Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pork Shouler Roast

I injected the piece of meat which was about 4 lbs with a third of a jar of Tony Chachere's Creole Butter. I then liberally sprinkled the outside with Emeril's Rib Rub. It then went the tabletop appliance for 5 hours at about 275. It came out looking like this. It was not tender enough to pull but despite its look it was tender enough to take off the bone and very juicy.

Here is the meat and the bone to prove it

My dinner of peas and mushrooms, sliced pork shoulder and mashed potatoes. I had plenty left over. Enough to give my sister some and I will consume the rest this week this week. I think it could have have gone longer and gotten to the pulled pork stage. I have three more to experiment on. I took this one off because the smell was making me hungry and it was getting late. I will start the next one first thing

Pat's Fisherman's Wharf

My group took a different approach to Black Friday. We sleep in late. Have a late breakfast then head somewhere out of town for a late lunch. This is the first year we have done this but I think I will endeavor to make it a tradition. I had wanted to go to Cafe Vermillionville but they were not doing lunch. I polled my group and asked for suggestions. Our enthusiastic friend suggested Pat's. A cousin of hers loves the crawfish etouffee camp style. I also had been contemplating going here for awhile. I went to the original Pat's years ago and wanted to see what they had done to the new one. The original Pat's burned down a number of years ago. Pat's Wharf had been built before that because Pat Huval's ex-wife had got the original in the divorce settlement. Looks like Pat is trying to build a little village and museum on site. He n0w has a hotel and some out buildings from the area including a syrup mill. Be forewarned the prices here are very high. Below is some onion rings ordered for the table. Light flour coating fried to perfection with a outstanding tarter sauce for dipping

A dinner salad that has to be ordered extra.

I had ordered the crab dinner. This is the cup of crab gumbo that came with it. It had no salt in it at all. After I put salt in it the flavor came up. They must have a base gumbo because the broth had little crab flavor. They added a good amount of backfin crab and some green onions.
They bring the rice on the side which I consider a plus.

I also was craving raw oysters and ordered a half dozen. Very small and virtually tasteless. New members of the group (Towanda and Engineer) who were sitting far down from me ordered a cup of Corn and Crab Bisque and Crawfish Bisque. I got neither a taste or a photo. Not really their fault. If I would have spoken up they would have shared but this was not a review run but a fun run. They both seemed to enjoy the food.

Here is the famous Crawfish Etouffee Camp Style (Mother Huval's recipe) gotten by our enthusicatic friend. She thoroughly enjoyed it. My taste was OK but it seem to lack flavor. Probably better with fresh crawfish

The blurred picture is my sister's Broiled Red Snapper with vegetables. She seemed well pleased with her dish also.

This was our baking friend's Eggplant Casserole with Shrimp and Crab. This was also ordered by Towanda. After my taste I agreed with both of them that the flavor was excellent but the texture left something to be desired. It was very liquid. I made the comment that it would make a great base for eggplant dressing. That was proven when rice was added to it and tasted. Accompanying it were some excellent sweet potato fries. Almost got my hand slap because I was pinching them

The Engineer got Fried Shimp which look fantastic and he ate with enthusiasm. Below is my crab dinner. From left to right a Crab Boulette, Backfin crab with cocktail sauce, Fried Crab Fingers, Stuffed Crab, Soft Shell Crab sitting on the etouffee rice, Crab Pie, Crab Stuffed Bell Pepper, Crab Etouffee. The pie had the etouffee in an undercooked crust. The standouts were the stuffed crab, and the ettouffee. The boulette and bell pepper stuffing was a bit mushy. The soft shell tasted like it had been fried in old oil. Nothing really bad but not excellent.

