Thursday, February 25, 2010



Louis DeAngelos
121 Dr Michael DeBakey Drive
Lake Charles, LA

Lunch 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM $1 to $26
Dinner 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM

By now you have probably been to the new Louis DeAngelos and I am preaching to the choir. I think this latest incarnation is way better than the previous in both food and atmosphere. I love the new open dinning room abet a bit more noisy. I did not care for the rabbit warren that it was before. I like the use of wood especial in the bar. The service seems a bit erratic with people falling over each other to delivery it. One time three different people told me that he or she was my server

First time back I started with a cup of Shrimp and Corn Bisque. The aroma announced the tender corn, flavorful shrimp and spice upon arrival at the table. A spoonful delivered on that promise. I got the Garlic Mozzarella Cheese Bread to go along. Did not stay under the broiler long enough for my taste. Next up Shrimp Stuffed Mushrooms. This has to be one of the best I’ve ever eaten. Crimni or baby bellas stuffed with shrimp, spinach, and smoked mozzarella. The mushroom somehow dewatered presented a meaty texture and flavor that compliment the sweet shrimp, bitter green and smoke of the cheese. After that the Spinach Florentine Flatbread arrived. I am not much of a pizza person mainly because of the sauce. This amalgamation of shrimp, pancetta, spinach, roasted garlic and Asiago cheese without sauce I could eat all day every day. The combination of flavors and textures strike my palate just right. My dessert of bread pudding was not right and more about that later.

Second time was with friends. We ordered Crispy Artichokes and La Caprese. The lemon and herb marinated artichokes were fried perfectly and just as tasty by themselves as dipped in the marinara sauce. A row of overlapping mozzarella, tomato and basil leaves dressed with oil and balsamic vinegar with a scattering of capers brought summer to an otherwise wintry day. I ate the Tuscan Minestrone. Seasonal vegetables simmered in a tomato broth with herbs and white beans, a shield for the wintry day. My Artistic friend ordered the Linguine Napoli with shrimp. The mixture of spinach and shitake mushroom in the white wine tomato basil sauce proved divine as she utter under her breath “the mushrooms, the mushrooms”. My Particular friend got the Bleu Burger. An eight ounce chuck patty topped with Gorgonzola, caramelized onion and red onion, roma tomato and wild greens in a balsamic dressing, another winner. My taste almost caused an orgasmic experience in my mouth. I opted for Baked Eggplant Parmigiano. With the slices of cooked eggplant layered with tomato sauce, pesto, mozzarella and Asiago, I got a hearty and satisfying dish with no pasta and my favorite vegetable along with big blast of cheese. We shared a Tiramisu, which was above standard

Last time in was dinner. I started with Fried Ravioli. Large pillows with an abundance of ricotta cheese and a greaseless crust. I went with the Fresh Catch, salmon. They prepared it as a deconstructed Salad Nicoise. The sauteed potato crusted salmon was topped with an olive tapende. Sauteed haricot vert and grape tomtoes sat atop a garlic aioli. The flavors blended well in many variations. I was quite pleased as this reminded me of a trip to France. I got the Pesto Orzo Salad as a side. Perhaps the best thing I ate there. It is essentially a cold pasta salad with grape tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, herbs, and oil. It contains bold colors and bright flavors. Sometimes the best things are the simplest. This well-balanced side would make any dish sparkle.

When chef/owner Ben Herrera dropped by my table I told him of my bread pudding experience. He immediately saw the problem and then made one for me the correct way. It came out with lots of custard soaked bread with a sugar crunch on top and melting hazelnut cream a delight to eat. I need say no more about this place

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Roman Holyday

At Domenica, Chef Alon Shaya offers Passover Seder in the Roman style

He was born in Israel, trained at our country’s finest culinary school, and spent the better part of the past few years immersed in Italian culture. So the Passover Seder offered this year by Alon Shaya, Chef/Partner at Domenica, will be a feast reflecting the rich and ancient Jewish history of Rome, inspired by his recent explorations of the cuisine in Italy’s Jewish neighborhoods and restaurants – and the food itself will be nothing short of ‘miraculously’ good.

