Today my wife suggested that we catch some lunch at Gumbo Zydeco. I haven’t been to this restaurant since the first time I ever went there and since they won the People’s Choice award at the 2017 Taste of The Valley showcase here in Russellville. Now to say I was excited about going today was and understatement, however!! We went inside with all three kiddos and after a moment was told to be seated somewhere more comfortable where we had more room, awesome, good start. It did however travel somewhat down hill form there.
Our waitress was not the first one to greet us but the other waitress and not the one to get us our drinks either, she finally made it over to the table to get our order seeming that she was in a big hurry the whole time. We were delivered our appetizer and it seemed to be a different version that the first time I visited, this version of the shrimp and rotel dip was just that, shrimp and a velveeta rotel dip that is a staple in most households here in Russellville. somewhere in the midst of finishing our app I ran out of my water and from there until the end of our meal did I wait for it to be refilled. The rest of our order was delivered and I was very pleased with the flavor of my seafood gumbo, but my wife’s red beans and rice had an unpleasant sour taste to it, not what I had the pleasure of experiencing the first time around, disappointed.
Feeling deflated I asked for some ketchup for my children’s nuggets and finally after several minutes had to ask the other waitress to again fulfill the order for the ketchup. I trudged through the remaining parts of the meal and we packed our things and fled. I don’t have a whole lot of patience and empathy for bad or shotty service, there just isn’t many excuses when you work in this type of environment, this industry where your livelihood depends directly on the service you provide. there is never a guest or large party that deserves more attention or regard as the next. This trip left me to wonder if the sudden onset of popularity form winning the peoples choice may have rendered them overwhelmed and unprepared, but alas I hope to find them again in the future and to have a wonderful meal as I know they are known for. Till then
Finally, after several weeks of knowing about this place, I finally had the opportunity to dine. Someone told me about a place where you could find a crab stuffed deep fried avocado. That’s right, I said crab stuffed deep fried avocado.. I knew from that moment I must find this sacred place. If you are driving down Cantrell rd. in Little Rock and you see the Pavilion in the Park sign, you must stop. Tucked down the stairs and under Bauman’s clothing store you will find Trio’s. We walked in around 7:30 p.m. on a Saturday night expecting a wait and a very busy, loud atmosphere. That didn’t happen at all. The place was definitely full so we asked for a high-top in the bar section, we were seated and greeted within a minute (a big plus for me). I noticed right off the bat that the staff was wonderfully attentive. A young server saw me looking around at one point, as I was merely taking it all in, she stopped what she was doing just to ask if she could help me find anything, awesome! That same young lady knew we were ready to leave and noticed our check sitting there-being waited on by the bartender isn’t always the quickest- but when the rest of your staff has the skills and service orientation as this staff does it just doesn’t matter. This is always how customer service should be. The server happily processed our payment and we left.
Now let’s talk food. My wife and I read the menu online during our commute to LR so we had a good idea of what we wanted. We definitely wanted to splurge and get our most favorite apps, the fried green tomatoes and shrimp a.k.a. Triple G-force. They were drizzled with the newly coveted green goddess. The green goddess is a dressing that caught my immediate attention as the flavor exploded in my mouth, the sweetness and tangy profile is simply heroic. We also ordered my wife’s all time favorite restaurant app, the spinach and artichoke dip. For the main course we had the Herb and Lemon roasted chicken with potatoes for my wife and the Tuna Poke (pronounced Poke-ay not poke-oops, my bad!.) Bowl for myself. I had to ask the server how in the world they prepared the potatoes because they literally seemed to eat like a vegetable truffle of sorts. I mean the perfectly crispy outside of the potato was seasoned to perfection and then the bite offered a buttery mashed potato texture, just melting away with each bite, probably my favorite part of her dish. The other week, I saw a TV special about this new culinary treat coming from Hawaii called the Poke (there it is again…poke-ay) bowl. As I watched I got very interested in trying to find somewhere to experience this treat and as my wife read off the menu in the car and came to the Ahi Poke bowl, I knew what I was having. As she continued she mentioned watermelon and radish which she separated assuming there should have been a comma between the two words printed on the menu. When the waiter brought my bowl I asked “what is that pink medallion?” he stated it was a watermelon radish, “oh I see” I said and smiled as my wife was busting out laughing and blushing a bit. Anyway, this medley of vegetable, fruit, and raw tuna was everything I had hoped and dreamed it would be.
Trio’s, I applaud you for a job well done, your service is impeccable and your food the same, may your cuisine grace more and more novice foodies and may you become a destination eatery for new guests for years to come. Thank You