Saturday, April 30, 2011

Leornard's 1708 Gertsner Memorial Dr (337) 494-0618

Another BB. This one through the drive thru. I got the seafood combo which consists of fried catfish fillet, fried shrimp, shrimp etouffee, salad and garlic bread. The catfish and shrimp were perfect. The right coatings (cornmeal for fillet and flour for shrimp) and not greasy. I would not call it shrimp etouffee but I would call it delicious. It was more like a creamy shrimp piquant and I would eat it again. In fact I would eat this meal again and again. I now realize that I can get my perfect seafood dinner on my way home and not get out of the car. I just have to remember to call it in.
I got several other things to make the break point on the coupon. They included this great piece of cornbread

These less than perfect boudin balls. The crust was too thick and therefore a bit greasy

And an OK Sweet potato pie. I prefer the sweet potato cake that they have but they were out

Monday, April 25, 2011

Ox Tail

I have gotten several Bargain Bee for local meat shops. At one I picked up some oxtail. I floured and seared them. They then went into the crock pot with dehydrated trinity and garlic and chicken broth to cover. They sat overnight on low. Below is the deboned meat over rice. Good eating.

Cajun Tales 501 N Adams S tWelsh, LA 70591 (337) 734-4772

This is the meal served at the Louisiana Restaurant Association Southwest Chapter. I do not know if these are on the regular menu but if they are I suggest you get them. Below in the out of focus pic is a slaw that had nuts (pecans) and fruit. The dressing brought it together. These were set out on the table and I saw a few people getting another serving from empty seats. It was that good The main entree was a inch and half pork T-bone cooked to medium and just as tender, juicy, and flavorful a cut of meat that I have ever had. Sides were succotash, rice pilaf and a roll.
They were OK but the meat was divine. I love pork and have had many cuts but never this one and never cooked as perfectly as this one

Dessert was a Sysco summer favorite. It is a lemon mascarpone cake with berries. As wonderful as when I first tasted eight years ago. Light and refreshing

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Fuji 3241 East Prien Lake Road (337) 480-3788

I have been neglectful of the blog. I had a full plate at work and had other things at the house. Also a form of writer's block. Hopefully that is done with. I have a stack of unfinished posts ie pictures but no words. I plan to knock them out ASAP

I had a Bargain Bee for here. I am using them as an excuse to visit old places. Below is the Seafood Soup (Mussel, Shrimp, Crabmeat & Vegetables). It was quite lovely and to tell you the truth the best thing I had there. Fragrant broth with everything cooked just right
My favorite thing to to start off. Sweet Shrimp (Ema Ebi). Not so nice this time. Both the shrimp body and fried head has a slightly fishy taste as if they had been kept around too long
Next came Chirashi Chef's Choice of Assorted Fresh Fish Over Sushi Rice. I hated this presentation. One of the reason I get this dish is that it usually has an abundance of rice. Not this way. Since when is the rice more pricey than the fish. Pretty but I am not into pretty.

Not likely I will be returning unless for a social obligation


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fausto's 173 N Hwy 171 Moss Bluff, LA 70611 (337) 855-2043

Another BB(Bargain Bee) voucher. I have eaten at both the Moss Bluff and Iowa Fausto's over the years. I normally get burgers and seafood up at MB and Robbie Vandcour marvelous plate lunch in Iowa. For the first time I got the chicken. It made me sorry I had not tried it before because it is great. Except for the spicy skin it is exactly like the fried chicken my sister used to make. I had lots of chicken growing up but Mama never fried any. My sister when her boys were growing up fried chicken for them. I occasionally got to eat some and loved the simple flour crust. That how it is at Fausto's except for the kick in the crust. I am about to eat the last of it for lunch today. I love cold fried chicken and I expect this to be great

