New Orleans cuisine is the definition of hearty, spicy food. From shrimp Po-Boys to crawfish etouffee, each bite is filled with Cajun spice. Schilleci's New Orleans Kitchen has a menu filled with New Orleans classic dishes, but the lackluster flavors left me dissatisfied.
I'd heard that Schilleci's is a happening place in The Woodlands Market Street and that the food is excellent. I had high hopes for this New Orleans restaurant, but was quickly disappointed from the moment I found out the chips offered at the table were store-bought and not homemade.
The owner of the restaurant greeted everyone who walked in with open arms, as though they had just entered his home. His warm and gentle spirit would make anyone feel comfortable and relaxed, but unfortunately that didn't make the food taste any better. My mother and I decided to eat outside since it was such a beautiful night, however, the outdoor seating was dull because there wasn't any music playing; no liveliness or fun atmosphere. I expected there to be jazz music or something to bring me to Bourbon Street. If there had been a little bit of ambiance outside, I bet the dining experience would have been better.
We decided to start with the garden salads before our main entrees came, and those were just okay. If you're going to serve homemade croutons, at least season them a little bit. It's a New Orleans restaurant, so you'd think there would be a little pizazz.
Next, our entrees arrived. I decided to try the seafood gumbo. Seafood gumbo is one of my favorite Cajun dishes. The cup of gumbo had okra, shrimp, green onions and crumbles of crab meat with rice. Each bite was tasty, but it left me wanting more flavor and more spice. Maybe the atmosphere had already turned me off to the restaurant, causing me to not enjoy my dinner, but seafood gumbo is such a classic, that it needs a little something to stand out.
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My mom ordered the fried crab cakes that came with remoulade sauce. The problem with these cakes was that there was too much bread and not enough crab. The crab needs to be the star here, otherwise the cake tastes like soft, wet bread.
I have heard wonderful things about Schilleci's, but my experience was disappointing. If the restaurant makes the necessary changes with the atmosphere and flavor of the food, I would consider dining there again.