Running from March 30th to April 5th, and available at both lunch and dinner, Domenica’s Seder will be served family-style only, in the warm and inclusive spirit of the ritual feast, so full table participation is required. And what a feast! For the table, Sicilian Sea Salt Matzo and Charoset with figs, walnuts, and passito. The zuppe is Matzo Ball Soup “wedding style” – with escarole and cannellini beans; and the fish course to follow is “Gefilte Fish” – olive oil poached Branzino, to be exact, with artichoke and bitter herb salad. Next comes the carne, Roasted Lamb Loin with honey glazed root vegetables, pine nut and mint gremolata; and for a sweet finish, Matzo Beignets with stewed berries and orange blossom zabaione.

The full meal is $40 per person, and the cocktails that Shaya has laughingly dubbed “Manischewitz Mint Jew-leps” are an additional $8. To the traditional julep components of muddled mint leaves, sugar, and Makers Mark is added a splash of Manischewitz Concord Grape and elements of lemon. Come celebrate Passover in Roman style -- at Domenica, where every day is a holiday.

Domenica 504 648.6020 123 Baronne Street New Orleans, LA 70112

Courtesy of Simone Rathle

Monday, February 22, 2010

Kettle Chips

Before the main entree here is an appetizer. I am a big coupon person. It is not just for economy although if I find something I like a coupon is not a bad thing. I also use them to try out new and/or unusual things. I think this counts. It is not rice cakes but rather nice chip made with brown rice and rice flour. The flavor makes it. A nice heat with a bit of sweet. I don't think I would purchase solo but if I had another coupon I probably would

I shopped at WalMarts so they did not have any really interesting flavors. However this one struck my fancy as I love onions especially sweets like Walla Walla and Texas 1015. These had a wonderful deep down onion flavor without the heat you sometimes get with the real deal. Again I compliment the flavor profiler at Kettle. I am slowly but surely getting addicted to these flavors. I will probably swing by Krogers on 12th to pick a bag of Buffalo Bleu this weekend. Look for the upcoming report. So far I am having more luck with these than the Cajun Singles


Grilled blood sausages from Usingers atop over night grits. My kind of meal

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Liz at Leonard's

I occasionally stop at Leonard's Food Quarters for one reason or other. The other is usually I have sweet tooth and the line of desserts provide by Liz can satisfy it. Some of the items had minor problems and I usually avoided them. However last run through they were out of my favorite so I went with some other stuff. To my delight the lady has stepped her game. Below is a sweet potato pie. I have always loved her sweet potato cake. This filling has the same flavor profile. I usually find the crust a little off. Not so this pie. A sweet crispy crust with no sog and a perfect foil for the slightly spicy (sweet spices) filling.

The strawberry cake always seemed undercooked and liquid in spots. However this one was cooked throughout while still leaving it a bit dense and super moist which I do not mind. The strawberry flavor stands out. I always thought a little tweaking would make them better and she has accomplished that in spades

Cajun Singles

For various reasons these two were losers in my eyes. The Savoie's rice was good, the flavor profile ok, seafood cooked just right, and it was spicy enough. However it just did not satisfy me. I suspect it is because I was raised up on Prairie Cajun jambalaya. I ate chicken and sausage or pure pork. This one did not have the depth of flavor that I expect. It may well suit your taste but I will avoid it the future
Again the Richard's had many things going for it. A bold spicy flavor, lovely crawfish, corn right on the money. However one fatal flaw that I will not stand. The rice was undercooked and as hard as nails. Sorry. You may want to try and cooked a little more but I will not.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


La Dolce Vita
Domenica Offers an Italian Feast for St. Joseph’s Day

Domenica is traveling back in time to embrace the very roots of the city’s cultural origins, offering an authentic four-course St. Joseph’s Day menu with a special dessert to celebrate the delicious Italian traditions of the holiday from March 12-19, 2010. Just as in the homes and churches of the city’s extensive Sicilian community, whose members pay homage to their patron saint by erecting altars of food, Domenica will be home to a feast of Artichoke, Fava Bean and Blood Orange Salad, Pasta Milanese, Seafood Brodetto, and a finale of Zeppole with Anise, Figs and Sweet Ricotta. Also known as a St. Joseph’s Day “cake”, zepolle is Italian sweet dough fried to perfection and brings a touch of the miraculous to all who eat it.

