Sunday, December 19, 2010

New Orleans Hamburger & Seafood Company

At St. Charles and Milan, Cannon's has been replaced with a local chain. The New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood Company has opened up its first New Orleans location and they've done a good job. The interior is quirky with interesting chandeliers and artwork on the walls that don't have humongous televisions. The food is a mix of typical Nawlins fare plus the burgers and seafood of the name. It also doesn't hurt that the establishment is within walking distance of my house.

Last week I had their beignets--they have an attached cafe called New Orleans Coffee and Beignet Co. They were very good and sure beat having to fight for a parking space in the French Quarter. I love that they put a shaker of powdered sugar on the table, as if the mountain on the plate isn't enough.

The burgers are juicy and delicious and the roast beef poboy took 12 napkins, making it pretty high on the scale of deliciousness. The garlic aioli on the french fries was killer.

I got in there with some friends before noon and the place was empty when we ordered. By the time our meal was done and the Saints pregame show started, the place was packed.

The staff was friendly and attentive and I will definitely head back there for another meal (or six).

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Stanley's Restaurant

Located right on Jackson Square is the companion establishment to Stella! Stanley serves breakfast and brunch all day with an old fashioned soda fountain bar to enjoy home made ice cream year round. The location is perfect for people watching and the food is pure comfort but with enough personality to raise their profile up a notch.

For breakfast, I had the poached egg poboy with creole hollandaise and canadian bacon. It could have used another slice or two of meat as they were sliced very thin but the flavors melded together terrifically. The Eggs Stanley with fried oysters was yummy and I loved the homestyle potatoes with creole seasoning on the Corned Beef Hash.

The coffee drinks were brewed to perfection so the meal was a hit on all levels. Be advised that it's location makes the meal expensive but as a treat on the last day that my friends were in town, it was a perfect way to end their magical time in the Crescent.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Napoleon House

During the spring and summer months, whenever I'm in the French Quarter, I usually stop by Napoleon House for a drink. Their Pimm's Cup is incredibly refreshing and the ambiance of this 200 year old building has always been worth the stop after a day of working, shopping, or touring. I have got to tell you, though, that the drink doesn't have quite the same impact when it is under 40 degrees outside! Brrr!

It was lunch time and my dining companion had their toasted mufaletto. Because of the cold weather, the melted cheese was a nice variation but there is too much pepperoncini in their olive salad for my taste. I had the red beans and rice and my meal was remarkably flavorless. Who even knew that was possible? While I've had decent food there in the past, it is their famous drink that keeps this place on my regular visit list.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


If you like oysters, Casamento's Restaurant is a must stop. Whether it is for a dozen raw or in their famous oyster loaf sandwich (overfilled and served on Texas toast), the flavor is top notch.

If you're not such a fan of kissing the ocean on the lips,* then they also do a great job on all the shrimp dishes. The calamari is very good, the homemade fries tasty and the tartar sauce nice and tangy. While the ambiance is in keeping with a place that hasn't changed much since opening in 1919, the staff is friendly and the food delicious enough that you don't care one whit.

*"To eat an oyster is to kiss the ocean on the lips." Leonard Beck

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Parkway Bakery

Located in Bayou St. John, this corner icon was recently on Food Network's Food Feuds for their roast beef po-boy. Parkway Bakery and Tavern features a number of regular and jumbo sizes of the Crescent City's favorite sandwiches, plus they've got the bar up front when you want to wet your whistle.

The group I was with ordered a variety of po-boys--all of which were piled high with fillings. Among us, we had the roast beef & gravy, meatball & marinara, Reuben and fried shrimp po-boys. My roast beef took 16 napkins--a sign of just how good it was (a true po-boy connoisseur figures deliciousness is proportional to the mess). The sweet potato fries were excellent and the regular fries were pretty good, too. Two bottles of Barq's root beer washed everything down with perfection.

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


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).

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Capdeville New Orleans

Capdeville New Orleans is on the single block of Capdeville Street down from Lafayette Square. It is a blocked out interior space that allows for groups to have semi-privacy and conduct lunch and dinner meetings with ease. The staff is quite used to the practice and our table of nine folks organizing a New Orleans version of "It Gets Better" didn't cause a stir, even after we held a 45 minute meeting before placing an order.

The food is interesting twists on American classics. Burgers, fries, wraps and a super delicious truffled mac and cheese that I enjoyed. I'd never had Poutine Fries before (french fries drenched in au poivre sauce and mozzarella cheese curd) but I'm sure going to be ordering them again. Sinfully good.

The bar is quite extensive, although none of us took advantage. I'll have to make another trip to try their Pimm's Cup.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Shrimp Basket

My Mom and I went out for more fried food today. This time, we went to the Shrimp Basket in Foley, AL. It is a small chain but the food comes to the table hot and fresh.

