After about a month of being open, I had dinner at Eatonville. The food is good, the atmosphere fun, the service mostly friendly and quick. I enjoyed my time there, and will definitely be back.
First up: the food. My four companions and I sampled widely from the menu: we had the cheddar tart, the crab burger, the crispy chicken, the shrimp and crawfish etoufee, the andouille and sweet potato hash. For dessert: chocolate pie and the peach and blackberry cobbler. I’d read other places that the cheddar tart was out of this world, and man did I agree, that was a great cheddar tart. The crab burger was solid, the shrimp and crawfish etoufee nicely sweet and spicy, the crispy chicken (I heard) was very good. I really enjoyed the side of the andouille and sweet potato hash, the sweetness and the spiciness played really nicely against each other. Desert was yummy, I really enjoyed the peach and blackberry cobbler and companions really liked the chocolate pie.
Prices were decent, like its brother restaurant Busboys and Poets, and a bill for 5 came a little over $100 (it should be noted that a few of us didn’t partake in alcohol and those that did had one drink). I really enjoyed the atmosphere, decidedly funky with the art on the wall, not too loud for easy conversation, and a nice background of jazz music. Our server was mostly fine, helpful and mostly quick, but he did disappear a couple of times over the night. It wasn’t the end of the world since we were enjoying our conversation.
Now the question a friend posed at dinner: which is better, Ben’s Next Door or Eatonville? They’re both doing the same thing, fancy soul food. But we both decided the comparison wasn’t as easy: as Next Door focuses on more classic soul food dishes, Eatonville has a decidedly Gulf-focus: from the crawfish etoufee, the po boys, the hushpuppies – it wasn’t an easy comparison. I think that both have their merits but that they’re really doing different things. I did leave Eatonville feeling like it was more affordable than Next Door.
For more photos of our meal, check out my Flickr photostream.