In a strip mall in Colorado Springs, CO, in the middle of the new growth on the north end of town is a Cajun/Creole place named Culpeppers. There’s no ambiance to speak of: just bright yellow paint. And the waitresses are little white girls, for the most part. Skinny.
But with time, they will become mighty black women who will tell you, “There’s still meat on that bone. You know you want it…now put down that knife and fork and suck the meat off that bone like you mean it.” And then they’ll call you by some name that means something sweet.
Lee had blackened pork chops with sweet potatoes and maque choux. He doesn’t like sweet potatoes; they were almost gone before I got a taste. They smelled like…cotton candy? Homemade caramel? Sugar on the edge of creme brulee, anyway. The pork chops, despite the seasoning, was almost as delicate-tasting as fish.
I had crawfish tails and gumbo. The crawfish tails were…gone. The gumbo was the taste of nostalgia (rather than possessing the depth and bitterness that a dark roux can bring you), perfectly suited to the fact that they serve people in Colorado. –A nit of mine when it comes to gumbo is the okra. I don’t like slimy vegetables. But the pieces here were cut down, modest; I suspect some okra had been cooked up, pureed, and blended back in.
I took some of the bread pudding home (as if I could eat it there) and was rewarded with chocolate hazelnut sauce. Rum sauce, I think. While we were waiting for it to come out, the owner, named Martin, introduced himself. He’s a tall guy with white hair who comes across as being almost genteel. I think he was amused by the fact that I had to smell everything before I ate it. Anyway, we told him we’d recommend the place, so here we are.
I can’t say it was the best meal of my life, but I did have to think about it for a hint of a second before I could say that. If you know what I mean.