We started with corn fritters--hot and sweet and I totally wanted more. Very delicious. The fried shrimp were well seasoned although the cocktail sauce was weak at best. I had the server give me half sweet tea and half unsweetened but it was still so sweet it made my teeth hurt.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Lulu's at Homeport Marina

I went out with my Mom to Lulu's at Homeport Marina. This restaurant is owned by Jimmy Buffet's sister and is very much as laid back as her brother's music.

We had a fried food extravaganza--starting with fried onion ring and fried green tomatoes then moving to fried shrimp with french fries and jalapeno hush puppies. The batter used was great and the Wow sauce was quite good (sortof like a white remoulade).

My Cadillac margarita was very strong and smooth and the server was quick to bring out ice cold Bud's every time Mom got close to the bottom of her bottles.

I was tempted by her new cookbook but there are a lot more reminiscences than recipes. I can always go back next time and grab one if I change my mind.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Orleans Seafood Festival

BP couldn't stop us from eating! It is time for the 4th Annual New Orleans Seafood Festival and, despite the spill, the lineup is diverse and delicious. It literally fills Lafayette Square and, best of all, is free! Add in the music from Rebirth Brass Band and Kermit Ruffins and you've got a great weekend of food and fun.

The big message this year is that Louisiana seafood is safe and healthy to eat. There are over twenty booths from some of the best local restaurants, including Acme Oyster House, Remoulade, Café Giovanni, Drago's, Galatoire's, Serrano's, Oceana Restaurant, Salt Water Grill, Broussards, Luke, and Mr. B's Bistro. Oh, and did I mention the chefs doing demonstrations throughout the day? Yummy!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Butch Cookbook Now Available as an eBook!

I'm pleased to report that L-Book has now put the Butch Cookbook on sale for the low, low price of $7.00 as an ebook in lots of formats! I've got three recipes in this book as do several of my friends. It is a funny, touching and informative book with some darn fine chow inside.

Follow this link to L-Book's online store!

Dig my author photo:

Friday, August 6, 2010

Guest Blogging

Hey, I am the guest blogger over at mizchef on a subject that's near and dear to my heart - Grits!

Go read, enjoy, and consume some today!

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Butch Cookbook Update

From Sue Hardesty:

Our cookbook goes to the movies. Appearing in The Perfect Family motion picture, the butch cook book has a cameo scene when the mother (Kathleen Turner) picks up the butch cook book and looks at her pregnant lesbian daughter (Emily Deschanel) for an explanation. The movie is due out this winter. Don’t miss it!

The cookbook is also in a contest. The Huffington Post is running a great contest posted by Rebecca Marx who writes Village Voice’s “Fork In The Road” food blog. We think one of these is way better than the rest -- the butch cook book. Join in the fun and see if you agree. Vote by clicking on the Huffington Post website: Cookbooks You Didn't Know Existed.

1. The slide of the butch cook book should appear (cookbook #4). Vote number 10 (amazing) above the butch cook book slide on the right side of the screen.
2. If you would like to send your top five favorites to your friends, click on Choose Your Top Five Slides.
3. When this screen opens, drag your choices to the open frames.
4. When you have selected your five favorites, click on share.

Please remind all your friends who wish to purchase the butch cook book, the website is Also the butch cook book is on L-Book in Paperback, Audio mp3 and five eBook formats. Or contact us at 541-265-4516

P.S. Free with every purchase of the butch cook book: "The Femme Cook Booklet" has more great recipes from a baker's dozen of your favorite writers and femme partners of butches who appear in the butch cook book. Enjoy great chili from Katherine Forrest, or easy-to-make bread from Ann Bannon. Or fun drinks described by Ellen Hart and Karin Kallmaker. All in all, a great continuation of the butch cook book.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Marigny Brasserie

After a meeting at the LGBT Community Center, I decided to stay in the Faubourg Marigny for dinner. On Frenchman is the Marigny Brasserie. Every time I go there, I am wowed by the meal and service. This visit was no exception.

We started with a Pimms Cup and it was wonderfully refreshing. I had the pork grillades and grits with collard greens. Instead of the usual large hunks of meat, they used pulled pork. The grits were nice and creamy and were a nice counterpoint to the spicy meat. I'm not much of greens fan but these were better than edible. My dining companion had a veal with summer vegetables that was the night's special. Amazingly enough, every item from the meat to the squash to the rest of the veggies were cooked perfectly (nothing limp and soggy).

We ended the meal with a chocolate torte with blueberries. Dense and delicious.

The waitress was funny and helpful and was quick to provide refills without interrupting our conversation.

I very heartily recommend stopping by for lunch or dinner.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pascale's Manale

Within walking distance of my house is a fabulous place that serves 'the original bbq shrimp.' I don't know whether that's accurate or not, I just know that what they serve at Pascale's Manale is incredible.

