Seasons’ menu bursts with New Orleans cuisine
By Mark Taylor Post-Tribune correspondent February 1, 2012 4:00PM
If you go
◆ Seasons Catering and Restaurant
◆ 7219 Taft St., Merrillville, in the Strack & Van Til shopping plaza
◆ Open for lunch and dinner noon-9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; noon- 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon-7 p.m. Sunday.
◆ Seasons offers live jazz on Fridays and Saturday, “Jazzy Lunch Specials” Wednesday-Saturday and a fixed price Valentine’s Day champagne dinner with live music.
◆ Call 756-4663;
online at seasonscatering.net
Fried okra, pickles, green tomatoes or green beans are $4.95. Our gumbo and Louisiana crab cakes each cost $6.95 and the Mardi Gras Sampler is $9.95. Po’ boy sandwiches are $6.95 to $8.95. My wife’s Southern fried chicken is $11.95, the same price as my half slab of baby back ribs. Jambalaya is $10.95 and Southern catfish and grits is $10.95. A 12-count jumbo shrimp dinner is $18.95.
Desserts start at $1.95 for vanilla ice cream. Sweet potato pie is $1.25, banana pudding is $3.75 and our chocolate and red velvet cakes cost $4. Seasons offers a limited selection of beers and wines from $3 to $6.
Updated: March 4, 2012 8:05AM
What could be better than sipping a cold beer and listening to live jazz?
Eating Cajun, Creole and traditional Southern cuisine while sipping a cold beer and listening to live jazz, that’s what.
And Seasons Catering and Restaurant delivers that and more. Seasons is a warm, cozy and friendly eatery in a Merrillville strip mall. But entering this fine restaurant feels like being transported about 700 miles south of wintery Northwest Indiana.
Owners Hardin and Carmen Danzy are veteran caterers and restaurateurs, and executive chef Alton Omonte performed the same duties in Atlanta. Dishes are homemade, prepared from scratch.
While we waited for our drinks and appetizers, we enjoyed hearing the three-piece Michael Turner Band light the joint up, playing a mixture of jazz and pop standards.
From a starters list that included staples like fried green tomatoes, Southern fried okra and sweet potato fries, we split a bowl of gumbo and an order of Louisiana crab cakes.
The gumbo was a piquant, but not overly spicy stew that includes generous servings of chicken, Andouille sausage and shrimp thickened and flavored with okra, peppers and onions.
The twin crab cakes were broiled to a golden crust and included plenty of crabmeat nicely complemented by the tangy remoulade sauce, a snappier version of the French mayonnaise-based original.
Seasons’ dinner menu includes many favorites: one-half dozen New Orleans-style po’ boy sandwiches, shrimp and catfish dishes, jambalaya, fried chicken and ribs.
My wife chose her favorite Southern dish — fried chicken. Seasons’ version is well-seasoned, cooked to a crispy finish, tender and juicy.
Seasons’ entrees come with a choice of side dishes, which include candied yams, sweet potato fries, black-eyed peas and Creole baked beans. My wife chose the candied yams, which were redolent of ginger, nutmeg and cloves and the Creole baked beans, which were both sweet and spicy.
I ordered a half slab of baby back bibs — smoked, meaty ribs that were tender and flavorful, but somehow lacked that “fresh off the grill” texture that rib lovers like me appreciate. The sauce was pleasantly zesty and the meat parted from the bones easily. I ordered the red beans and rice, and creamy cole slaw. I liked both, but would have enjoyed the rice and beans a little more if some pureed beans had been added to this New Orleans staple.
We split an order of blackened shrimp and shrimp-stewed grits, which were served with a beguiling peppery sauce and creamy pepper jack cheese grits. I would recommend this one heartily.
There was very little room for dessert, but we’re troupers who recognize their responsibility. Seasons was out of peach cobbler and banana pudding and the sweet potato pie sounded delicious, but we chose the chocolate layer cake and the red velvet cake. Both were decadently rich and flavorful.