The other restaurant I have been to in Henderson mine you it was 20 years ago about the same time I went to Pat's is Robins. Robins as I remember was better than Pat's. Maybe next time. Pat's is definitely a tourist destination and while they feature some good bayou cooking the prices are a little rich for repeat visits.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Couche Couche

This is another traditional food that gets misrepresented. I can not tell you how many times I have seen and heard people call cornbread and milk couche-couche. Cornbread and milk is not couche-couche it is cornbread and milk. It is not bad. I grew up on cornbread and milk. It was never called anything else but cornbread and milk. My mother never made couche-couche. I encountered it later in my life and fell in love with it. Only one restaurant in south Louisiana has it on its menu. If anyone knows of another let me know. Cafe des Amis in Breaux Bridge is the one I know. OK now for the technical stuff. Cornbread is a baked product. Couche-couche is fried and steamed on the top of the stove in a cast iron skillet. Below is the skillet heating up with fat (in this case bacon drippings). Heat it on high until almost smoking then bring down to medium.

Below is the mixture of corn meal (stone ground in this case), salt, baking soda, and baking powder with liquid (you can use milk I usually use water). The consistency should be of wet sand. Although it has all the ingredients usually found in cornbread it takes a different course

Now you put the mixture in the skillet and let it fry for a minute or two on medium. At the end of that time you scrape the skillet bring up the crust that has formed and stir into the mixture

I like a lot of crust in my couche-couche so I do this process at least 5 times. Below is the result of that

Then you put the heat on low and cover and steam for 15 minutes.

Into a bowl with milk. The traditional accompaniment is Steen's Cane Syrup but I like preserves also especially fig since that is what I put in my cornbread and milk as a youth. This time I had a sorta of combo of that. A vendor at the local farmer's market was selling jars of syrup left over from canning figs. The best of both worlds.

DeAngelo Express

Louis DeAngelos Express
2740 Country Club Road
Lake Charles, LA
Monday - Sunday 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM $1-25
For those who have been missing DeAngelos there is now relief. At this basically take-out venue they cover most of the original menu. They have limited seating but virtual no decor. The plan was always to expand to South Lake Charles but the destruction of the original spot kinda made it mandatory. Construction on the old site should start sometime this month with them shooting for an April opening. This express venue will remain open after that event. So there will be two establishments to get your fix.
I started off with Gamberetti and Pancetta Flat Bread. It is basically a sauceless pizza and in this case they top the crust with grilled shrimp, crisp Italian bacon, fresh spinach, roasted garlic cloves and Asiago cheese. The combo of flavors (sweet shrimp, fatty pork, mellow garlic, sharp cheese, slightly bitter spinach, and warm comforting bread) really hit my palate hard but in a good way.
Next I tried the La Caprese Towers. I received seven double stacks of sliced Roma tomato and sliced fresh mozzarella. Arranged around them were calamata olives, capers, and pepperoncini (semi hot peppers). A chiffonade of basil and in-house vinaigrette topped them. Excellent flavor and very sharable. I ate all of mine with great gusto. Each stack was perfect. It was like having seven perfect caprese salads. The Tuscan Chopped Salad next. I expected a regular steakhouse style salad. This was very good but just not a chopped salad. On a bed of spinach and romaine surrounded by Granny Smith apple slices they heaped on the tomato slices, red onion slices, feta cheese, dried cranberries, and chopped pecans. Adding the grilled Lemon-Basil shrimp I ordered extra and their excellent in house Italian dressing turned this into a feast. I tend to like salads that have no iceberg and combine fruit and nut in delicious ways. The slight bitterness of the greens, sweetness of onion and cranberry, tart sweet apple and full flavored feta with the nuttiness of the pecans makes for a delightful taste. I ended with Toasted Almond Cream Cake. Like Tiramisu but using almond and coconut instead of coffee and chocolate. It was fine but I prefer the original version.
Last foray I got Mozzarella Bread. They use their sandwich loaf and add so much cheese I would have blanded out except for an excellent in-house marinara dipping sauce. The just right sharpness and acidity of it gave the cheese something to partner with. Then I ordered a Whole Wheat Calzone with Meatballs and Italian Sausage with anchovies added. This became an unfortunate mistake. The new guy at the ordering station misunderstood me I think. What I got was Italian sausage with an inordinate amount of anchovies, too much for even me. To compound the style sausage they use here I do not like. It is compact and dense while I like a looser version. The concept of this calzone I love. Using no sauce but offering it as a side with ricotta and mozzarella as the binding agent and cutting big slits for the escaping steam does away with all my objections with this product normally. With a different filling I am sure I would have loved it. Just have to put it down to miscommunication and my personal preferences.

