Eating to Live on the Outside: Gumbo Shop

Maybe I’m a masochist and I don’t realize it, but, for some reason I've picked another tough restaurant for this week’s Eating to Live on the Outside. Go ahead. Say it, “Dummy!” Maybe so—I've got a laundry list of ex-girlfriends that would second that dummy, and, follow it up with at least a few expletives. Anyway, that’s beside the point, what do you say we dig into this week’s restaurant? Gumbo Shop.

Now, I’m assuming the name didn’t stump you. Gumbo Shop, if you’re looking for New Orleans cuisine, this is the place. But, how does it stack up health-wise? Could an Eat to Liver find refuge here? Yes. No. Kind of. Not really. Told you, it’s going to be tough. At first glance I can already tell—they’ll be concessions! Hope you like fish. Alright, let’s have at it.

Luckily the menu isn’t huge, so narrowing it down should be pretty quick. Let’s start with the most Fuhrman-friendly menu items—mind you, I say that loosely. First up is the Vegetarian Dish of the Day. What’s in it? Well according to the menu it’s a creation of hearty beans or peas, plenty of seasonings and lots of local flavor, served with rice or pasta. Okay, if you can get that prepared with brown rice and no- or low-salt you’ve got a pretty good meal. Sure the rice isn't exactly the most nutritious thing on the planet, but as I say all the time—focus on the veggies!

Next up is the Veggie Po’Boy. If you’ve never had a Po’Boy, it’s basically a sandwich. And like all sandwiches, it’s not inherently Fuhrman-friendly. Besides the bread, you’ve got plenty of ingredients you might want to omit. For example, most Po’Boy’s are made with mayonnaise. Personally, I’d rather lick a Manhattan sidewalk on a hot summer day than eat mayonnaise. Clearly the veggies are good, but I’d interrogate the wait staff before I ordered this menu item. What do you think?

Okay, before we ponder the fish-based dishes, these two options are certainly worth a mention. The Seasonal Green Dinner Salad and the Fresh Fruit Plate, these are probably you’re best choices if you’re planning to walk away from Gumbo Shop concession-free. For me, it would depend on my mood. Sometimes I’m more willing to bend than others, but, if I was feeling particularly anal I’d simply order one of these and call it a day. Heck, I might even order both!

If you keep up with this series you know that when I eat out I am willing to deviate from Eat to Live a little. Why? Quite frankly, it’s because I don’t eat out that often and I watch my diet closely 99% percent of the time. So, going a little “crazy” on that rare occasion that I’m actually eating outside the house is fine with me. And with that being said, let’s check out the fish dishes.

Well, there’s only two I’d consider ordering and their loaded uncertainty. The Fresh Fish Florentine and the Fresh Fish Creole. And why do I say uncertainty? Well, who knows what the fish is? It could be good or it could be bad. According to Dr. Fuhrman, if its something like tilapia or flounder your risk of mercury contamination is low, but, if its tuna or mackerel—you’ve got problems! So it’s a tough call. Sure the veggies in both dishes are great, but if you’ve got a bad piece of fish, why bother? Now if I were to go with the fish, rest assured, it’d be a while before you'd catch me eating fish again. Oh, and one more thing, the hollandaise sauce on the Fresh Fish Florentine—got to go!

See, I told you, a little tough. If I wanted to play it totally safe it can be done, but, with a little tweaking and some tolerance for concessions, you can make Gumbo Shop work. Not too bad, right? And as always, we want your feedback! Scope out Gumbo Shop’s menu and let us know how you Eat to Live on the Outside? Leave a comment or email us at diseaseproof@gmail.com.

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