Legend has it that St. Joseph and the humble fava bean saved Sicilians from famine in the Middle Ages. To this day, Sicilians and those of Sicilian descent living in New Orleans pay homage to the saint by erecting altars in their homes on March 19 of each year. Recently opened in the historic Roosevelt Hotel, Domenica is dedicated to revitalizing the rich Italian traditions of the Crescent City through the authentic dishes available year-round.

Simone Rathle

Another Broken Egg

Another Broken Egg
112 Rue Promenade
Lafayette LA

Seven days a week 6:30 AM - 2:00 PM $2 to $11

This concept originated in Mandeville on the North Shore more than a decade ago. Current corporate headquarters is in Destin FL. They have basically spread along the Gulf States with an eye to expanding north into the southeast. The Lafayette venue is really nice with all sizes of decorated rooms and a menu of mammoth proportion. I started with a Cafe au Lait. It was quite decent and the ceramic mug kept it hot throughout the meal. They sell it on the website but $18 is bit steep for someone who is not that into coffee.

I opted for the Southern Crab Stack for my brunch. A seasoned grit cake topped with a house made crab cake smothered in a shrimp and andouille sauce. Served with garlic French toasts and house potatoes. Portion sizes are huge. A platter the size of a boat appeared. The grit cake proved tasty while the crab cake seemed aggressively crabby. The whole shrimp and slices of sausage were flavorful but I would have preferred them diced smaller so they would have incorporated into the sauce better. The house potatoes were fantastic, crisp and seasoned on the outside and soft on the inside. The garlic toast seemed huge but turned out light with a crisp crust and soft crumb with loads of buttery garlic flavor

They had what for me was an unusual dish, Blackberry Grits. I usual go to the savory side with grits but I will try anything once. This proved to be wonderful. The sweet tart flavor of the slightly cooked berries melded well with the smooth and creamy grits. If you happen to be in the River Ranch area at breakfast or lunch you could much worse than stopping to eat at this chain

Cafe Coulmbia


Cafe Colombia
580 West Prien Lake Road
Mall Food Court
Lake Charles, LA
Monday to Saturday 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM $1 to $10
Sunday 12:00 AM to 6:00 PM

We now have a non-Mexican but still Hispanic place in the food court at the mall. It is Colombian. Donde Tonio gave us the barest taste of this before folding. This one seems to be much more authentic. By the last visit they were featuring more American and Tex-Mex items. Take my advice and try the Columbian ones first you will be pleasantly surprised.

First time I tried a dish that I had ate at Donde Tonio. Bandeja Paisa is named for a region of the country, Paisa. The other word loosely means mixture. You get a little of everything. The basis is rice and beans with sausage, fried pork belly and brisket on it. You also get fried plantains, avocado and a fried corn cake called an arepa. This dish provides opportunity for a variety of flavors and textures. The fork tender brisket, slightly sweet plantains, corny arepa, fatty pork belly, tasty sausage, and lush avocado play well against the bland rice and flavorful beans.

Next time around was Columbia Hot Dog, Empanada, and Pineapple juice. Their version of the hot dog consists of a decent wiener in a standard bun with mayonnaise. Then it goes wild. A layer of crushed potato chips comes next with some sweet pineapple relish topped by a slice of fried bacon. You get sweet, salty, savory, crunchy, and smoky in each bite. Not bad at all although I would have liked another one instead of the fries that come with it. The empanadas were like none I have ever eaten. They possessed a corn crust and were fried. The filling consisted of brisket, potatoes, peppers, and onions. Along with their mild sauce it made for a satisfying experience. They make pineapple juice from actual pineapples and it shows, fresh tasting.

Last foray I sampled two of the Arepas on the board. I got Arepa Madurmisso (Madrid style) and Arepa Paisa. They make a rather thick corn tortilla, split it and fill it with goodies. The Madrid contained ham, white cheese and chopped fried plantain. You eat it like a sandwich. Each bite contained salty, savory, cheesy and sweet. I ate it all in a trice. The Paisa contained elements of the plate lunch. A filling of chopped beef and fried pork belly with beans and a smattering of plantain, not as sweet but more of a savory punch. This is one for the pork fat lovers. The thick corn cake proved sturdy enough to hold the ingredients while adding its own earthy corn flavor,

Next time you are in the mall at mealtime take a chance. The flavors are outstanding

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Burns Dinner 2010

There was a smaller crowd this year because of all the competing events including Valentines Day and Mardi Gras. It was held at and catered by The Brick House. The fare at this event is pretty much the same over the world. But I was interested in seeing how they handled as they are planning on opening an Irish Pub around St Patrick's day next month. Below is Cock-a-leekie essentially chicken and vegetable soup with a strong onion component. The flavor was wonderful and had a nice spice level. But as I ate more the more salty it seemed to be. Below it is the haggis. A canned product. I like it mainly because I like organ meat. It contains a wheat product instead of rice. If it had been made with rice it would be more like a southwest la dish called ponce.

