Thursday, June 11, 2009

Dairy Barn and Kool Kones

Dairy Barn
3905 Ryan St
Lake Charles, LA
Monday - Saturday 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM $1-$10
I would suspect that virtually everyone has been to this new iteration of the Dairy Barn in Maplewood. But I have to throw in my two cents. It is housed in the former Wagon Wheel. Coming in you have a little lobby-like space. Then a brick and wood screen divides the hall in half. Head down the left side to get in line to order. Place your order and sit where you will. Beyond the arch is the train room with a track running around the room near the ceiling and a train running on it
First time there I went with my favorite, Bacon Cheeseburger with the Shoestring Onion Rings. It tasted just like I remembered it. Standard bun with shredded berg, tomato slice, bacon, American cheese and a freshly ground chuck patty. The expected gestalt of a burger reigned supreme. The onions however were greasier than usual and scorched. Time to change the grease.
Next time was the Combo Catfish and Shrimp Dinner. It comes with French fries and Texas Toast. Hot and fresh with flour coating on the shrimp and cornmeal coating on the catfish filet as it should be. The fries were crispy on the outside and potatoey on the inside, with the Texas Toast griddled on one side. I also got a Strawberry Shake made with real strawberries in it, delicious. All of it a taste treat.
Last time was through the drive-thru. I got a half Roast Beef Po Boy, half Hamburger Po Boy and Onion Rings. The rings proved perfect this time. Golden brown and not so greasy, you need some grease. I was less pleased with the po boys. Bread is important to a po boy. While plain buns are great for their burgers the po boy needs something better. The roast beef seemed to me to be pre-sliced pre-cooked deli meat with a little gravy. The hamburger one was overcooked and dry. While I would whole heartily recommend this establishment for burgers, catfish, and shrimp, I personally would stay away from the po boys.

Kool Kones
1222 Oak Park Blvd
Lake Charles, LA
Monday - Friday 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM Plate lunches $7-$12
While better known for their snow cones this trailer with take away only does a mean plate lunch. Thursday is BBQ day. As usual I went with the Combo. I received a leg quarter, sausage link and several meat packed ribs (pork) over dirty rice with green beans and potato salad. All the meats were tender, moist and fall off the bone. The link was especially good. I am developing a taste for BBQ links. While usual not the best sausage in the world the cooking process seems to suit them. All the sides were excellent which came as pleasant surprise. Usually when t he meat is good the sides suck.
Friday is Catfish day. The meal contains an enormous fried filet that covered the large compartment over shrimp rice with green beans and potato salad. An excellent corn meal crust with a kick of spice kept the fillet hot. While the beans and potato salad (mashed potato style) were as good as before the shrimp rice did not suit my taste. It seemed to be excessively shrimpy with not completely cooked rice.
It is best to call in your order or you might have to wait as I did. I was more than happy too as it was that good. You can find good food in the most unlikely places if you have people taking pride in making it.

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