Eat It, Damn It!

Reviews, raves, slams, and damns.

AnnaStella Cajun Bistro

Along the waterfront in St. Petersburg lies the Museum of Fine Arts. MG & I were going to check out the Egypt exhibition, containing over 100 pieces from ancient Egypt. In the hopes of missing most of the crowd, we got up early, threw a little breakfast down our necks and were on our way. Around the museum are a large number of restaurants. Many of them feature outdoor seating with views of the park and the little inlet of water.

AnnaStella Sign
The most compelling part of AnnaStella was a sign that declared fresh Beignets served within. Damn! I wish I skipped breakfast. Nevertheless, MG & I kept the place in mind and went off to the museum.

The exhibit was quite good and pretty extensive. Except for one jerk who decided to read everything aloud, ask the most inane questions of his companion (“Egyptians liked cats, right?”), make comments that had nothing to do with Egypt (“Boy, am I sore from the gym yesterday,”) speak at a volume that could only be described as obnoxious, and basically annoy the crap out of everyone within earshot, I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit.

It was time for some lunch. Back we went to the land of the beignets.

Beignets
A regular order of Beignets ($3.95) features three of the little pillows. They were very tasty. They lacked the odd shapes and random crunchy parts of Cafe du Monde‘s beignets, but they were nice. Imagine a doughnut with a bit more substance and a little less yield. MG was also fond of them.

Strawberry Crepes
She got an order of Strawberry Crepes ($6.95). While not mind-blowing, if you are in the mood for crepes, these would serve you well. The filling is a nice mixture of preserves and solid chunks. The pastry is very light and tasty.

Shrimp and Chicken Gumbo
I also got an order of Chicken and Shrimp Gumbo ($5.95, small). It was excellent. The broth was thick and rich, the chicken was well cooked, but tender and tasty. While not bursting with shrimp, they certainly did not skimp. I would not hesitate to order this again. Even the accompanying bread was fresh and nice. There were a few other forms of gumbo on the menu, well worth checking out if they are anything like this concoction.

The vibe at AnnaStella is very laid back. There are a few tables, a couch area for dining as well as reading, and a small counter section (where MG & I sat). Photographs of New Orleans and artistic studies line the walls. It seems equally comfortable for a cup of coffee and a snack or a meal for five friends.

I was surprised that everyone that worked at AnnaStella appeared to be from an Eastern Bloc country. Their menu is decidedly cajun, and I am not aware of a large former USSR contingent in New Orleans. I realize that some readers might be saying to themselves “So what?” It’s not a big deal, but I’m sure you would raise an eyebrow if you sat down to a meal in a Chinese restaurant and a 6’5″ black man with an afro and a dashiki came out to take your order. I’m not suggesting that you would leave, but you might think “That’s interesting.”

Ethnicity and origin aside, don’t hesitate to stop in at AnnaStella Cajun Bistro. The service is friendly, the atmosphere is nice, and the food is quite good.

AnnaStella Cajun Bistro
300 Beach Drive NE
Suite 128
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
727-498-8978
(Google Map)

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One response to “AnnaStella Cajun Bistro

  1. BobM January 2, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    MY wife and I stopped by for lunch. We asked for an outdoor table and the waiter ordered another waiter to clear the table. While he picked up the dishes, he complained loudly about his employer. He then informed us that service would be slow, at least a half hour. That might be understandable if they were busy, but they were not. The had four outside tables going and almost no customers indoors. The waiter never returned to finish clearing the table. But he did appear in order to go to the park across the street for about 10 minutes. We are easy customers and appreciative of servers efforts, even when they fall short. We have experienced hundreds of restaurants across North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Asia.; but never have we been treated as arrogantly and rudely as we were here. From other reviews, I see that our experience was not an exception.

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