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Monday, July 27, 2020

Carmo: A Tropical Cafe & Bar

Not Sponsored: Cafe Carmo: A Tropical Cafe & Bar is located in New Orleans Lower Garden District [this area is also known as the Warehouse District/Arts District of New Orleans (ADNO)]. It's very sophisticated, trendy and artsy. Simply gorgeous! I forgot to take a picture, but upon leaving Cafe Carmo a Lamborghini was parked right outside. To view other restaurants in this area click here. I know a lot of my readers are not from Louisiana or the States, so here's a handy link to the various neighborhoods in New Orleans. Let me give you a little background about Cafe Carmo. It was founded by Dana & Christina Honn (also here) in 2010. It serves multi-cultural cuisine from the Caribbean, Central and South America, West Africa, Southeast Asia, Gulf South and Beyond.

The outside of the cafe is so pretty. I really thought it was cool! I love their sign, cool artwork on the doors, assortment of plants & trees and most of all the soothing sound of the water coming from their outdoor fountain. I love fountains! They're so soothing, peaceful and relaxing. A little tid-bit about me. I keep a fountain on my desk. I love listening to it.

Cafe Carmo practices sustainability! They use bio-degradable compostable carryout containers, bags, flatware, cups, cleaning supplies. Their counters, fixtures and furniture (tables and chairs) are salvaged and recovered. They don't just stop there, Cafe Carmo serves only seafood which has been sustainably and reliably sourced. They are the only three-star rating in the State of Louisiana by the Green Restaurant Association (you can find a list of green restaurants for your city by clicking here) and the only restaurant in the state to be certified by Seafoodwatch. That's impressive!

  Iordered a cocktail. I had the Caipirinhas/Caipiroska, which is Brazil's National Drink. It is Cachaca or Vodka muddled with fresh lime & cane sugar. A Que Pina, is Barsol Pisco, fresh pineapple, lime, aji amarillo, mint & cilantro. Unfortunately, there are no pictures of the drinks. There's a glimpse of one further down. The reason for this was, I was too busy drinking mine. I forgot to take a picture. They're not sweet drinks, but they taste really good with the fresh fruit that's in them. Cafe Carmo offers both traditional & signature cocktails.

Now, the food! You guys, everything was SO DELICIOUS! For appetizers I had the Peruvian Ceviche (originated from Peru or Ecuador; it is fresh raw fish cured in fresh citrus juices and spiced with fresh seasonings) which is fish, sweet potato, aji imo, aji amarillo, choclo and cancha. I've never had ceviche! Anytime I hear raw seafood, my nose turns up! LOL But you guys, it is SO GOOD! It has such flavor. There are so many elements and each compliment one another. I ate it up. Also had Creole Banquette Bread, which has Havarti cheese, shrimp, scallions, onions, bell peppers and tomatoes. It's better than pizza! I was in heaven. It's light and crisp. I love the cheese & toppings.

Entrees were the Rico, which is plantains topped with panela cheese, house smoked heritage pork, avocado, salsa fresca, rico sauce, served with organic greens and vinaigrette and the Trifongo Relleno. It is Puerto Rico's heritage dish of seasoned mashed plantains, cassava and sweet potato with seafood ceviche (there are other variations such as vegan ceviche and smoked pork or vegan meat). COLORFUL! FLAVORFUL! FRESH! EVERY BITE WAS HEAVENLY!

I mentioned in a previous post, how I wasn't exposed to food from other cultures. I've never tried any of these dishes or drinks. I'm so glad I'm trying cuisines from other cultures. That's why I am sharing my experiences with you. I've always been a huge fan of history. My father majored in History and it's so fascinating. Don't limit yourself with just historical events. Push yourself to explore and find out more about your city, the food you're eating, clothes you're wearing. I'm taking each place I visit, whether it's a restaurant, place or event as a learning experience. I use to look at places to eat as JUST THAT places to eat. It's important to expand your vision. Look at what's around you! Find out who owns the place. What's the history and story behind them opening the restaurant? What do they believe in? What's the history of the area that surrounds it. Try to always find out more.

You know I had dessert! This is Cafe Carmo's Caribbean Banana Cake. So delicious! It has walnuts in it. From my experience, banana bread (loaf) that is dark in color is simply the best. And so is this cake. It's rich! Two can definitely share and I even brought a piece home. It's really good! They have Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cake, Kahlua Chocolate Pecan Cake, Hazelnut Pudding Cake, an assortment of cookies, Gateau and Brazilian Passion Fruit Mousse.

Some people cook and that's the way the food tastes. Nice. Edible. It's Food. But some people cook with PASSION, CARE and LOVE! It's extra special! That's Cafe Carmo! The presentation of the food. Where they get everything from. The freshness and colorfulness of the food. It ALL comes together. My experience there was absolutely exquisite. They offer dine in, take out and delivery. I will definitely patronize them again. I want to add my waiter was the nicest guy!

Before I left, they opened up a section towards the back!  I had to sneak a peak! Gorgeous, colorful artwork. I love brick walls! Love them! This separate area would be great to have a business luncheon, private party or celebration. There's a cooking area and bar. Plenty of places to sit. It truly has pizzazz. I  spotted the SUSTAINABILITY poster below. Read it. Its message is so beautiful. I added a copy of the menus below. I hope you enjoyed this review as much as I did spending time at Cafe Carmo. I encourage you to visit them when you're in the area.

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