StewBo ???!!

It has been hectic at work and lots to do at home so I have not posted in awhile. Last Friday I started a gumbo with Oak Grove mix, some Rabideaux sausage, shrimp and chicken. Kinda of a clean out operation. When done it did not have the depth that I was seeking. Therefore I dumped some Tony Chacere Brown Gravy in it. It achieved the depth of flavor I wanted but it also made it thicker than I like. Already having more than enough I did not want to make more by thinning. So I treated it more like a seafood stew hence stewbo. I ate the first round over biscuits. Saturday I did my shopping at Albertson's on Country Club. They are the only grocery I know that carries those little jars of oysters from Amite. I bought one of those and a long sweet potato. While I was baking the sweet potato I brought the stewbo up to a simmer. Dumped the oysters in and then cracked two raw eggs in it and simmered for 15 minutes. The raw egg trick is something my mother use to do on Fridays. She called it egg gravy. A thick brown gravy that she poached raw eggs in. She never did do the boiled egg thing that some people do. The eggs are cooked to a hard yolk and absorb more of the flavor than hard boiled. So after the sweet potato was cooked. I had the stewbo with it in the tradition of Opelousas eating baked sweet potatoes with gumbo instead of potato salad. Over the next couple of days I will have it with rice and fried grits. I am taking the next two days off and have one expedition planned so the blog should see some activity. My brunch this morning will be couche-couche with fig syrup. I hope to get pics of prep and finale.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Famous Food

Thursday I pulled and made up my own plate lunch. I love their smoked turkey wings and this time they had a spicy/sweet rub on it that made even more favorable. I love wings in general because the give a good skin to meat ratio. These turkey wings run about 2 lbs. The excellent rice dressing (dirty rice) and potato salad rounded out the meal

I finished it with a Mrs Johnny's Pie. Operating out of a building just south of Kirkman on Alamo St I am always happy to find her pies. They tend to have more crust than filling but the crust is really excellent. They are more cakey than flaky. It reminds me of my aunt's sweet dough pies.

Monday, November 17, 2008

True Mexican House

They have started doing plate lunches. This is Monday's Meatball in a chipotle and tomato sauce, rice, and black refried. In Spanish these are called albondigas. They are stuffed with rice. I received very little gravy but it was the end of the day. The rice was excellent and mixed with sauce good. Meatballs a little bland on spice but good beef flavor. The refried beans was here usual liquid kind. That is ok with me but what made it for me was the use of black beans which I take over pintos any day. She will change up every month. This month is tues lemon catfish, wed fajitas, thurs, mex meatloaf and friday carne asasda. On Saturdays from 4 to 8 they do some traditional mexican dishes including pastor. During the week they limit the non plate items to tamales, tacos, and enchiladas. I am looking forward to what she comes up with in the future.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I had to work until 2 PM Saturday. I was going to hit the grocery store for a few items and eat from them. Did not happen as it seems Saturday afternoon is grocery shopping time for the whole city. The places I tried had no handicap spots left and no electric carts available. I was near Popeyes so I pulled in there. I am a sucker for onions in any way shape or form. The new menu board seemed to have a new onion ring so I got an order. In a light flour batter with a smidgen of cayenne pepper and near greaseless they are the best onion rings they have had in a long while. A+ material. Defintely a keeper.

Not so for the shrimp po boy. Looks good doesn't it. Well the shrimp and the Delta sauce were. However they committed a cardinal sin in my eyes. They nuked the bread. By the time I got it home and I live just around the corner from this store, I could have resoled my shoe with it and it wore it for years without any wear. Stick with the popcorn shrimp. Do not get the po boys here.