I started with the turtle soup and my dining companion with the gumbo. Both full bodied with lots of meat. We then had the BBQ shrimp with a nice bottle of Sauvingon Blanc. You get a bib to keep the mess off, as you have to dehead and peel the shrimp before consuming but the flavor of the sauce is incredible. We used lots of the fresh bread for dunking so not a drop was wasted.

We ended with their bread pudding. It isn't heavy like a lot of them and the rum butter sauce was a lovely addition.

The service is also top notch with staff that are attentive without being obtrusive. Water, tea, bread are quickly refilled and replaced, wine topped off, plates of shrimp shells whisked away as they become full.

If you're looking for a taste of New Orleans in food and service that doesn't break the bank, this is the place to go. It is just a plus for me that I can walk home after the meal.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Stanley Restaurant

On the corner of Jackson Square is Stanley Restaurant where La Madeleine used to be. It is a good place to people watch and to eat one of the best breakfasts in the Quarter. We got there closer to lunchtime but that didn't stop me from ordering breakfast.

I had the Bananas Foster French Toast and, other than the bananas just being sliced over the dish and not flambe'd in brown sugar, it was delicious. The French Toast was both crispy and soft and the added scoop of ice cream was a nice counterpoint.

My lunch companion had the lump crab po-boy and ended up eating the second half without the bread. She really enjoyed the slaw and the flavor of the crab.

Definitely a nice place to stop in after a night of partying and when you want something more than beignets to start the day.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Bywater BBQ

So the first thing I learned when checking this place out is to not order the barbeque at Bywater BBQ. I read that on two blogs and heard it from a good friend and could tell by my nose when there was no smell of smoke outside or inside the place. I can also say, from personal experience, not to order the catfish special either. The fries that came with it were limp and virtually tasteless. The sauce and breading on the catfish were equally bland. The only good thing I had was the praline ice cream from New Orleans Ice Cream company.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Meauxbar Bistro

I went out with a group of friends today for Dining Out for Life. This year had 67 restaurants in the Greater New Orleans area that donated 25% of the day's proceeds to the NO/AIDS Taskforce.

We went to Meauxbar Bistro and it was a very good choice. A small place with an incredibly diverse menu. I had the gazpacho to start and it was one of the best I've ever had--perfectly seasoned and a lovely consistency. I followed that up with their version of Mac and Cheese--Gruyere cheese, truffle oil and a major yum. I exchanged bites of mine with my friends to enjoy the Drum cooked in parchment with curry and coconut milk and the rabbit fricassee. Both were very good with well balanced flavors. I ended the meal with their lemon tart and it was refreshing and delicious.

I definitely would recommend a trip to this bistro. The waitstaff was well informed and attentive, the cocktails were generous, the menu was diverse and the food marvelous.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I went with a friend to Boucherie tonight. From the refreshing Pimms cup that started the evening to the bacon brownie that ended it, it was a terrific night out. They began our evening by serving an amuse bouche that was cold noodles and a little spicy heat (I'm ignoring the tofu in it). Not too bad. Our small plates were the blackened shrimp and grit cake and the grit fries with collard greens. I generally avoid greens but these, with or without the house made vinegar, were mighty tasty.

Main courses were duck breast with duck cracklings and smokey black eyed peas and wagyu beef brisket with garliky parmesan french fries. Yummy. The meats were perfectly done and could be cut with a fork.

We ended with the chili chocolate chess pie and the aforementioned bacon brownie. Lots of warmth with the pie and the bacon was well integrated with the brownie for a smoothy salty/smokey flavor in every bite.

I'd definitely make plans to eat here. Their contemporary Southern cuisine is simply delicious.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Crescent Pie and Sausage

I had lunch today with LPO (Lesbians Plus One), a small group of women that I met through my activism with the Forum for Equality. We get together as regularly as we can for lunches at various spots around the city and talk about life, politics and anything else under the sun.

This time we went to Crescent Pie and Sausage. This small, Mid City restaurant is next door to Huevos and is owned by the same guys. They make their own sausage and Ricotta and even potato chips.

We started with the sample of one of their sausages--chorizo--that was quite tasty but a little salty. One person got the BLT pizza (roasted tomatos, bacon, spinach pesto, and cheddar) and it was absolutely amazing. It is true what they say about bacon making everything better, even pizza. Another got some of the meat pies. I only tasted the crawfish but it was quite good, with lots of meat and a flaky crust. I didn't get a taste of the Panzanella Salad but the one who ordered it was a member of the clean plate club. I had the bratwurst sandwich with pickled cabbage. I liked every bit of it, including the mustard and parmesan potato chips. Next time, I'll have to save room for a root beer float.

