What a better way for Portland to welcome back the fall rain and chill than with steaming bowls of gumbo? Acadia on Fremont is dishing up three different gumbos for Gumbo Weekend on Nov. 13-14, 2015. In addition to their deep, dark seafood gumbo from their usual menu, they have a Cajun chicken and sausage gumbo and a green Gumbo Z’herbes.
Chef/owner Seamus Foran took over Acadia from Adam Higgs earlier this year. Long time fans of the New Orleans bistro have nothing to fear, Foran had been cooking in the Acadia kitchen since 2007, so it is Big Easy transition. Foran gets his chance to shine and show off some new dishes alongside the best Lousiana BBQ shrimp in town.
The Gumbo flight for Gumbo Weekend is available for $16, and a la carte portions for $10 each. Word is that you may be able to snag the new ones starting now. Here’s what preview tasters enjoyed:
The Chicken and Sausage Cajun Gumbo is a deep red like the traditional tomato-based gumbo of Cajun areas of southwestern Louisiana. Chef Foran’s version features chicken and pork sausage in a light roux. The house-made Andouille sausage adds only a slight heat while the chicken is well-seasoned in the thick tomato and vegetable base. It’s a great choice for a meaty gumbo without seafood.
The Gumbo Z’herbes focuses on greens. It’s meatless but not vegetarian as it is made with stock from ham hocks. This satisfying gumbo was packed with kale, mustard greens, collards, etc. It was traditionally made as a Lenten meatless dish by the Catholics of southern Louisiana. The produce is locally-sourced in the Northwest.
Acadia’s Seafood Gumbo from their regular menu is arguably Portland’s best gumbo. It’s dark roux sets it apart as it uses an reduction of shellfish and chicken for the stock, concentrating it for maximum soul-satisfying depth. Shrimp, crawfish and Louisiana blue crab are joined by okra and file. The okra have a texture that most chefs don’t achieve – still al dente rather than slimy. If you miss Gumbo Weekend, you can enjoy this one any time to warm your belly. All seafood at Acadia is wild caught in the Gulf or the Pacific Northwest.
It would be a crime to have a meal at Acadia without ordering the Louisiana BBQ Shrimp and ensuring your server brings you lots of bread to sop up the peppery sauce. These head-on whole shrimp can convert even the squeamish into peeling, eating and even sucking.
Northwest wines as well as others are available by the glass or bottle, as well as beer and a full bar with New Orleans-inspired cocktails. If the wind is blowing, a Hurricane might be in order.
Acadia is open Monday – Saturday for dinner, closed Sundays. They have lunch on Wednesdays only. Monday is Cheap Eats Night, and it’s hard to pass up the $12 entree deal, including favorite 3-cup meal: red beans and rice, seafood gumbo and jambalaya.
Address: 1303 NE Fremont St., Portland, Oregon.