this was seasoned just right. The large serving came with a lovely baguette and a choice of coleslaw or salad. She chose the coleslaw because she likes their addition of peanuts to the creamy crunchy vegetables.

We also ordered the “black n bleu” tuna ($21.95), a generous serving of fish seasoned then grilled, topped with crumbled bleu cheese and sitting on a large serving of linguine in a cheese sauce. We thought the tuna and creamy pasta was an odd pairing, but our guest disagreed and thoroughly enjoyed every bite. This entree also came with bread, and he chose a Caesar salad.

Our third main dish was the Vermilion ($18.95), a large, nicely grilled piece of Mahi fish topped with shrimp, green onions and mushrooms sauteed in lemon-garlic butter. This dish came with the baguette, a large serving of steamed broccoli with hollandaise on the side and a salad. The fish and shrimp were well cooked, light and delicious. The mushrooms seemed canned though, which was a little disappointing.

Fried foods may be Parrain’s forte because the fried shrimp platter ($14.95) was flawless. A dozen large shrimp, perfectly battered and fried were served atop a bed of French fries with a side of dirty rice, a roll and coleslaw. This is how fried shrimp should always be served: delicious, hot and with a crunch in every bite.

Before leaving we tried one of each of the dessert offerings, the three on the menu and the special. On the menu were the white bread pudding, ($4.50), the pecan pie with ice cream ($4.50) and the cheesecake of the day, the Snicker ($4.50). The special was the Oreo cake ($5.95). Our two favorites were the cheesecake with chocolate and caramel and the pecan pie. The very sweet pie had a really good, thin and flaky crust and was served flattened with the ice cream in the middle. The Oreo cake was good and not overly sweet, and while we liked the warm bread pudding, we prefer bread pudding with a firmer texture.

The last three restaurants where we’ve recently dined (including this one) have had really cheap utensils. The tin forks had no heft and were flat. While that may not seem like a big deal when you’re not spending much money, it does seem like a lack of attention to detail when you’re paying these kind of prices.

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