Tuesday, September 30, 2008
This is the bread basket. Pretty standard and OK
This is what they call a shared appetizer. The sausage stuffed bacon wrapped dates were my favorite last night. They were smoky, sweet, and spicy. A combo I particularly like. To my knowledge it has been on the menu for at least 4 years and deserves to stay there. It is a great aperitif to stimulate the appetite.
These are the sirloin tacos. This dish has been praised by one of the restaurant's vendors for a number of years. So I decided to try it this time. Sitting on refried black beans ( which I prefer) these mini tacos have a slice of sirloin cooked to temperature sitting on a dollop of spicy guacamole. The perfect combo and one I recommend now also
A corn and rock shrimp chowder followed. It is well prepared and the shrimp very good but I had two personal qualms about it. To me the potatoes could have been cut a little smaller to the size of the shrimp. Putting a big piece of potato in my mouth threw me off. Another was a predominant herb flavor that overwhelmed the dish. I could not figure out what it was. It could have been sage or just too much bay leave. Whatever it was I did not care for it particularly.
Finally some small cookies (lemon bars, in house oreos, chocolate chip, raspberry thumbprints, and sandtarts) served with Schraffenberger dipping chocolate. A very nice end to the meal and another example of the service. This was not on the dessert menu but rather a dessert offered with a three course meal offered that night. This had caught my eye and I asked if I could get it and they obliged me.
Here is a sea scallop dish I ordered. Two well prepared scallops sitting on some truffled mashed potatoes with some haricot vert in the middle. The components of this dish were excellent on their own. The scallops seared just right with the middle slightly undercooked with a nice pepper note. The mash sweet and earthy. However I did not care for the combination of the two. The potatoes seemed to make the scallop heavy. Again probably just my personal taste
Tonight should be another taste adventure and I will post that tomorrow morning.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Also some of my regular group including my Enthusiastic Friend
and my Baking Friend
Some stuffed gator balls that were tasty but a very mushy inside. Not a keeper
This was the Crabcake Pasta that my enthusiastic friend ordered. Nice crab cake served over fettuccine with a creamy spicy sauce.
Besides a questionable texture on the stuffed gator balls everything last night was a winner. This venue puts out quintessential southwest La cooking in my opinion and well worth the 30 minute drive to get there.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Here is the Chicken Biscuit. Lot more meat and a container of sauce to douse it with. Definitely like it more than the Delta Mini burger. This delta sauce could become addictive
Must not leave out Taco Bell. This is the Volcano Taco. Pretty much a regular taco except for two things a supposedly spicy corn tortilla shell and a spicy mayonnaise. Tortilla not mayonnaise yes Maybe with the addition of the hot taco sauce it might be explosive but I found it to be a fizzle in the pan
This is my favorite thing at Taco Bell. The Caramel Apple Empanada. Too delicious to describe. Pure heavenly delight. Some times I just go and get some of these. Mostly I try to make a treat every once and awhile
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
4723 Common St
Lake Charles, LA
Cajun Lunch Monday - Friday 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM $8 - $13
Indian Dinner Friday - Saturday 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
This establishment is also a work in progress. At first it was more convenience story that a place to eat, now more restaurant than convenience store. Only the reach-in cooler for soft drinks and beer remain with some snack items. The rest of the floor space is covered with tables and chairs. They serve a Cajun/Creole/Soul food type of plate lunch. Most come and take away although some like me stay to eat. Nothing fancy here, you eat out of the Styrofoam clamshell with plastic utensils even at night. They have fountain drinks or you can pull a beverage from a cooler. They also stock Anna’s Pies for those with a sweet tooth.
