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Momma Pearl’s Cajun Kitchen still a pearl at its new north location 

click to enlarge GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell

Momma Pearl’s Cajun Kitchen, 162 Tracker Drive, #110, 964-0234, mommapearls.com

We have some trouble finding Momma Pearl’s new location because the lighted sign above its storefront still reads 719 Gastropub. But the detective work proves well worth it. The long bar and dining room gives Robert Brunet’s Louisiana-true spot a degree of refinement the food always warranted.

His team’s turned the super-long tap wall into a full bar, so we try a Hurricane from the list of Big Easy traditional cocktails. Tart passion fruit syrup and lemon juice mellow white rum, though the booze kicks at the end, and while it’s a fruity drink, it’s not sugary sweet. It cuts the heat in our dishes. Catfish Pontchartrain bears a medium-heat crawfish étouffée atop fried catfish fillets and rice. We enjoy the earthiness and onion notes of the étouffée, and the late-coming, lingering heat, as well as the crisp exterior of the fish, though we do find a few ribs in one fillet.

We have no complaints about the andouille po’boy, which has smoky sausage coins and plenty of lettuce and tomato to go with creamy-bright remoulade sauce. Side sweet potato fries get a spicy seasoning that burns hotter than the étouffée.

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