Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The name may mislead some, but you’ll get it once you try it.

It’s easy to drive right by Steven’s Fine Food Restaurant and not notice it. First off, the “fine food” moniker doesn’t mean white tablecloths and cummerbunned waitstaff but rather “good, old-fashioned Louisiana food.” It’s a small blue and white building on the corner of South Pierce and Cameron streets, and parking is sort of like a drunk doing a jigsaw puzzle: you just kind of jam your puzzle piece of a car in whereever there is an available hole. Since most people call ahead and pick up their food, no one is here very long so getting out is never a hassle. In the nearly 10 years Steven’s has been open, nary a single complaint has been lodged.

The food at Steven’s is no joke. There is a lot to choose from and a lot to eat once you decide. Classic favorites are the porkchop sandwich in which a whole porkchop is nestled between two pieces of white bread and any of the fixings you desire. The chicken tenders are served with homemade honey mustard and are easily the length and have the width of a grown woman’s hand — three pieces is more than enough. There are overstuffed poboys, catfish platters, eggrolls and even garfish, but Steven’s is most famous with its handful of regulars — who range in backgrounds the likes of which you can hardly find at any restaurant in town — is the popcorn shrimp platter for $6.79.

I never liked fried shrimp before I was first brought to Steven’s, and now it is a monthly treat. Why monthly? Cause it is a tremendous amount of food. What seems like an endless supply of seafood spills out of the container (food is only sold to-go here), and the fried shrimp, while not exactly a health food item, has a light, crispy crust that doesn’t soak your tongue in grease the moment you bite down. The taste is like freshly drawn butter drizzled over seafood and exploding in your mouth. With it you can get French fries or the fried rice, which is recommended. The rice comes with huge bites of boiled shrimp and is also not greasy but light and filling. The shrimp is piled on top of whatever side you choose. Salad consists of just a few pieces of iceberg lettuce with a tomato wedge, so again, don’t expect a healthy meal. Tartar sauce can be asked for “on the side” meaning in its own container; otherwise it can fill one of the small compartments in the Styrofoam plate. This platter can easily feed two people with healthy appetites or if you go it alone can stand in for lunch, dinner and a small snack the next day. — Anna Purdy

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