One of the best parts of this country is the wide variety of cuisine one may try in their lifetime thanks to the multi-cultural nature of this nation. One of the most interesting styles of cooking, if I may so bold to say, is that of Cajun food. This brings me to Ocean Trail, located in the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale.
After winning big at the blackjack tables (a rare occurrence I assure you), I decided to treat myself at this small restaurant just off to the side of the slot machines. The menu is small, but the dishes have a lot to offer. I started with an order of beer-steamed clams, which are little neck clams in garlic-beer broth with tasso ham. Tasso ham is a unique ingredient often used in Cajun cooking. It is the shoulder of a hog instead of the hind leg that ham is normally made out of and it is more flavorful as it is in constant use by the animal, causing it to have more muscle on it. Spiced and cooked to perfection, the ham adds the perfect amount of kick to the dish but does not distract you from the taste of the fresh clams.
Though of course, you cannot have a proper dinner without gumbo. Their Louisiana Gumbo is like a blast of Marti Gras straight to your taste buds. Made with andouille sausage, okra and your choice of meat, this thick stew is strong in flavor. While your breath may not smell so great afterward (mine sure as hell didn’t) you will enjoy every bite of this Creole classic.
Finally, I would be in the wrong if I didn’t mention their oysters. They serve them in various ways here, but my personal favorite is as a shooter with half a shot of vodka and bloody mary mix, making it a great way to both start and end a meal.
Real quality Cajun food is almost impossible to find out here in the desert, which is why I am so happy I found this place. If you are in the mood for something a bit different and love seafood, I cannot recommend this place enough.
Daniel Rubin has lived in the Phoenix, Metropolitan area for over decade. Graduating from Arizona State University, he quickly realized he had a passion for writing. A strong lover of the city he grew up in, Daniel focused the subject of his writing on the Downtown Phoenix area. He can often be found walking up and down the streets of Roosevelt Row, enjoying the scenery that has influenced his writing style, or in one of the various bars downtown to partake in a rum and coke. He seeks to further promote his writing talent as well as give back to the city that has had such a profound impact on his life.