To eat up the rest of the voucher so to speak I got a Cajun Burger to eat there. Not as nice as the one I had there several years ago. You see I have a pet peeve about Cajun Burgers. Most I have encounter load it up with jalapeno slices and declare it is Cajun. Wrong in my opinion. That make it a Tejano burger. Texas is known for jalapeno and Louisiana for cayennne pepper and maybe tabasco. Years ago the Cajun here had a cayenne pepper sauce relish sorta like a chow chow. It made for an excellent burger. Now they pile on the jalapeno and douse it with a cayenne pepper sauce. Makes for a very sloppy burger. The person who made the relish must have moved on and took the recipe. Now I grant you that LC is close enough to Texas that some Jalapeno flavor should creep in but not on a "Cajun" burger. Other than that is was delicious burger. The griddled bun had a sweet note that went well with the spiciness. The patty itself was thick and juicy and cheese a welcome addition.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Swirl, Savor & Sip In The Crescent City This Summer! Three culinary festivals sure to satisfy every taste-bud this summer New Orleans, Louisiana – There are three delicious reasons to visit New Orleans - one of Travel + Leisure’s “America’s Favorite Cities”-- this summer. The 19th annual New Orleans Wine & Food Experience (NOWFE) kicks off summer with its five-day extravaganza May 24 – 28, 2011. Long sultry days are welcomed with an abundance of fresh Louisiana seafood at the 4th annual Louisiana Seafood Festival June 11 – 12, 2011. And the 9th anniversary event of Tales of the Cocktail is sure to raise the spirits of any summer-loving, food and spirit connoisseur July 20-24, 2011. The New Orleans Wine & Food Experience is nationally recognized as one of the most prestigious festivals of its kind and features over 175 wineries, 1000 wines, dozens of international wine and food experts, and now continually raises over $125,000 annually for local charities. Grab your fork and corkscrew - the five-day bacchanalia is packed with extraordinary wine and food seminars, wine dinners at some of the cities most celebrated restaurants, one-of-a-kind wine tasting events, and two Grand Tastings. The popularity of NOWFE has grown so much over the past 19 years that many events sell-out. Event tickets and special hotel packages can now be reserved at The Louisiana Seafood Festival takes place in the heart of New Orleans and celebrates the abundance of seafood that plays a tremendous part in the heritage and culture of the city. Festival attendees can feast on a variety of Louisiana seafood from alligator to oysters and everything in between. From the traditional Louisiana shrimp po’boy on fresh baked French bread to classic New Orleans favorites like crawfish étouffée. The event features local restaurants and local music within the atmosphere of the historic French Quarter. Louisiana leads the nation in production of both hard and soft-shell crabs, more than 90% of the nation’s crawfish come from Louisiana, 70% of the oysters harvested in the US are from Gulf waters, and 69% of the domestic, US shrimp are harvested from Gulf waters. Therefore, the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board knew there was no better place than New Orleans to enjoy a seafood festival. Tales of the Cocktail, an event produced by the New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society, is an internationally acclaimed festival of cocktails, cuisine and culture held annually in New Orleans. The event brings together the best and brightest of the cocktail community—award-winning mixologists, authors, bartenders, chefs and designers—for a five-day celebration of the history and artistry of making drinks. Each year offers a Spirited Dinner® series, demos, tastings, competitions, seminars, book signings, tours and parties all perfectly paired with some of the best cocktails ever made. Special ticket packages are available now for a limited time only at Press Release by Liz Bodet

Gravitas & Cullens Houston



807 Taft St Houston TX 713-522-0995

Lunch Monday to Friday 11 AM - 3 PM $2 - $24

I had a lovely meal here. I opted for the Business Lunch in thirty minutes not because I was in a hurry but because it fit my Groupon and I liked what it offered. A galvanized square pail filled with torn bread and a three compartment porcelain dish of olive oil and spice mixture arrived. The bread comes from the owner’s bakery operation. It proved delicious as artisanal bread should. I dipped the bread in the oil then in the dry spices. Whether that was proper way did not concern me. My way was flavorful First course was a Roasted Onion Soup. The roasting brought out the sweetness of the onion. With a little milk to thin it, it made for a nice creamy soup. Thinly sliced fried onion rings garnished the soup. Second course was a Half Wedge Salad with in house ranch dressing and sprinkled with crumbled blue cheese, bacon and tomato. For some reason I love a wedge salad while I turn my nose up at most other salads. I think it is the combination of texture and flavor that leaving the iceberg whole accomplishes. Main course was Beef Cheek braised for eight hours. Served over asparagus and whipped potatoes drowned in the au jus from the braising liquid. What can I say except it was fall apart tender. In my opinion cheek is the best cut on the cow. It exudes beefy flavor. Granted it takes awhile but well worth it. The ending was a bread pudding topped with in house vanilla bean ice cream with butterscotch sauce. I normally do not care for ice cream on dessert but this was small scoop that packed a ton of flavor. The pudding was just milk, eggs, bread and sugar. It proved to be perfect dessert in both taste and size (small). I adored this establishment and will be returning soon for a dinner as I have acquired another Groupon for them.


11500 Space Center Blvd Houston TX


Monday to Sunday 11 AM - 12 AM $3 - $45

This is a high end restaurant in the south of Houston. The dining room is like 60 feet high with a suspended room of some clear substance. If you have the do re me you can book a meal there. A metal bowl filled with parmesan coated crackers and some artisanal bread appeared. I ordered a Charcuterie platter of in house cured meats and pickled vegetables. It consisted of slices of air dried duck breast, pea tendrils, toasted bread, bread and butter pickles, coppa (cured pork shoulder), cipolin onions, paragon cheese, and pickled cauliflower. It was large and the flavor combinations endless. I enjoyed thoroughly especially the duck. Main course was a perfectly cooked fillet of Char with the crispest skin I have ever had. It sat on a sticky rice cake that had been pan sautéed also. It was heaven. I paid little attention to details except to note that the flavors complimented each other perfectly. To finish this perfect meal I got a Crème Brule. Nice crackly crust with an unctuous custard paired with fresh berries The chef here knows his stuff. The staff proved informative and proud of the food. It is certainly a destination. Next time you are in Kemah take a ride east to fine dinning. Cullens

