I have a serious love for fried eggplant. Have you ever tried it? It's served in a lot of places around town, I think because it's a great combination of Italian-American and deep-south goodness in a land where people love their vegetables, but especially if they're fried. Parran's is a good place for lunch if you happen to find yourself in Metairie getting your car worked on, or running other errands or some sort of workday drudgery: they've got a huge selection of Italian-inspired po-boys, pastas, and all sorts of fried goodies, like eggplant and cauliflower. Parran's eggplant is cut into flat sticks, dredged in breadcrumbs like eggplant Parmesan would be, and served up with a classic marinara. Good stuff. In fact, I'd have to say this type of fried eggplant, which is the most common type, is one of my favorite snackers to order at a restaurant. They taste soft and sweet, and as good as they look:
But hold on just a minute, because recently we were treated to a whole new kind of fried eggplant, a sort of eggplant batter-dipped french fry, or FUNNEL CAKE of eggplant, or something else I haven't thought of yet to call it but that sounds similarly angelic. This eggplant came from Liuzza's by the Track--another great place for lunch, in our very own 'hood. Liuzza's is famous for their BBQ shrimp po-boy and their "breathtaking beef" (shot through with horseradish), but they've got great fried seafood and their specials always tempt me away from the regular menu items. This eggplant was a special, but let's convince them to keep it on. We devoured--inhaled is more like it--this platter in about 3 minutes, because the eggplant was so light and melty it was like eating eggplant dreams! Also, you can get a HALF softshell crab po-boy there with a cup of soup, something I am all about.
GUH! I want it again.
garlic oyster po-boy (fried oysters drizzled with garlic butter) and gumbo
my softshell crab po-boy and tomato bisque, another special that was darn good.
The fried eggplant is good at either place, but I love the variety of Liuzza's, plus their surprising specials. It's a win-win kind of place.