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Monday, November 15, 2010

Mandina's Restaurant

After a long fundraising strategy session, I went out to an early dinner at Mandina's Restaurant. Offering Creole/Italian, the place was noisy and busy on a Sunday afternoon but the Bloody Mary's were good and we were fine at the bar until our table was ready.

While it has been a while since I've seen an iceberg lettuce salad, the blue cheese dressing on it was delicious. We ordered the veal parmesan with spaghetti, grilled shrimp with pasta bordelaise and fried shrimp with french fries. This place serves huge portions. Any one of the meals could have fed all three of us. The veal was terrific and the garlic sauce on the grilled shrimp was powerful without being overpowering. The fried shrimp were good and filling. By the time dinner was over, we had no room for the bread pudding (which was good because it wasn't particularly good--I'm not a fan of raisins, so the layer of them didn't help the odd concoction).

The waitstaff was fast as they danced around the crowded tables. Our particular server's joking about removing the evidence of all the empty beer bottles endeared him to my Mom and his quick refilling of my iced tea kept me happy as I unwound from my day.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

LA Renaissance Festival & Middendorf's



The Louisiana Renaissance Festival is where the redneck nerds go to have fun. The village of Albright has about 100 venders, lots of games for the younger kids, craft exhibitions, comedy and music acts. We saw some jesters roaming, the herald delivering news and Queen Elizabeth's procession through the town. We watched the glassblower and admired the birds of prey. Covering almost 10 acres (surrounding a lake), bring comfortable walking shoes and a good attitude and you'll get back the ticket price in pure entertainment value.

The food we nibbled on included turkey legs, jester chips, cotton candy, and we quaffed some truly great root beer.

The Ren Fest is up in Hammond so we came back to New Orleans by way of Middendorf's and enjoyed the best fried catfish on the planet. The place was packed at 3pm on a Saturday but they had us in and served quickly. That stop made two new believers in the amazingness of their catfish.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Mondo

Susan Spicer is an icon of the New Orleans cooking renaissance. Her new restaurant, Mondo, opened recently in the recovering Lakeview area.

This restaurant is best described as casual dining with an eclectic variety of food. The fried eggplant appetizer was perfection--well fried and almost smooth as butter inside. I had the most unique po-boy ever--fried shrimp with an asian flavor. The slaw of the dressing was crisp and the flavors melded together beautifully. The burgers of my dining companions were well cooked but a little heavily seasoned with salt--nothing bad until you add in salted fries and a salted margarita and then it was a bit of overkill. I had a bite of the chicken salad and it was very delicious. I ended the meal with the double chocolate cake and loved the hint of cinnamon.

The waitstaff were attentive and quick with refills. Best of all, they let us linger over our meal well after most of the rest of the place had emptied out.

I'm looking forward to trying her new cookbook:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Superior Grill

On St. Charles, just a few blocks from my house is a Mexican restaurant by the name of Superior Grill. With half price drink specials and al la carte menu items, the place is filled with a young crowd from the nearby universities. Those drinks are strong and good and the food is tasty and delivered fast (although not entirely correct--I never got my rice and beans and one of my dining companions ordered the two taco special and ended up with a 3 taco dinner).