See Ya Later, Alligator: A Birthday Dinner at Trapper’s Fishcamp

All I typically want for my birthday is for someone to take me out to a moderately pricey dinner. It’s the one wish I tell multiple friends when they ask, resulting in, typically, multiple delicious dinners to write about. Ain’t I lucky?

This year, one of the first I received was an all-expense-paid trip to Trapper’s Fishcamp, 4300 W. Reno, to edibley exploit one of my absolute favorite dishes – Alligator.

The last time I had this carefully cooked dish at a restaurant was some 25 years ago on a date at the late and lamented Kodiak on Memorial Rd. I’ll never forget it because it was a rather memorable high school set-up where I fell in love not with the girl, but the forbidden food that I had been warned about repeatedly by multiple Baptists because, apparently, it was a sin against God to eat a reptile.

While God—or their odd interpretation of Him—might not have liked my culinary choice, I truly became an impassioned craver of these large lizards and their expressed cookability. Sadly, it’s a role I didn’t take all that seriously, because shortly thereafter I forgot about my new direction in life and, instead, got really into some other new pre-internet food delight.

But it was my birthday this week and here I was at Trapper’s, a bayou-esque eatery that I have been wanting to try for an embarrassing amount of time due to an embarrassing lack of cash. However, for this personal holiday, I was going to return to the swamp and reclaim that leathery bounty, in this brazenly full den of fish and other seafood.

But, before sampling the belly-flopping mud-creature, I couldn’t help myself and ordered an appetizer of Buffalo Oysters ($15.00). Trapper’s signature dish, it was a half-dozen flash-fried oysters gurgling on Louisiana buffalo sauce and then dipped momentarily in their homemade bleu cheese dressing and, even though I dutifully craved the alligator, it was a tangy treat that warmed my belly most suitably.

Before the oysters were even gone, however, our main entrees arrived, complete with a salad. With whiplash ferocity, my dark, black, beady eyes aimed for the Blackened Alligator Dinner ($21.00). Served on a bed of filling dirty rice with a helping of zingy Creole Meuniere sauce ladled over the top for the desired effect, I dipped my fork deep into the cast iron skillet and took out a hearty helping.

As I bit into the rich alligator meat, diced clean and neat for my visual edification, I slowly enjoyed it as my own jaws of death suckled every bit of taste out of every gamy morsel, giving me that feeling of first love that I had experienced back at Kodiak, but with a true appreciation for the full life that the large reptile lived as I slowly absorbed his fighting, biting spirit into my own being.

With nearly half of the dish gone, I was reaching my breaking point. I packed the leftovers in a container to imbibe on later, with very few people ever reaching the heights of happiness that I was currently embracing.

As a surprise, my friend ordered a helping of Bananas Foster ($11.00) and, as much as I rightly enjoyed it, there’s still a part of me that wanted to sprinkle alligator bits all over it as well.


Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

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13 Responses

  1. Not sure if you’ve done Pearls Crabtown, but they have alligator and many other things I think you would find enjoyable. Things like Crab Pot Pie-Crab crusted salmon and a thing called a Trash bucket which I think you would find not only interesting but you would appreciate the concept. I apologize if you’ve already been there/done that.

    1. Pearl’s (restaurant) used to be good (ate there decades ago), but now they’re a shadow of their former self, ate there twice in the past 10-15 years (once to see how they were, then once to see if they had a bad day the first time we went, and nope, same and not good). Crabtown is just not that good, ate there once maybe 7-8 years ago, completely average. Trapper’s is the best out of all of them, and strangely, have to agree with Louis this time – the Blackened Alligator Dinner is wonderful.

  2. I’d like to try that. It sounds wonderful. The only time I’ve eaten alligator, it had the consistency of a lump of rubber and had no taste at all. We probably did a poor job of preparing it.

    People find the weirdest things in the bible to follow while ignoring the rest of the book. Like the video I saw recently of a guy covered in tattoos (Leviticus 19:28) telling some girls on the beach to cover up more because God didn’t like their bikinis.

    I never heard before that God didn’t want us to eat reptiles in particular. But aren’t they in the same category as pork, shellfish, and fish without scales, i.e. non-kosher? Things that most Christians love and enjoy heartily?

    1. You should try it there, the alligator is in smaller pieces than the regular “fried alligator tail” that’s on the menu at places, the spice is really good, but it is hot (my tolerance is super-high, so it’s not too bad for me, but could be too spicy for someone not used to it).

    2. :::Like the video I saw recently of a guy covered in tattoos (Leviticus 19:28) telling some girls on the beach to cover up more because God didn’t like their bikinis.:::

      My brother, I need a ruling…

      I’m thinking of getting a tattoo of myself eating pork and shellfish simultaneously, and also mixing dairy and meat….but there’s a crucifix on the wall in the background, so by my reckoning it cancels out the bad ju-ju (or is it spelled Jew-Jew? I always get confused.) Either that, or a depiction of me and Satan playing poker with Jesus, and looking all mad because Jesus somehow won the entire pot, and he’s scooping up all the chips with a demented grin on his face. (In the tattoo smoke is coming out of Satan’s head and sparks are flying off his fingertips. I just look dejected, as usual.)

      Anyhow, what I need to know is, how many years in hell will I be sentenced to if I go ahead with one or both of these tats, and do I get time off for misbehavior? Any help is much appreciated!

      1. No time off from Hell. I think you mean Purgatory. At least that’s what Sister said after my ruler spanking.

        1. You are right. Hell is eternal. The “selling of indulgences” corruption to which Martin Luther objected supposedly bought paroles for the departed doing time in purgatory.

          My meager understanding of Judaism is that they don’t obsess so much over heaven and hell. I’m not even sure that they anticipate an afterlife.

          It amazes me how Christians like to pick and choose which obscure parts of the “Old” Testament still apply, Jesus having brought a “New” Testament.

          1. Concern with an afterlife depends upon how close or far you are from Orthodox Judaism. At least that’s what my Rabbi told me.

    3. Alligators are trafe (not kosher).

      1. Neither is pork blood pudding, but it sure tastes good with eggs and fried potatoes.

        1. I’ll take you word for it.

  3. My fav was happy hour at The Shack on Memorial. They had half price oysters on the half shell, great with some Abita Amber. The Oysters were large and fresh. The only place in OKC that I’ve had consistently good raw oysters. Red the bartender was tops.

    They’ve been closed since the Covid. I hope they come back.

  4. This:
    ” a true appreciation for the full life that the large reptile lived as I slowly absorbed his fighting, biting spirit into my own being.”
    Thank you Louis.

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