At about $22 per person it is a little pricey for lunch everyday but the portions are large and delicious. If you go, plan on standing outside and breathe in the air from the hickory smoker and be patient with the single waitress working the floor. It is worth the time.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Eats in Orlando

I spent the last week in Orlando at a conference with Golden Crown Literary Society. Unfortunately, while the conference was great, I didn't get much of a chance to eat away from the hotel.

Andiamo Italian Bistro had incredibly large portions and prices to match. The calamari was exceptional but the sauces were a little bland. My Lemon Piccata Chicken with fettuccine was very good. My Mom got the Shrimp Fra Diavolo with Angel Hair Pasta and it was very tasty but too big for either of us to finish.

Benihana Steakhouse and Sushi does put on quite a dinner and a show. We had dinner after the Board meeting here and the pomegranate margarita was tasty, the edamame salty, and my shrimp and steak was cooked perfectly. The rainbow sherbet at the end was a lovely palate cleanser.

Chevy's is a chain but, boy oh boy can they make a mean margarita. Their guacamole is fabulous as well. Of course, after pigging out on chips and drinks, it was hard to finish my fajitas. Mom had the same trouble with her tacos but we were both feeling no pain, so it was ALL good!

Rain forest Cafe is amusement park eats. The animatronic creatures, rain fall and numerous aquariums helped take one's mind off the food which wasn't very memorable anyway. I had a steak and shrimp plate and the shrimp were with pure white, farm raised flavorless varieties made worse by the weak garlic butter sauce. The garlic mashed potatoes were good as was the volcano brownie dessert that served 4.

Chick-fil-a makes a great chicken sandwich. Those two pickles are crucial and, add a lemonade, and you've got one of the best fast food lunches on the planet.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Joey K's Restaurant

There is a funky little place on Magazine Street that is perfect for a casual meal and people watching. Joey K's Restaurant even made it into Diners, Drive ins and Dives. They have daily specials of comfort food and they live up to the review that gives them a high ratio of deliciousness to surroundings.

The last time I was there I had the red beans that were well flavored and plentiful. This time I had the fried shrimp plate and they were lightly breaded and slightly spicy. The tartar sauce was homemade and perfectly tangy. The salad that came with it was all iceberg lettuce. The staff are quick on the refills of drinks.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Jacques-Imo's Cafe

Jacques-Imo's has some of my favorite food in the city but I rarely go because the wait time is so long. On a Thursday night, the wait time for a party of four was an hour and half. Trust me that Friday and Saturday are worse. I really don't understand the refusal of many New Orleans restaurants to take reservations.

The bartender does pour strong drinks, so the crowd waiting on the sidewalk can get a little raucous but people watching does help to pass the time. Jack himself wanders around outside with a large go cup of his drink and chats up the pretty girls and gets his picture taken with many of the visitors.

We started with the shrimp and fried green tomatoes. The coating was excellent and the tomatoes were perfectly tart. The shrimp still had its head and tail on and presented a conundrum for my guests. I did the dirty work of deheading and have to admit I licked my fingers. I had the smothered chicken. Good flavor and lots of gravy but the biscuit was very dense. The group I was with had the salmon, grouper and crabcakes. Everything was cooked to perfection and in such large portions that we all took something home.

I definitely would come here more often if I could make reservations. Instead, I will come only when I've got guests who want a good New Orleans experience and who don't mind standing on the street for a table to become available.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Oceana Grill

Oceana Grill on Conti Street in the French Quarter is a nice little place for a quick meal. Close to a number of hotels, the waitstaff is quick to offer help to hapless tourists trying to make decisions between Creole and Cajun and help our city earn our reputation as a friendly place to visit and live.

I was there for breakfast during the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival. I had the biscuits and gravy. It came in a large bowl with a spoon to help collect all the gravy and the sausage was nice and spicy. The omelette ordered by one of my dining companions was huge--this thing filled the plate and came with a big biscuit, too. The BLT ordered by another came on buttered bread and was perfect food for her post hangover stomach.

Friday, May 14, 2010


I had lunch with Kenny at Houton's Restaurant on St. Charles Avenue today. We started with the spinach dip and I had the French Dip Au Jus made with perfectly cooked prime rib. Delicious! Kenny had the chicken salad and it was a huge bowl with a generous amount of grilled chicken. The waitstaff was attentive and quick with refills. All in all a great lunch.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Crabby Jacks

Located just over the line into Jefferson Parish, next to the Louisiana Seafood Company is Crabby Jacks. Serving some of the best po-boys in town, the place is best visited a little before or a little after lunch time. Most of the seating is communal and, if you are lucky, like we were today, your tablemates might share some of their sweet potato chips with you. The walls are covered with Dr. Bob's "Be Nice or Leave" art and that sets the tone for the place.

