Good food is good food, whether it’s the “she-she pooh-pooh” quarter-sized portions or the “heavin’ up the eats with a shovel” variety. Nevertheless, it can get iffy when you go to chain restaurants, where the fish is bland and the pasta has no personality. Thankfully, this is not the case with Copeland’s of New Orleans.
Copeland’s is located in Arkansas, Georgia, Texas, Maryland, Oklahoma, Florida and of course Louisiana. MCCN’s visit was to their Columbia, Maryland location. Centrally located near The Mall in Columbia, upon driving up to the restaurant you might think you’re about to enter a 1980’s pop club with the florescent lights beaming at optimal brightness, but hold on…entering the restaurant is a completely different story. The classic dark wood and dim surroundings are serene and cozy for a very comfortable dining experience.
Time to order…what to do? What to do? Let’s stall ’em by placing our appetizer order. “We’ll have an order of your Creole Calamari please! ” That’ll give us a few minutes to figure something out. Meanwhile, the hot buttered biscuits on the table seem to know each one of our names. And with each bite we remember more and more who they are…”Grandma how did you get in there?”
The calamari arrives and the tasting begins. “Uummh!” says one…”Uummh” goes another. All are pleased ! The calamari is seasoned, lightly dusted, crispy fried and served with Creole Remoulade Vinaigrette or marinara sauce. Both are good, but the Creole Remoulade has a spicy kick that should not be missed.
Three women – three orders, and two of them involve catfish. Plate #1 was the Crab -Stuffed Catfish Bordelaise, which was an 8 oz. fillet of catfish stuffed with crabmeat stuffing, seasoned and broiled then topped with garlic butter then served with Corn Macque Choux and steamed vegetables. Not your run of the mill combination of fish topped with crabmeat, these two complimented each other so well that eating them separately is an injustice. The portion was generous and the reception was pure satisfaction.
Plate #2 involved some nerves of steel…some adventurous eating on the partakers part. A discussion
had just taken place about eggplant. Sentiments of never really being satisfied with ordering eggplant or eating it in general. Somehow, some way, the partaker trudged past her own trepidation, probably letting herself be inspired by the picture on the menu, and ordered the Eggplant Pirogue. Her faith would be rewarded with a very enthusiastic thumbs up for this flavorful dish. Also a healthy serving, this eggplant dish served over angel hair pasta is smothered in au gratin sauce with shrimp and crab claws.
Plate #3 is an order of Catfish Acadiana and boy did those Cajuns really get it right! Golden fried catfish with creamy shrimp butter sauce. It’s usually served with steamed vegetables and Copeland’s Red Hot Potatoes, but this partaker indulged herself with a double dose of starch – red beans and rice and the mashed sweet potatoes. The red beans and rice were standardly good, but the mashed sweet potatoes are buttery sweetness at its best. Yes, you will need a sweet tooth for this dish; It is something to write home about. Dear Mom: Next time you visit, we’re going to go to Copeland’s of New Orleans!
Article by Monica Johnson