Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Swamp Shack

(NOTE: Trey closed his downtown location in spring 2013.)

The Swamp Shack is a cajun/creole food cart located near SW 5th and Stark in downtown Portland, Oregon. Owner Trey Corkern hails from Louisiana, growing up in a town just north of New Orleans.

What can I say? I have no clue how this place evaded me all this time. I had it on my list of places, then a bazillion events occurred that distracted me. Finally, when I met a friend for lunch downtown one day, we agreed: eat at Swamp Shack.

It's not a large menu, with jambalaya, etoufee, po'boys, and beignets being the main attractions. Shrimp and grits may show up as a special.

Regular menu
(March 2012)

Another menu with descriptions of each dish
But holy Shack Bomb. No really, that's the name of the dish: Shack Bomb. Trey's jambalaya topped with crawfish etoufee! Dude! $10 to basically get two regular menu items on the same plate? Score!

Shack Bomb
(The Swamp Shack)
We each got one of those, and my friend also ordered some beignets ($4 for eight small beignets).

The jambalaya has alligator sausage. That'd be another item I can check off the list of things to try. Trey knows how to cook some great food! Perfectly cooked jambalaya served as a bed for that etoufee. The crawfish came through, and with each bite, I yearned for more. That etoufee has some body to it, but is not extremely thick.

The portion may be fairly deceptive. It seems small at first glance, but ultimately fills you up.Mission accomplished!

My friend and I agreed that the beignets were just OK. I'm unsure if they were pulled fresh from the fryer, but this time, they were definitely more room-temperature to the touch when we ate them. Only a large air pocket in the middle of some of these delicacies. I liked Trey's use of a white paper bag in combining beignets with powdered sugar, then serving the bag.

(The Swamp Shack)
The Shack Bomb was a big hit, while the beignets are easily fixable in execution. I envy my friend, because he works downtown and can come here for lunch whenever he wants. Check out Swamp Shack ASAP! 7.25/10

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