First foray was a Thursday, which is Baked Pork Chop day. I received a thin breakfast style pork chop, greens, corn, and red beans and sausage over rice. The chop was nicely spiced and for the most part tender and moist. The corn possessed a sweet undertone and the greens smoky with lots of garlic. Unfortunately the red beans were under cooked as far as I was concerned. Good flavor though. Friday is Seafood Day for lunch. I got the Fried Catfish, corn, and potato salad with Shrimp Creole over rice. They also offered Crawfish Etouffee but since it was a red etouffee I declined. The Creole had nice tomato gravy with chunks of tomato, celery, and onion. The medium shrimp in it were tender and not overcooked. It possessed a decent spice level. You got at least a dozen shrimp. The corn again good and the potato salad “mashed potato style’ and delicious with sweet relish and boiled eggs. The huge catfish fillet was crispy outside and moist inside but not wet. A very large lunch meant for a working man.
The owners of this place are Indians and on the weekend they get in the kitchen and whip up some homestyle cooking. One night I got a combo Shrimp/Crawfish curry (tomato and onion sauce with a medium heat level), a cabbage, carrot and potato side infused with turmeric, a spinach and cheese samosa (fried dumpling), papadum (lentil cracker) and naan (bread). The naan was a little rubbery but the rest fantastic. A medium heat with the taste of East Asian spices. On two separate occasions I partook of lamb curry and goat curry. On both occasion my dinning companions expressed fully approval and appreciation of the meal. The side this time was stewed bell pepper and potatoes and potato and pea samosa with a tortilla subbing for Roti (another type of Indian bread). The meat was tender and falling off the bone with not a trace of any gamy taste. Partially because of the spices, cooking method and the youth of the animals. Again a medium spice level and the wonderful flavor of India.
At this point they are just trying out various dishes to see the response not only to the dishes but the concept of serving Indian food. I gather it has been favorable as I heard talk of expanding the menu and days. So if you want a full fledge Indian in town, get over to this venue on Friday and Saturday nights to support and encourage them.
3739 Perkins Road
Baton Rouge La
Lunch Tuesday - Friday 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM Price $3 to $46
Dinner Monday - Saturday 5:30 PM - 10:00 PM
This long time Baton Rouge restaurant has peaked my curiosity for quite awhile. However since I am hardly ever in the area at dinnertime, I never had the pleasure of eating there. However recently they opened for lunch and a fellow worker and me were in Baton Rouge on business. Therefore we took advantage of the newly instituted lunchtime. Situated in a strip mall on Perkins the exterior is pretty mundane. However once through some iron gates you enter a sumptuous patio, which merely hints at the interior, first class all the way.
They started us off with a plate of Sweet Potato Chips sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar, crisp and tasty. However the breadbasket brought what I consider substandard rolls. Possessing no crust and a sliced white bread texture inside. My companion ordered Juban’s Gumbo, which contained smoked chicken, roasted duck and andouille sausage. Like most Creole gumbos a bit thick for my taste but that bowl held wonderful flavor (smoky, spicy, rich broth with a touch of tomato). I opted for the Oyster Carousel. A trio of baked oysters in metal souffle cups. Along with the traditional Rockefeller (creamy spinach with bacon) and Bienville (cream sauce with breadcrumb top) was their Maxwell (horseradish cocktail sauce with sliced fresh Jalapenos). All were delicious with the Maxwell delivering a huge spice kick. Next came a side salad of various greens, shaved Romano, and crushed garlic vinaigrette, quite different but well suited for my taste buds.
My companion opted for the Seafood Special of the day, BBQ Shrimp. Six jumbo shrimp peeled but tail on baked in BBQ butter and served with Garlic Cheese Grits with a sauteed medley of vegetables. My taste revealed well cooked but bland shrimp with killer grits, loads of cheesy garlic goodness. I had the Hallelujah Crab. A crispy flash fried soft-shell crab stuffed with shrimp, crawfish, and crabmeat topped with a Creolaise sauce (Creole mustard hollandaise). The stuffing was the size of my fish and in the carapace so the crab sat upright. Fried so it claws were in a “praise the lord” posture, it made for a wonderful plate presentation. Rice pilaf and steamed green beans and broccoli accompanied it. The sweetness of the crab and other seafood was complimented by the mustardy tang of the sauce, a perfect combo. Service was excellent and unrushed. The server was very informative and seemed to know about dishes and preparations. I would expect nothing less from an establishment of this caliber. I highly recommend it.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
I also made quesadillas with the debris cheek meat.
