It’s a seafood market mostly. It has a couple tables and it will cook seafood for you, for a fee. In this it greatly resembles New Orleans Seafood on Pleasant Hill. Lawrenceville Seafood is just a little smaller, the crawfish are a little less spicy, and the eatery is closer to those of us near Lawrenceville.

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My daughter and I had some of their crawfish for lunch recently.  Good stuff. Not a bad place if you’re wanting something spicy to take home to the  missus.

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Lawrenceville Seafood
2785 Cruse Road
Lawrenceville GA 30044
770-638-7517

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My wife is, once again, recovering from surgery and she was wanting soon dubu, or silky tofu soup. I didn’t think it would travel, and  offered to make some for her. She was skeptical. She had us buy pork chops at the same time. Well, pork chops are for another day, because the soon dubu experiment was a success and it wasn’t hard either.

Start with a heated ceramic bowl. Add oil, and sear your meats in the oil.

Add veggies and brown. Add soon dubu paste, do not burn. Later, add broth, taste, adjust flavors, and let it reach a boil. After a few minutes, add tofu, meats, seafood.

The cooking is done in a ceramic bowl. Those bowls can be had at Super H Mart; ours cost us about 10 dollars or so. You heat the bowl, and when it is hot,add some oil to your pot and add your meats. We had leftover meats, a sous-vide flat iron steak, and some baked chicken breast. We seared briefly, removed the meats, added veggies (chopped bok choy, some onion, some bamboo shoots) and cooked until browned. We added hot pepper paste (a commercial variety), heated and mixed until thoroughly worked through the veggies, then added beef stock. We then adjusted for taste. The original recipe (here) called for soy sauce, which added considerably to the flavor. We added some garlic powder, some salt, but 2-3 pinches of dried coarse hot pepper powder finally turned the trick. In retrospect, it is better to make your own soon dubu paste from hot pepper powder itself. The flavor will be significantly richer.

After simmering a minute or two, finish with an egg and add scallions.

While all that was going on, we had also purchased cooked frozen crawfish as our seafood component. We split the crawfish into two batches, one of which went into the freezer, the other sealed in a pint Food Saver bag and popped into a 130 degree pot to thaw.

Silky tofu is labelled soft tofu at Super H, and if I recall, 30 ounces of soft tofu runs about a dollar. Since you’re using leftover meats, whatever stock is handy (32 ounces of stock at Publix runs about a dollar as well), whatever veggies you can find, some spices, this whole meal is incredibly affordable.

Once the soup boils, you add back your meats and your seafood. The crawfish were nicely warm by the time we needed them. If there are any juices that the crawfish leave in a Food Saver bag, just pour them into the soup as well. After a minute or two with meats and seafood, you can add an egg if you like, and definitely add some chopped green onions.

Jimmy, of Eat It Atlanta, has a nice video of making soon dubu.

John Kessler has a video of an egg cooking in soon dubu.

Serious Eats has the recipe we mostly followed for our soups.

The “Food and I” blog has a good looking vegetarian soon dubu.

New Orleans Seafood is charming, in its own way. I’m delighted that Chow Down Atlanta found this restaurant, as there really is nothing like it anywhere near Snellville.  This is a small seafood store that also prepares food, and the owners are ethnically Vietnamese.  As I entered, I couldn’t help but think about all the Vietnamese around Kemah, Texas in the 1980s, who were the most reliable and inexpensive source of seafood for anyone near Houston at the time.   So to some extent, going to New Orleans Seafood feels as if I’m stepping back in time.

The chef that makes the food go comes from the Mobile, Alabama area. Mobile was a center of Vietnamese immigration, as access to the sea gave these immigrants a way to make a living. That same access to the Gulf also meant an exposure to Cajun customs and cooking, as Acadians range all over the Gulf.

In the middle of all the excitement, I managed to order hush puppies, a boudin ball, a shrimp po boy and about a pound of boiled crawfish.

The big sphere is the boudin ball.

After I entered and ordered, the lady of the eatery came out and ask how I had found the place. I told her I had seen this place on the Internet and she became so excited. Eventually I showed her Chloe’s web site and she started telling me about Chloe’s visit, how Chloe wanted to take pictures and all. It left me in a bit of a quandry, as I wanted to take pictures as well. But the food was ‘to go’ so I ended up leaving and taking pictures when I could stop.

The hush puppies were good. The boudin roll was very good, with a decent amount of spice. The po boy was decent, fresh shrimp combining with a good roll to make a very edible sandwich. But the best of them all were the boiled crawfish. They were the best I’ve had in Atlanta in years, very spicy and delicious. My daughter helped me eat these, and was saying afterwards, “It was so worth it!”

If I haven’t said, this eatery and store is in the same strip mall as “What the Pho?”

Verdict: Cajun seafood and dishes with a Vietnamese flair. Highly Recommended.

New Orleans Seafood
2442 Pleasant Hill Road, Suite 8
Duluth, GA 30096
(678) 474-0064

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