I had the slow roasted duck po-boy--very flavorful duck made for a delicious mess. Nine napkins! My companions enjoyed the fried shrimp po-boy that was so piled high of perfectly cooked shrimp that the other half is another meal.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Ernst Cafe

Several folks from the office had lunch from Ernst Cafe the other day. They've got good fried food--shrimp and chicken. I had the Big Fat Chicken Sandwich (fried, although they will make it grilled). Very flavorful, with a nice bite to the coating and a super generous portion of fries. I had a taste of the chicken wrap (they let you choose your own dressing--cesar, ranch, etc) and it was very good. The fried shrimp come in a generous portion both on the platter and in the poboy.

We got our order to go but I love the old tin ceiling and they have a upstairs with balcony which is great when there is live music across the street.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Rotolo's Pizzeria

I took a break from work the other day to go up to the Rotolo's Pizzeria on Rampart street with a couple of Forum For Equality Board members and the new Managing Director (she's replacing me). This was my first time at this Louisiana chain--they're mainly in the Baton Rouge area but they're expanding into the Greater New Orleans area.

Billed as the "Official Pizza of the New Orleans Saints," our large pizza was loaded with fresh ingredients--we had pepperoni, onions, mushrooms and extra cheese on our pie. The onion slices were large so you got more of an onion taste than the specks of diced onion some chains try to pass off to their customers. The pizza crust was nice and chewy and it stood up to the toppings. The rest of the diners enjoyed the Cesar salad and the BBQ chicken wrap was big in size and flavor.

This place was great for lunch service as the pizza was delivered quickly to the table. The service was excellent upstairs with fast refills on the drinks.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar and Restaurant

A block from my office is Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar and Restaurant. You might have seen the place on YouTube when Drew Brees was teaching the crowd his pre-game motivational chant or when Scott Fujita had his going away party. In any event, it isn't just a football bar. Its a good place to hang after work and to eat during the day. Friday nights sees the party spill onto the sidewalks but they usually have a grill or crawfish boiling going on outside to handle the crowd.

The lunch menu is filled with a wild mix of California/Baja favorites and local flavor. The Juicy burger is big and loaded, there are a ton of sprouts on the Turkey burger and the Shrimp poboy definitely doesn't skimp on the shrimp.

The drink menu is fun with a free shark for those bold enough to order the Shark Attack and lots of tequila and rum varieties.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Captain's Choice

At the bowling alley in Foley, Alabama (behind the outlet mall) is a great place to get a burger and fried food. I've always enjoyed that aspect of bowling, I mean, what other sport encourages you to eat and drink while playing?

At the Captain's Choice on Juniper, the seafood selection is good (including the usual fried shrimp, oysters, grouper, etc) and the jalapeno peppers are stuffed with crabmeat. The burgers are some of the best around, although my sisters selection of a trash burger (cheese, fried onions, bacon, mushrooms, lettuce, tomato) was a little too big for even my mouth. I think they make their own tarter sauce because it was sure better than what you get out of a bottle and the ranch dipping sauce was thick and rich to go with my order of fried mushrooms and fried pickles. The gumbo is pretty tasty, too.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Middendorf's Seafood Restaurant

On the way back from the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival, I stopped off at Middendorf's for lunch. Their thin fried catfish is incredible. The coating is perfect--so light that the flavor of the fish comes through. I got the fried shrimp and catfish meal and the plate was piled high with 5 pieces of fish, 6 shrimp, 2 hushpuppies and a good size portion of crisp French fries. It came with coleslaw but I gave mine away. The service is fast and friendly and I'd definitely say that this place is worth the drive from New Orleans.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cafe Adelaide

In the Lowes hotel near the end of Poydras is Cafe Adelaide and the Swizzle Stick bar. The bar is well known for the bartender's inventive cocktails and my Tequila Mockingbird (tequila, lemoncello, bitters) was a good way to put an end to the days stress.

I had the Muscovy Duck and it just melted in my mouth. I'm not sure all was in the croquette but the fried egg on top was an interesting touch. The praline encrusted pork tenderloin was a perfect combination of taste and texture (and not sugary as might be thought). The Black Drum with squash, corn, tomato raisins with a shrimp fra diavolo sauce was a little busy for my taste.

The biscuit bread pudding was very good--the white chocolate sauce was delicious. I had the the lime-ginger creme brulee and the bananas foster sundae was perfect with the special addition of a drizzle of chocolate. That one came with cinnamon rum ice cream--yum!

The wine by the glass selection was pretty good as was the selection of after dinner drinks. We had a Chardonnay, a Riesling, a Cabernet Sauvignon and ended with an Ice wine.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Cafe at the Square

Sitting on the corner of Lafayette Square is an unassuming cafe that serves tasty comfort food for the modern businessperson and the occassional tourist. There is a sign for the place on Poydras but the actual cafe is further down St. Charles.

