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