El Gato Negro means “The Black Cat” in Spanish. I’ve been hearing people praise this place forever. Long ago I tried the French Quarter location, and honestly, it’s been so long I can’t even remember what I had. Never mind if it was good or not. A coworker of mine came in weeks ago talking about the great Mexican dinner he had at El Gato Negro. I asked him if he went to the one in the French Quarter or in Lakeview. He said in Gretna! I had no idea they had opened one there! That’s on the same side of the Mississippi River that I live on. Much closer to my house and more convenient!
During the week I checked out their website and menu. They say they serve authentic Mexican cuisine, which isn’t too common in New Orleans. When I think of authentic Mexican food, I think of Mole sauce. The ones made with chocolate. I love chocolate. So the idea of putting cocoa powder, or however they do it, in a sauce and making it savory instead of sweet, really appeals to me! I don’t think I’ve ever had it. So I was determined to get in here and try something with Mole.
BUT then I saw a lobster claw meat burrito on the menu. Sweet Jesus! How could I pass that up? Lobster is my favorite seafood in the world! Since I was dining alone, there was no way I’d be able to eat both. I was in a serious dilemma!
But then Friday night I had dinner at Caffe! Caffe!, which consisted of shrimp soup and a shrimp salad sandwich. Next, I saw an appetizer here featuring shrimp that I had to try. So even though I’m a New Orleanian, and eating seafood is ingrained in my DNA, I knew I wouldn’t be in the mood for lobster after eating so much shrimp. Never thought I’d hear myself say I wasn’t in the mood for lobster! So a Mole dish it was going to be.
I decided on Stuffed Haas Avocado for an appetizer, and El Burrito Con Mole (burrito with mole) for my entrée.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE FOOD! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The obligatory chips and salsa were VERY good! Very fresh, sturdy chips and great salsa.
A Haas avocado is pretty small. When I saw it on the menu I was wondering how you’d stuff one? Seems like not much could fit in the hole left by the pit. So I was expecting a pretty small appetizer.
Well, when they brought it to the table the question of how to stuff one was answered. You just throw a whole bunch of stuff on it and whatever lands in the hole, lands in the hole! Couldn’t even see the avocado! But if you look at the picture on the right, there was one in there.
Delicious appetizer, that I’m sure could be an entrée for a normal person. I’m not normal. Plenty of huge shrimp, mushrooms, corn and eggplant in a tasty sauce.
Next was my chicken burrito with the much anticipated Mole sauce. I was not disappointed! That sauce was fantastic! And they poured it on heavy! I was thinking about ordering a side of rice and beans to go with it but I’m glad I didn’t. With all the rice, beans and corn in the burrito, no side is necessary. And the chicken in it was great.
On a side note, the two Mole sauce dishes on the menu feature chicken as the protein. I’m not a big chicken fan, so I asked my waiter if there was some other dish that came with the Mole sauce. He said those were the only two on the menu, but they could make whatever dish I wanted with it happen! But I figured my first time trying it, I’d try it the way they intended it to be. Now That I’m familiar with it’s flavor, I’ll experiment a bit next time.
Fantastic lunch here. I definitely recommend this place. I’ll be back!
301-303 Huey P. Lomg Ave., Gretna, LA 70053 Ph: 504-354-9593