I had the Fried Green Tomato BLT and there was plenty of bacon. The lettuce was actually baby spinach and the combination was perfect. It comes with shoestring potatoes. My lunch companion had the Lafayette chicken with a fried egg and sauce and he cleaned every drop off his plate.

I sent a friend over the next day to try it and she reports that the gumbo is fully loaded with shrimp, chicken, or sausage in every bite.

The blackberry cobbler was a delicious way to end the meal. The vanilla bean ice cream cooled things just enough so I didn't burn my mouth until my last bite--but it was too yummy not to scarf down.

From what I understand, their breakfast is fabulous too so I might have to get back over there earlier in the day. They are only open from 7-2pm and they stop serving breakfast at 10:30.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Angelo Brocato's Italian Ice Cream

A visit to the Mid City area isn't complete without a stop for a gelato or another Italian Bakery classic from Angelo Brocato's Italian Ice Cream Parlor.

I had the pistachio and St. Joseph's almond chocolate (the almonds are chocolate covered, too) and got a bag Pigniolata (bits of fried dough glazed with sugar and sprinkles). My dining companions got the strawberry gelato (with fresh Ponchatula strawberries) and the pistachio almond. Excellent mouth feel of the homemade Italian ice creams and the taste is stupendous.

Doson Noodle House

In Mid-City at Canal and Carrollton is a very good Vietnamese restaurant. Doson Noodle House bills itself as having authentic Vietnamese. While not the French-Vietnames I'm most familiar with (Le Chevel in Oakland, CA is an example), it was good, filling and inexpensive.

We started with the steamed dumplings (Banh Quai Vat). The filling was flavorful and the dipping sauce was nice and spicy. I ordered Bon Tom (grilled shrimp over vermicelli noodle. The veggies that were served with were grilled too and that added to the flavor. It did need a little Siriacha to kick it up a notch but the flavors were well balanced. One of my dining companions got the Pho Ga (Chicken Noodle Soup) and it was good but without the profile of some of the other Pho's that I've had in my life. I can imagine getting it next time I'm sick, as the lemon grass awakened the senses although the broth itself was bland. It had plenty of noodles and chicken, so this is definitely when soup makes a meal. My other foodie friend had the Mi Doson (Chicken and Shrimp Pan Fried Noodle). This dish was a good balance of sweet and savory.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Ugly Dog Saloon

New Orleans is not particularly well known for its BBQ. However, one big exception is the Ugly Dog Saloon that is located at the corner of Tchoupitoulas and Andrew Higgins. A hangout for cops and construction workers, the food is definitely rib sticking good.

I got the 1/4 lb pulled pork sandwich. Loaded with meat, they serve their tangy bbq sauce to the side so, if you're like me and want to taste the pig, you can add just a little. And this meat is definitely worth tasting as the pork melts in your mouth. I wouldn't necessarily order the platter as the sides aren't that great. The chili has a good flavor but its a little watery and the potato salad was nothing to write about.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Marigny Brasserie

My friend, Greg Herren (go and read his books!), and I try to meet regularly to be 'ladies who lunch.' There are quite a few choices in the Faubourg Marigny (a hip neighborhood that contains the Gay Triangle of LGBT Community Center, Faubourg Marigny Arts & Books, and the Community Awareness Network).

Marigny Brasserie was formerly Cafe Marigny (once they got their liquor license and could serve alcohol they went highbrow). I hadn't been there in quite a while and they've completely revamped their menu. They've kept the Contemporary Creole cuisine and supplemented it with Italian favorites and a good selection of sandwiches. The prices are better and the food is a lot less pretentious. I had the Frenchman Street Poboy--fried green tomatoes and fried shrimp. Greg had the Brasserie Burger. Both items were very good and the waitstaff was quick on the iced tea refills while staying away enough that we could carry on our conversation without interruption.

Friday, March 5, 2010

James Beard Foundation Benefit

I bought my tickets to the New Orleans Friends of James Beard Benefit.

A walk-around chef tasting to benefit the James Beard Foundation on Sunday, March 21st.

