July 19, 2009

Mara's Homemade - Louisiana crawfish brought to the East Village

crawfish stuffed breadMara's Homemade is a very unassuming little restaurant down in the east village.

Everything is homemade - Mara herself is there almost every night with the kitchen serving up specialities from the South.

Everything is as fresh as can be with crawfish flown up from Louisiana daily during season.

Mara's Homemade offers both "land selections" such as chicken fried steak and a delicious tangy version of mac'n'cheese.

There is also an Arkansas BBQ menu offering up smoked meat platters as well as St. Louis and Baby Back ribs.  Order ahead for party orders - why do the work for your next BBQ when you can pick up a party platter from Mara's??

As for seafood selections - this is where I think Mara's Homemade really shines.

Crawfish stuffed bread is one of the specialities of the house - when we were there almost every table ordered it!  At $16 bucks it's not the cheapest, but you get a fresh baguette stuffed with crawfish and cheese - all gooey, pouring out of the bread.  Enough to definitely feed 4-6 as an appetizer.

If it's crawfish season - order by the bucket, but get ready to work for your dinner.  Crawfish are kinda like tiny lobsters - requiring a lot of work.  If you're lucky like me you have a boyfriend who loves digging out these critters.  It's worth it - tangy and delicious, there are certainly not many places you can get fresh crawfish like this in the city!

If you don't want to do the work - go for the crawfish potpie - spicy and served piping hot with a wonderful flaky top, it beats most lobster pot pies around the city.

lobster roll at Mara's HomemadeWhile the lobster roll was good, it didn't hold a candle to the Red Hook Lobster Pound roll.  Served with delicious onion rings, the lobster roll was nice and fresh- one of the better ones in Manhattan if you aren't prepared to trek across the bridge on Sundays for the sometimes long wait at the Brooklyn Flea.

corn pudding at Mara's Homemade
Sides should not go unnoticed here.  I usually get the corn pudding which is decadent and creamy with a nice crust, and the mac'n'cheese - served bubbling hot with an extra kick of spice.

Be prepared to wait a bit for your food - it's well worth it since everything is made to order and comes steaming from the oven.

As for dessert, there are seasonal specialties - if they have the strawberry almond pie - an almond graham cracker crusted pie, order it!  Everyone loves it.  Another go-to choice is whatever the fresh cobbler of the day is.  I especially love it when it's peach.

Be prepared to undo your belt buckle after a visit to Mara's.  I always go home stuffed to the brim and with leftovers to boot!

Make reservations on the weekends - it's a tiny place and it sure does fill up quickly.

Mara's Homemade
342 East 6th St (Between 1st and 2nd Ave)

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