I am in a review deadline mode and have being going to restaurants that I am reviewing so little activity for the blog. Wednesday I will be posting the reviews and pictures for the review that came out in Lagniappe last week.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I sauteed a Texas Sweet that I had and layered it with some dehydrated trinity with garlic on top in my large slow cooker
This is the onion mixture stained from the juices
This is the juices.
Again I took a different tact on the sauce. I usually stick blend the vegetables into the juice to create the sauce. This time I used a dry roux to thicken the juices. When thicken I put back in the onions and stuff. The meat was so tender I could shred it with my hands. After shredding I put that in the gravy and onions and reduced until it was thick. Now I have a sort of debris. I will use this to make flour burritos, stuff in pita bread, make po boys etc
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Following the current practice the bread basket is a metal basket. This contained rolls similar in taste and texture to the Outback. Rolled in oatmeal to give a rustic appearance they are still the slightly sweet artificially dark colored bread of the Outback. I am not criticizing, I in fact love this bread.
The main event was a Burger with Home Fries. On a large hamburger bun bottom they start off with mayonnaise then a 8 oz or more patty cooked to taste topped with a slice of American cheese, sauteed onions, and sauteed mushroom topped with a mustard slathered bun top. Tomato, shredded lettuce and dill pickle slices reside on the side. Perfectly fried and seasoned wedge potato slices with tang ketchup made for righteous meal. Patty was juicy and meaty and the additions fresh.
I finished up with Mrs Hunter's Bread Pudding with Lemon Sauce. A finely ground rather than torn in chunk bread pudding. Except for some Zante Currants a plain jane sort of affair which I prefer. The tart and sweet sauce set it off perfectly. I have been eating this bread pudding on and off for nigh onto 40 years. This piece tastes as good as the first piece I had.
An extravagance I admit but I need something to buck me up for the upcoming days.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
This is the Philly cheese steak. It is suppose to have sliced steak, onions, green peppers, mushroom, provolone,and American cheese on a cheesy provolone crust. As you can see it does not have much of anything on a over toasted bun. Would have to think twice about this one again. The other two Chicken Parm and Chicken Bacon Ranch did not strike my fancy
I started off with the black eye pea soup. Black eye peas cooked with bacon, jalapenos, onion and garlic in chicken stock then pureed. It came out steaming hot and my first bite was a gigantic garlic hit. It was not pleasant leaving an acrid aftertaste. However I soon figured out it was the steam heat that was causing this effect. After letting the soup cool a bit it mellowed considerably. The garlic was at the very edge of the envelope but it was not a sledgehammer any more. It grew on me and I loved every bite after that
I had ordered half a Ninth Ward and half a Peacemaker. For those who need interpretation a Ninth Ward is a debris po boy. Need further translation this is a beef chuck pot roast cooked low and slow in its own juices till it literally and actually fall apart. Mother's on Poydras made this home style po boy famous. It is sorta like pulled pork except beef and no BBQ sauce. It soaking with gravy as it the bread. They use Gambino Bakery New Orleans French bread here. Mine was just as good as I have had at Mother's
There is a story or myth behind the Peacemaker. The story runs that a man in New Orleans was out late getting drunk. So on the way home instead of picking up flowers for his wife he goes to the local po boy place and get a fried oyster sandwich. Only in New Orleans would you bring home food to make the peace. Along side it is some Onion Crisps. These are thin sliced onions soaked in a specially seasoned wash then coated with the corm flour based fry mix and flash fried. The oysters were excellent and some additional hot sauce made the po boy perfection. The onion were tasty and crisp but I prefer mine just coated in seasoned flour. That would have been the perfect combination for me however I would not throw this combo out the bed.
I finished off with bread pudding. Unfortunately not enough egg custard mixture had been used or they had not let it soak long enough. My piece had dry sections of bread and was very dense and dry. It did have a cinnamon flavor and looked great.
Below is the link