Here is a listing of the chefs:

Andrea Apuzzo of Andrea’s

JBF Award Winner John Besh of Restaurant August

Haley Bittermann of Bacco

Scott Boswell of Stella

Dickie Brennan and Darin Nesbit of Bourbon House, Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse, and Palace Café

JBF Award Winner Frank Brigtsen of Brigtsen’s

Justin Devillier of La Petite Grocery

Kristen Essig of Nola Bean

Michael Farrell of Le Meritage

Adolfo Garcia of La Boca, A Mano, and Rio Mar

Holly Goetting of Charley G’s

Tariq Hanna of Sucre

Richard Hughes of Pelican Club

Brian Landry of Galatoire's Restaurant

Jacques Leonardi of Jacques-Imo’s Cafe

JBF Award Winner Donald Link of Herbsaint Restaurant and Bar, Cochon, and Cochon Butcher

Gus Martin of Muriel’s Jackson Square

Tory McPhail of Commander’s Palace

Michelle McRaney of Mr. B’s Bistro

Matt Murphy of M Bistro at the Ritz Carlton

Mark Quitney of 5 Fifty 5

David Slater and Chris Wilson of Emeril’s

Greg and Mary Sonnier of Gabrielle at the Uptowner

JBF Award Winner Susan Spicer of Bayona

Chuck Subra La Cote of Brasserie


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Emeril's New Orleans

Had lunch today at Emeril's and it wasn't bad at all. This restaurant is just a couple of blocks from my office and it was a beautiful day for a walk.

The oyster bisque was creamy and flavorful but a little too salty for my taste. My lunch companion got the smoked mushroom and pasta appetizer. Nice and smokey although pasta was a bit strange as a starter. She had the Marcona Almond Crusted Rainbow Trout and I had the "B.L.F.G.T" (Bacon, Lettuce & Fried Green Tomato on Brioche with Boiled Shrimp and Mustard Aioli). Mine was the perfect combination of salty and sweet and sour. The sweet potato chips were a good addition. I'm not much of a trout fan but the flavor was good, although the prosciutto outside the skin was a bit wasted. Dessert was creme brule and a chocolate torte--both good.

I'm tempted to go back and order the fried chicken and waffles and there was enough variety on the menu that I'm sure that I will find plenty of people to go with me. The acoustics were much better than his other restaurant (NOLA), so you can actually have a conversation without shouting or hearing what the neighboring tables were talking about.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Reginelli's Pizzeria

My parents were in town last week and we spent the majority of the days working to whittle down a list of chores. On two of the nights, too tired to go out to any of the restaurants on my wish list, we ordered pizza for delivery.

Reginelli's Pizzeria is my first choice for pizza in New Orleans. I like Louisiana Pizza Kitchen and Theo's to go out to but for convenience and a wholly satisfying slice of pie, Reginelli's can't be beat. The delivery time is usually 35 to 45 minutes and the hand tossed pizza crust is chewy, the sauce is flavorful and the toppings fresh. I'm not much of a salad fan but the Ceasar is darn tasty.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Cannon's Restaurants

Meh. I've been to Cannon's Restaurants before as it is in walking distance from my house but was pretty unimpressed with latest meal.

We started with the BBQ shrimp and the roux tasted slightly burnt. My Dad's blackened catfish was billed by our server as the best thing on the menu. The catfish was satisfying and paired nicely with mashed sweet potatoes. My Mom's Gulf Shrimp Alfredo were blackened as well, giving the shrimp a fishy flavor that contrasted poorly with the heavy Alfredo sauce with hardly any taste of Parmesan. My crispy oven roasted duck was hardly discernible under the blueberry demi glace and certainly not crispy. I do have to say that the dark bread that was served was marvelous (although the chive butter served with it was tasty, it overpowered the nuttiness and tang of the bread).

While watching the St. Charles streetcar go by is enjoyable and all the waitstaff are friendly and personable, it doesn't make up for the overall disappointment of the meal.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Fried Chicken NOLA 1

So with all the parades this weekend, I decided to make a chicken run on my way home between Tucks and Endymion instead of having to cook. I could have gone by Popyeye's but I decided instead on McHardy's.

McHardy’s Chicken and Fixin is at 1458 N Broad St @ Esplanade

This isn't the place to go when you want chicken strips or to dine in. Their take out menu only starts at a half chicken and ends with 100 pieces. They also do fried fish and have good, thick fries. The coating is dry, so it isn’t too thick and it is deliciously spiced.

I got 10 pieces so I could enjoy it cold for lunch on Sunday between Thoth and Bacchus. Quite delicious.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Mother's Restaurant

At the corner of Tchoupitoulas and Poydras is Mother's Restaurant. They claim to have the world's best baked ham. Now, I’m a salt fanatic and have about 19 different varieties of salt in my house. So when I say the ham at Mother’s is salty, I know what I’m talking about. If you do decide to go for the ham, get it on a Ferdi (ham, roast beef, debris and gravy poboy) and the salt will be balanced out.

Ham, notwithstanding, their Debris Poboy is absolutely fabulous. In a city that rates poboys not by stars but by the number of napkins it takes to wipe off your chin, this place ranks in the top 5. Additionally, they dress their poboy with cabbage instead of lettuce and that adds a crisp, clean crunch to each bite.

