No two bowls of gumbo should be exactly the same. Heck, even when they’re served from the same pot the precise mixture of seafood and meat and seasoning may differ from bowl to bowl, based on the luck of the ladle. This is certainly the case with Creole gumbo, a down-home style sometimes described as kitchen sink.
And yet, even for the endless gumbo variations out there, sometimes an overarching house style for a particular gumbo can speak to you in a voice you may recognize even years after your last taste.
That’s just how food memories are wired, and that was my experience recently over a bowl of gumbo at Dunbar's Creole Cuisine.