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Huddle Up 1103 W Prien Lake Lake Charles, LA 70601 (337) 656-2905

Bargain Bee time again. Even though I have just finished with them I noticed on Bargain Bee they had a website and a new menu. So I just had to buy it. First up is the fried chicken wing bone in with the Special Sauce. For some unknown reason the sauce did not make it to the new menu. But if you ask for it they have it and take it from me you want to ask. He has tinkered with it and it has more spice now. Almost a perfect balance.
Here it is in all its glory. The triple threat. Fried boneless pork chop, grilled chicken breast and one of their in house beef patties with curly fries. I love curly fries for some reason. These are good and I ate most of them
Here is it opened up. I added some pepperjack to spice it up. The bun was sturdy enough to last the whole time. You get three textures here. The crunch of the pork chop, the firmness of the chicken breast and the tenderness of the seasoned patty. Each has a separate flavor profile Not a lot of condiments which I think is for the best. It could do with some bacon as I think the smokiness would add a lot. It is a lot of sandwich and both the owner and server thought I could not handle but I downed it.
My favorite dessert in town. Fried Oreo Just four bites and your done. Creamy and chocolate.

Cancun 4001 Ryan Street Lake Charles, LA 70605-2819 (337) 477-6802

Before the arrival of El Tapatio and Rosita's this the only place where you could get anywhere close to Mexican cooking. All the rest of the joints were tex-mex. I have not been in years but a Bargain Bee voucher put them in my sights. I will now give away my age as I know what this building originally housed and I went there a lot. It started out as a Sambo's. Never get away with that name these days

Here is the plastic tub o salsa that they bring you. A not too bad fresh salsa.
White is always a problem when you have to use a flash. Below is there queso dip which is thank god done with white cheese and minced peppers. Very good and lovely with the chips
Below is their version of Coctel de Cameron. They call it shrimp cocktail and you get all the fixings for it. The shrimp is in a sweet sauce and you get a plate of stuff (sorry no pic) to fix to your taste. It contains pico de gallo, avocado slices, and jalapeno slices. You have to ask for hot sauce to bring it to the level of the other places. While it was ok I prefer the version were it is brought to you in stemmed glassware already mixed up.
The real treasure here for me is the carnitas. They still use pork shoulder and not pork loin. The rice was dry as usual but the refried beans were good. The salad made for nice tacos with the meat. This is what I get every time but I noticed some interesting seafood options that I may try on a return visit.

Huddle Up

OUT AND ABOUT Huddle Up 1103 West Prien Lake Road Lake Charles LA 337-656-2905 Monday thru Sunday 11 AM to 12:00 AM $1 to $18 This site has some what of a curse on it since the departure of Bennigans. Based on my experience this establishment may be the one to break it. It is nothing more than what is says it is. The menu is small but selective. The space loaded with TVs and a nice selection of beer. Not only do they have domestic and foreign but regional craft beers. First round I went with Corn Fritters, Classic Burger and Fried Oreos. The fritters were quarter sized nuggets of what seemed to be creamed corn in a light batter. They tasted sweet and delicious. I think a spicier sauce other than the ranch dressing would suit them better but that is just my opinion. I added as is my wont cheese and bacon to the burger. The patty was moist and beefy and seasoned throughout. It also had a lovely char on it. Each bite of the burger gave me that classic profile that I desire and thank the gods the bun stayed intact. Curly fries come with it and for once I really enjoyed the fries, crispy. The cookies were in a nice crust and presented as warm and creamy chocolate disks. Next round was Onion Rings, Wings, and Chocolate Suicide. The rings were thick cut and beer battered. The remoulade sauce made a perfect dipping sauce. It had a little kick to offset the sweetness of the onions. I got a six piece order of wings with their Signature sauce. The wings were a perfect size and perfectly fried. Because they use no seasoning or batter the skin comes out very crisp and stays that way. The sweet and spicy Signature sauce they were tossed in proved fantastic. You get a crispy wing with tons of flavor perfect for munching on while watching a game. The dessert consisted of an individual chocolate bunt cake with the cake covered in chocolate icing with the hole also filled with the same chocolate icing. A chocolate syrup drizzle and dollops of whipped cream finish it off. I love chocolate and I loved this Final round I opted for Fried Mushrooms and Lasagna. The mushrooms were thick sliced portabellas in a nice crumb crust. The flavor, texture, and thickness of the mushroom lent the feel of eating chicken fried steak fingers. They were delicious especially with the ranch dressing. A large hunk of stacked noodles with sauce buried underneath a great sauce presented itself at the table. The chunky sauce with Italian sausage, onions, pepper, and tomato possessed a sweet undertone. That made it the perfect sauce for me. I am not a big southern Italian food fan but I could eat this on a regular basis. A full third of the menu is pasta and pizza. There is also a sandwich that is a combo of fried pork chop, grilled chicken breast and beef patty that I have my eye on. This is the kind of down home venue that any neighborhood would like to have. Huddle Up