Acadia: A New Orleans Bistro in Portland, OR = B+ Rated Boudin
Ambiance: A neighborhood bistro in Northeast Portland. With just 16 tables and a small bar you’re advised to get a reservation on the weekends. Acadia has a strong following in Portland. They’re turning out some tasty food from the little corner establishment and the décor (including a George Rodrigue) will make displaced Louisianans feel a little bit at home.
Location: 1303 NE Fremont Street, Portland, OR
Price: $6.00 for two “boudin sausage croquettes.”
Presentation: The appetizer boudin consists of 2 oblongs of fried boudin in a puddle of pureed red bean sauce. They call them boudin croquettes (probably because the Portland crowd might not respond to “boudin balls.”). . . . Anyway, I call them “oblongs.”
Casing: The coating is thin and crispy. Very nice.
Meat/Rice Ratio: Equal amounts.
Texture: The crisp coating of the boudin oblongs adds a lot of texture to a filling that is otherwise uniform in its creaminess. They are a tad oily (on the outside). The interior consists of tender bits of meat and rice that is pulverized to the point of pointlessness.
Spice: MILD (verging on bland).
Overall Flavor: The first thing you’ll get is an honest attempt at boudin flavor. Liver, yes. Pork, yes. Rice, yes. It is a little bland (not porky enough). Still, overall it is a good boudin filling with high notes for authenticity and a well balanced and clean flavor.
Comments: The red bean puree is a great idea to serve along with a boudin oblong appetizer. It was good, but not great: suffering from being a touch boring and not particularly warm. Perhaps it is not supposed to be a warm sauce. The intent may be a cold bean puree? Anyway, warm it and flavor it more and it’ll add a lot of pizzaz to a decent dish. We don’t expect much when we venture to the Pacific Northwest in search of boudin, but Acadia proved us wrong. They’ve got it going on. Oh, and the gumbo was really tasty too (tons of large shrimp!)
According to their website, folks fly up from “as far away as San Francisco” for their food. Well, now they can legitimately say that folks fly up from Louisiana for their food. We’ll be back.
Reviewed March 2010