Where Y’Eat: Creole Seafood Feasts, and a side of Donuts, in Central City

Dec 6, 2018

One reason I love pursuing New Orleans food is that you never can tell where you’ll find the next experience to turn your head, upend your expectations and get you talking about it to your friends. Well friends, I’m here to tell you about the latest such place for me.

PeeWee CrabCakes on the Go makes crabcakes to go. There’s truth in advertising for you.

It also makes seafood platters to go that fill catering pans and can fill three or four people. We’re not talking about the usual fried seafood mix either.
 
Consider one called the seafood disaster. This disaster is a blessing of crabcakes, spicy seafood pasta, a broiled lobster tail, catfish and even some broccoli to round it out.
 
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about PeeWee CrabCakes on the Go is that this take-out kitchen lives inside a Central City donut shop.
 
On Faith Donuts is a ramshackle cottage on Martin Luther King Boulevard, near South Claiborne. The normal menu has donuts and apple fritters and yakamein and po-boys.
 
The special seafood menu is the work of Charles “PeeWee” Armstrong, a New Orleans chef cutting his own path in his city’s ever-changing food scene.
It doesn’t look like much from the street, but it’s a foothold, and one the chef is using as a springboard. He recently started doing Friday night popups in the CBD.
 
When I was first scouting PeeWee in Central City, I learned to call ahead. The donut shop is not exactly a dine-in kind of place.
 
What I like about this cooking is how it feels intuitively at home in New Orleans, tied to a long tradition of black Creole cooking but also exuberantly personal. There’s a lot of flavor in these dishes, a lot of pride too, and the format means its accessible to more people.
 
I’ll welcome that combination any way we can get it, even as take-out from a donut shop. After all, the chef’s nickname is PeeWee but there’s nothing small about what he’s cooking up here.
 
PeeWee CrabCakes on the Go & On Faith Donut Shop
2908 Martin Luther King Blvd., 504-358-7986
Hot donuts from 6-10 a.m. daily; breakfast and lunch menu daily