by The Great Foodini
Happy Holidays folks,
I just want to start my last Foodini column of 2019 saying that there are amazing people in the world. I recently had a chance to meet a brand new restaurant owner in downtown Biloxi who I feel may be one of those people.
Due to major setbacks with some of the construction components of his restaurant, Marlin Babin, was delayed the better part of the year in opening. Just before Cruisin’ the Coast, the city decided to throw him some charity and gave him a temporary license to serve to the cruisers. So for 4 days in October, business was a boomin!
During that time, my nemesis and arch-rival food writer Julian Brunt, (just kidding folks, he is a spectacular person and writer that I have the utmost respect for) stopped in for a bite. He decided to write a piece on Parrain’s Jambalaya Kitchen on Reynoir St., unfortunately, the article came out the next Friday and the temporary license was done and the restaurant was yet again closed until the occupancy license could be awarded. Marlin started receiving calls and bangs on the door to his restaurant for jambalaya, gumbo, crawfish etouffee and po boys. Marlin, not being the type of guy to turn hungry folks away, decided since he didn’t have a license, he couldn’t sell meals, but he was legally allowed to give them away. Marlin fed 93 hungry diners that day and also decided to feed all the police officers who were helping capture the murderers who killed officer McKeithen back in May.
Now that I’ve established that this place is worth visiting based on merits of goodwill, let me tell you about the awesome food.
First, the pecan pie is the a.b.s.o.l.u.t.e. best pecan pie I’ve ever had. Instead of the sickly-sweet filler, he finely chops up the pecans making it a wonderful honey-flavored sturdy pie that I will get from now on.
Since we are on the desserts, the white chocolate bread pudding is another piece of heaven. It is similar to other bread puddings with one vital difference. The bread part is made with beignets.
Careful attention is put into all his dishes, even the po boys, which have a unique twist of the bread being deep fried and the po boys are split along the top instead of the side to keep the ingredients from spilling. Even the potato salad is unique because Marlin boils his potatoes in crab boil first and then makes the salad.
Now the staples of this restaurant are the gumbo, which is a solid, tasty gumbo, etouffee and the place’s namesake, jambalaya.
Everything is made according to Marlin’s grandma’s recipes and is considered original Cajun cuisine. This is the type of food you will find in middle Louisiana from Lafayette headed west.
Don’t go here unless you plan to get full. The portions are healthy and the ingredients are fresh and the food is delicious and unique.