The main meal consisted of roast beef, mashed potatoes, mashed neeps (rutabaga), and green beans. The roast beef was tender and flavorful especially in the garlic department. The mashed potatoes were light and tasty. A simple approach on the rutabagas left them smooth and also let their natural spiciness show through. I have been eating this vegetable from childhood as my father grew them in his garden, The beans proved a bit different as their contained a significant sugar component as did the bacon. Seemed to me they wanted a caramel effect. Quite good.
As in my last meal here the food was room temperature.
Last was a bread pudding or as the Scots would call it Bread and Butter Pudding. Overall it was good however it contained nuts which I do not care for in bread pudding

After dinner we were treated to bagpipe music (Lone Star Pipe Band), songs with lyrics from Burns poems,an a capella group , and poetry. All seemed to enjoy it.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Fausto's (Iowa)

I am sure you have noticed the Faustos varies somewhat from restaurant to restaurant. When you acquire one you go and learn how to fry chicken from Mr Fausto himself. If you are of an ambitious bent you add other items to the menu with his approval. Such is the case with Brian Vandecour who owns the Iowa location. His main addition is the plate lunches served Monday to Friday. He cooks these himself using the skills and techniques that were taught to him by his mother who recently passed (God rest her soul). That means you can get tasty Southwest La cooking and a substantial amount of it. That is because Brian realizes that the working men of the area need a hearty meal to keep them going. This Friday he had fried catfish fillet atop a catfish courtbouillon with enough catfish in it that you basically got a whole fish. With a side of killer lima beans I rolled out full up past my head. The fried fish was perfectly crusty, non-greasy, and moist. The court bouillon spiced to perfection with moist flaky fish chunks and the lima beans seasoned just right. In fact I told him he could have brought just that out and some cornbread and I would have been a happy camper. Well worth the ten minute drive from my house.

Nelson Winn who worked with Brian's mother for awhile now provides the pies for the restaurant. Nelson also comes to the Farmer's Market here. I find his products to be consistly underbaked for my taste and this little pie was no exception

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Kettle Chips

So last week I was watching Modern Marvels and I was about potatoes. Of course they had a section on potato chips. It featured Kettle Brand. After the standard we buy the best potatoes and treat them with love and respect only frying them in separate batches and hand inspecting them Blah Blah Blah. Something caught my attention. The range of flavors they offer. So this week I sought them out at the Kroger on 12th. Look what I found and what a find it was. Who ever does their flavor profiles must have his tongue insured for millions. This was spot on. A great balance of sweet, sour, salty and spicy until you eat about half a dozen and the back burn sets in. Not taste bud killing but a really nice level. When my scalp began to sweat I knew I was at a level I enjoy. They have jalapeno, habanero, and cayenne in the mix along with ginger and lime oil. The gestalt of the flavor reminds me of Tom Yum soup. If you like Thai seek this out and enjoy. I know I certainly do. I will also seek out other flavors. I have a feeling this will join Cajun Singles as a regular feature

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Cajun Singles

I do not know why they don't just call this scampi because that is what it is. Richard product seem to end up with an abundance of sauce. This is a good thing in this entree because the sauce is the winner here. A flavorful garlic butter sauce with a decent spice kick. Next time I get this I will make sure I score some decent bread to soak up the excess sauce.