Don't be discouraged if there is a line out the door. They turn the tables very quickly and you'll soon be inside with a menu of your own. The new line winds past the food prep area, so you can see the various sides and other offerings before you move to the register to place your order.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Butch Cookbook

While this blog is primarily going to be for restaurant reviews, I will also talk about cookbooks and cooking. Today, I'm going to pimp a cookbook that I'm a contributor to: The Butch Cook Book. Containing lesbian lore and humor, this book shows that there is more to butch cooking than burning stuff on the grill or opening a box of mac and cheese.

There are three of my recipes in the book--Chile Con Carne, Mustard Chicken and Quadruple Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Don't just take my biased word that this is a fabulous addition to your bookshelves--the book has even been reviewed. Check out what they have to say:

Butch: Its What for Dinner by Dana Rudolph

Beyond Beer Can Chicken by Malinda Lo

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ad Hoc

Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm a fried chicken aficionado. I make a point to visit all the best chicken joints in any given city. Heck, during my last cross country drive, all my stops were mapped by Chick-Fil-A restaurant locations.

That being said, the best fried chicken I've ever put in my mouth is from a small place in Yountville, California. If you are ever in Northern California, especially around Calistoga, plan on making Ad Hoc one of your destinations.

Ad Hoc is one of Thomas Keller's restaurants and offers a prix fixe meal for around $50 a person. The buttermilk fried chicken is worth it, though. Be sure to call first--as they don't always serve it (Monday is usually a good bet).

They use a wet batter but the chicken is brined beforehand and the taste and crunch is exemplary. Perfectly seasoned, it is fried with just a few sprigs of rosemary in the oil to give it an extra dimension for the nose.

Now, I know that it is a bit out of the way for many people. While I encourage the trip, I do want to let you know about a way to cheat and get the experience in your own kitchen. Williams-Sonoma offers those who cook a chance to create this incredible meal at home. The Ad Hoc Fried Chicken Kit contains nearly everything you need and no-fail directions, too.

Whatever choice you make, your mouth and belly will thank you.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cochon Restaurant

One of my favorite restaurants in the city (and by that, I mean one of the ones I've gone to more than twice) is Cochon. I love fire and the open kitchen with fire pit is incredibly attractive but, it is the food that keeps me coming back. The rabbit dumplings were so good, I burned my mouth in my haste to gobble it down. All of the pork dishes are sublime and even the fish was well done.

When the Saints are playing at home, they offer fried chicken for lunch. A wet coating is used that is crisp but just a bit too dense. The chicken itself is juicy and flavorful.

Their sides are pure Southern comfort from the mac and cheese, the creamy grits, the stuffed twice baked potato.

Be sure to go around the corner to the Butcher for high grade cuts of meat and artisan sausages and salamis. Place your special order for rabbit, etc on Wednesday and get it on Friday. One of these days, I will have to try their lunch menu as the sandwiches looked delicious the last time I stopped by.

Oh, and Chef Donald Link's book Real Cajun is a delightful read. While several of the recipes are a little too involved for most chefs, the love of food comes through. He doesn't just have pork recipes, although bacon plays a big part in many of them. There are plenty of finds for those who love the simple fare the Cajun's are known for.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Green Goddess

This place is mouth porn.

Hiding in Exchange Alley, Green Goddess has two wonderful chefs and a menu that defies a quick or easy decision. There are so many choices, I recommend bringing friends—they’ll love you for showing them this jewel and you have a better chance of trying more food by eating off their plates. As they only have seating for about 15 inside, just don't bring too many.

I ordered the wild mushrooms in cream gravy on sweet potato biscuits with grits and found myself taking smaller and smaller bites just to be able to keep enjoying it. The stuffed French toast (stuffed with strawberries and goat cheese) had a multitude of flavor layers. The lox and blini was deconstructed on the plate and was quite a delight for the mouth.

To die for, though, is the “Notorious” Bacon Sundae. This thing starts with pecan praline ice cream, topped with a creamy bacon caramel sauce. Finally, there is whipped cream that they sprinkle with Pink Himalayan and Black Lava Salts and some bacon.

I’m going back soon for dinner and fully intend to take advantage of their extensive wine selection.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Drago's Seafood Restaurant

Picked up my aunt and uncle from the MSY airport and drove immediately to Drago's in Metairie. We arrived around 6:30pm on a rainy Thursday and were seated almost immediately.

Starting out with 2 dozen charbroiled oysters was a great idea. They were perfectly done, with just enough bread to sop up any remaining juices.

The salad was the usual iceberg style and pretty boring but my Herradura Shrimp with sun dried tomatoes and portobello mushroom was very tasty. My uncle's mahi mahi special was a little over cooked (hardly any pink flesh) but a good flavor and the baked potato went surprisingly well with it. The Crescent City Shrimp was only okay and doesn't even begin to compare to Pascal Manale's BBQ shrimp.

I'd definitely return but would stick with the oysters next time.