Roastin’ gator at Lagniappes French Quarter Cafe
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • February 21, 2012 @ 10:00am
Eating roasted alligator is old hat in the South, but it’s still pretty new to us in Buffalo.
Lagniappes French Quarter Cafe and chef/owner Chris Silverstein will host the fifth annual Alligator Roast in Allentown today at 3 p.m. to bring authentic New Orleans to Buffalo on Fat Tuesday. In the South, “people look for any reason to include alligator in their dishes,” Silverstein admits.
The gator will be cooked slowly on a spit outside the restaurant at 3—the public is welcome to watch (read: gape)—and the restaurant opens its doors for food at 4 p.m. Lagniappes, which means “a little something extra,” will remain open until midnight.
Alligator will be served until supplies last—probably around 9 p.m., Silverstein estimated—so be sure to stop by earlier in the day during Buffalo’s Mardi Gras festivities. Silverstein says the restaurant is not accepting reservations for this evening.
Speaking with Silverstein Monday night, I asked him to describe the taste of alligator. “It’s a slightly more fishy, gamey version of pulled pork,” the chef said. “It definitely doesn’t taste like chicken.”
Silverstein, who worked for five years at two different restaurants in New Orleans, mentioned that the gator will be served with a smoky barbecue sauce. The Alligator Roast also happens during the Allentown Art Festival, one of the highlights of summer in Buffalo.
Photo courtesy of Flickr / Bogeskov
Thanks to Emeri Krawczyk for the heads-up on the Gator Roast.