I don not know why they call things creole when then they are straight cajun. While Richard's usually has extra liquid the Savoie people do it just right. The sauce soaks into the rice or noodles with little excess. That is fine with me as the flavor winds up there too where it should be. This one had a dark roux gravy with great spices that woke my mouth up. I was lucky to hit the jackpot on both of these. It is getting so I don't remember which ones I've had so excuse if I repeat

Friday, February 5, 2010



2401 Napoleon St
Sulphur, LA
Monday to Saturday 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM $1 to $16
Sunday 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Across from the Sausage Link this venue on Hwy 90 has been several establishments in the past few years. Now it is a family run Mexican. The interior has been thoroughly remodeled from the floor up. It is spick and span. I must comment on the menu here before I go on. The first page is obviously for Gringos (fajitas and salads). The second is full of seafood options from soup to whole fried fish. The third page reads like the side of a taco truck. They list the dishes and you ask your server what proteins are available. The bottom has menudo. The last page is breakfast that is available all day. The menu appears quite unusual but delicious.

First thing to hit the table is salsa and chips. But not your garden variety red one, this consists of a spicy and tasty green salsa. I suspect tomatillos as the base. To cool your palate they also offer Aqua Fresca including Horchata along with Mexican soft drinks. Horchata is a rice or almond milk drink flavored with cinnamon. Really hits the spot

First time in I went the taco truck route. I started with a Gordita with tongue. A thick corn tortilla grilled, split and then filled with super beefy and tasty chunks of cow tongue with lettuce and tomatoes. I then got a corn tortilla soft taco with chicharrons. Except these people don’t just braise the skin but the whole pork belly with skin, fat and meat. It was in a mild tomato sauce and hit my pork button. Last was pastor. This is pork marinated in seasonings and pineapple juice then roasted. These two were very simple. A couple of griddled corn tortillas with the meat on them topped with chopped onions and a lime wedge. True Mexican street food. They offer regular proteins like chicken, beef, etc along with the unusual ones in other dishes like burritos, tostadas, tortas (sandwiches) as well.

I hit the breakfast menu next. They have a dish I have wanted to try for awhile but never had the opportunity. Manchaca con Huevos consists of scrambled eggs with dried beef and in this version onion, tomatoes and Serrano peppers are added. It came with refried beans and rice neither of which I cared for. The pepper was raw and too spicy for me. I picked most of them out and ate every last bit of the eggs and beef. I think if they had been sauteed it would have been better for me. Still hungry I glommed onto an unusual item on the menu. Tostada Camarone en Limon starts with a fried flat corn tortilla that has mayonnaise spread on it. Then comes a lime juice, tomato, cilantro and boiled small shrimp mixture. They top it with a dollop of Mexican Crema (sour cream product). It turned out to be some of the best ceviche I have ever tasted. Fresh, clean and acidic with the mayonnaise adding a richness to it, definitely a keeper.

Caldo Marisco came next. The name implies seafood soup. They offer both shrimp and fish soup so I figured this was a combo of those items. When it came to the table I nearly shouted hallelujah. In magnificent seafood broth resided green lip mussels in the shell, whole gumbo crabs, head on shrimp, squid rings, baby octopus, bay scallops, snapper and tilapia hunks. I sat eating and drinking every morsel and mouthful. A few items were a little chewy but had given the broth wonderful flavor. I suspect I emitted little moans as I ate. It was orgasmic to me
I consumed Camarone en Ajo next. Griddled medium shrimp tossed with bell pepper and onions in a garlic sauce. The combo makes excellent wraps with the flour tortilla provided. Very deep garlic flavor but no bitterness. Not very spicy either. The rice seemed better more of a pilaf. I actually ate all of it

Last but not least in my book, Menudo. I don’t mean the boy band. Their version has no posole (hominy) but made up for it with a two-inch pork shank and all three types of cow tripe (smooth, honeycomb and leaf). The usual accompaniments of diced raw onions and jalapenos along with lime wedges were there. The broth looked angry it was so red but turned out quite mild and full of porky flavor. I gave it a big shot of the salsa verde to perk it up. I do like a certain amount of spice. The shank gave it unctuousness and I sucked every bit of flesh off it making disgusting sounds.

Bottom line here is that if you want authentic Mexican come here. However bring cash as they do not do credit. They may be pulling back on the spice for Gringos but I look at it this way. There are enough condiments that I can make as spicy as I want it. Well worth the trip across the river.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I got an envie for a egg burger the other day and voila here it is. I am surprised they still do it but I guess other people beside me enjoy it. That along with some onion rings is perfect.

This pic is for Bouille. This in one of the burger joints in town that had a direct connection with the Greek places of yore. As you see thin onion rings are the style here