PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

December 18, 2012

Culinary Thrill Seeking for Wednesday, Dec. 19

Darragh Doiron
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — If you haven’t had some of Esther’s Cajun Cake since Hurricane Ike, it’s parked by Ancelet’s Cajun Market. Kurt Benoit, son of John and Esther of Esther’s Seafood fame, has a food truck he calls Benoit’s Cajun Cuisine. He’s offering “A Little Taste of Esther’s” through gumbo, all manner of fried seafood, pistolets, boudain balls and e’touffee.

The hurricane took out the restaurant, but Benoit is serving up Port Arthur favorites.

Margeaux Gillespie works in the truck and points out her personal pick. The burger is her favorite, “hands down,” she said. She goes classic style, but there’s a Christy’s Ranch Burger also on the menu. I sat at a community red picnic table to enjoy gumbo with huge chunks of chicken and sausage. She offered a creamy potato salad for those who like to plop some of that in their gumbo. I’m an on-the-side kind of girl. Benoit also has a cheese-based crawfish sauce that’s good on everything from fries to poorboys.

Still waiting for the magic words?

Bread pudding with rum sauce and Cajun cake, made my Esther herself, is on the menu. Visit Kurt from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday. He’s at 7901 Twin City Highway.

 

Del Tamal

Guatemalan tamales with spinach is what I tried and loved. La Rosa Del Damal served them at the Greater Beaumont Chamber of Commerce new member showcase at Hotel Elegante. Mexican food is also on the menu at the new restaurant, 597 South 11th Street in Beaumont. The menu also showed rise or potato tamales and chuchitos.

Viva Southeast a new area travel magazine with a Port Arthur feature in its latest issue, was also at the event.

This year the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce had its first new-member showcase and I also attended and enjoyed the PA version at the Holiday Inn Park Central. It’s great to see all the new business in the area.

 

Spread the joy of fruit

When I see the R.W. Knudsen Family label, I think of intense fruit flavors. New Santa Cruz Organic Fruit Spreads in mango and Concord grape more than lived up to my expectations. The pretty, squared-off jars release a lot of flavor. Rich colors of gold and purple reminded me of liquid stained glass. I’ve spread it on toast and more fruits. Makers suggest a festive cheese plate with spiced nuts and dried fruits and slipping jars into hostess gift baskets.

Those Knudsen’s have a sparkling blueberry drink in a bottle that I’m saving for New Year’s. I have faith it will be a hit.

 

Stomach-friendly brew

Bruce Oler, area photographer and smiling face at the Holiday Inn Park Central, likes to blend his own coffee. He’s found something he likes on its own, Folgers Simply Smooth. Oler says it’s soothing on the stomach and has no bad aftertaste. Makers say it is designed to “reduce certain irritants associated with stomach discomfort.”

I got a taste that Oler brewed up and it hit the spot.

ddoiron@panews.com