My son and I have officially put Maple Tree Inn into our top 3 all time restaurants---hands down!! We were averaging 3 or 4 times a year, and then for some reason, we missed 2 years, but we're baaaaaaaaaack!!!
The Tree is simply better than ever. Unfortunately, "Mr. Charlie" Orr passed on within the past 2 years. But his presence is still felt. Daughter Kate & son-in-law Eric have done Charlie proud. They have kept the same menu, and added many more goodies, making it almost impossible to order anything, because you want to order EVERYTHING!!!
The seafood gumbo is better than anywhere, including New Orleans. We each had a "cup", which are bigger than any BOWL I've ever had in a restaurant. Then we shared an appetizer of fried alligator that was out of this world---the dipping sauce is simply wonderful.
They bring you refills on the wonderful, chewy bread & corn muffins, and they leave a wine bottle filled with ice water on the table---the waiter replaced that as well.
Emily the bartender makes the most delicious & decently-sized drinks. My son had a dirty blue martini and a cajun martini---I had two Creole VooDoo Zombies---gotta be careful---their drinks are not only delicious, they are potent!! Martinis were $2 off (Weds.)
We both ordered the same entree---my son come in with his mouth watering for his fave dish at the Tree---one pound of Hickory Buttered Shrimp, and I came in with my mouth watering for my fave dish, the Crawfish Etoufee---so what did we both end up eating? Crabe Avec Crabe---3 large, perfectly fried soft shell crabs, covered with candied smoked peacans & chunks of lump crab meat. And each plate was host to a humongous serving of cajun sweet potato fries to die for. My son has never had soft shell crabs (he is 36), and he thought he died and went to Heaven---my sentiments exactly. Such a delicacy of the sea---best preparation I have ever tasted!
We would have loved to have had dessert, but were both stuffed. Maybe next time. I wish I had known that they knock off 5% from the bill if you pay with cash, as I drove right by my ATM on the drive to the Maple Tree---a nice touch, and I'll know better for next time.
Our waiter was a magnificent young man named Jacob---he was polite enough to tell me that all of the servers there are top notch, as I have read on some of the other TripAdvisor reviews. It is a direct shot from my house to the Maple Tree Inn, but for those who have never been there before, it can be a bit tricky finding it, as it is on Old Western Avenue, and the Western Avenue Overpass goes right over the place. I would suggest first-timers call ahead for directions, especially if coming from the north. Plenty of free parking is a nice plus. The neighborhood looks old, but it is not dangerous. Back in the 70's, this place was known as Helen's Olde Lantern, a fine Blue Island steakhouse. Helen has passed on long ago. The ambience is somewhat dark, but so relaxing---we lingered for 2 hours---would have stayed longer if we had room for dessert. This place is special. Dinner for two with all of the above mentioned items was $105.00, and worth every penny! Would have been $100.00 if paid by cash.
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