Kentucky Fried Chicken

I was wandering around Friday afternoon checking out a venue when I happen to pass Kentucky Fried Chicken (I have never called it KFC). Anyway it had been awhile since I had some so I pull in. I eventually got the Guitar Box. Overall good. The leg had that old fashion taste I associate with Kentucky Fried. The Snacker under the biscuit also had the right crust. They use a black pepper mayo or dressing which made this item a bit spicy and very tasty. I would eat it again. The tenders were OK but the crust while seeming to have the herbs and spices was not thick enough to impart their flavor. Not worth repeating. The mac and cheese was ever the same (processed cheese), the biscuit good but the BBQ beans were undercooked. While the sauce was good the beans had hard centers. Overall I would give it a B

Friday, November 14, 2008

Donald Link

Donald again pays tribute to his birthplace. He has a new catering operation opening in January in the New Orleans Warehouse District on Tchoupitoulas St. He is calling it Calcasieu. The web site is All that is there now is a coming soon sign. It will be serving upticked South Louisiana food.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Lucky Wok

Lucky Wok
2609 Broad Street
Lake Charles, LA
Monday - Sunday 11:00 AM to 9:30 PM $1-8
I have waited quite awhile for this venue to open. Seems like they worked on it for a year or more. Now it is here and serving reasonably tasty food at quite a reasonable price. The exterior remains about the same as when it was the Kettle except for an addition of a drive-thru. Except for the ceiling the interior seems brand new.
This establishment offers a three-prong attack. You can go with the buffet, order off a short but nice menu or us the drive-thru with the same menu. I really don't do buffets these days. However I scanned it and watched it when I did go in. It seemed decent and they use 2-inch pans so it does not take long for it to disappear. From the counter they monitor it and then make frequent runs to replenish.
First time in I opted for Hot and Sour soup and Garlic Shrimp. The soup seemed a different class than others in town. It was dark with a gelatinous mouth feel. It tasted of vinegar and dark soy with bamboo shoots and egg flags. I liked the change of pace. The shrimp consisted of a stir-fry of bok choy, carrot, broccoli, water chestnuts, cabbage and green bell pepper. They finish it off with a spicy sauce with a ton of garlic. Whatever fried rice is handy finds it way onto the plate. This time it was plain fried rice. I enjoyed the dish very much as I love garlic.
Second foray saw Egg Drop Soup, Egg Roll, Shrimp and Cheese Fried Wonton, and General's Chicken. The soup with a nice chicken broth and plenty of egg pretty much reflected the standard, as did the pork and vegetable egg roll. The wontons looked nice and home made but the use of a thickener dough (egg roll wrap maybe) made it inedible. The boneless dark meat chicken pieces were lightly battered and deep fat fried. Then tossed with a dark sweet and spicy sauce. This combo always goes over great with me and this one was no exception. This time I received house (mixed protein) fried rice even though I asked for plain steamed rice. Not fatal but I do prefer steamed rice with my meal unless I am doing just fried rice.
The last time was a test of the drive-thru. I went at the height of the lunch hour. I received timely service. It was not 5 minutes from the time I ordered until they delivered the meal at the window. I went with Shrimp Toast and House Lo Mein. The toast appeared a bit different. Shrimp paste is spread on bread and then wrapped in on itself. It looked like a cigar. The shrimp paste was hot but not greasy. The lo mein contained tender and juicy shrimp, beef, pork and chicken. The medium brown sauce was tasty and just spicy enough. However they used fettuccine noodles whereas I prefer spaghetti or thinner. Taste wise it was fine but texture wise it would have been better with thinner noodles.
In any case nothing is terrible wrong here. The service is friendly, food tasty, and prices reasonable. Since it is on my way home and has a drive-thru I suspect I will be pulling thru on a regular basis.

La Petite Grocery

La Petite Grocery
4238 Magazine St
New Orleans La 70115
Lunch Tuesday - Saturday 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Dinner Tuesday - Saturday 5:30 PM - until

This restaurant is one of several operations that Joel Dondis, originally from Lake Charles, has an interest in. I meet Joel at one of his other venues. He was kind enough to offer to host me if I ever came in and wanted to eat at La Petite. I gladly accepted the offer. It is in line of a neighborhood bistro. Situated in a building uptown that once was a grocery store they have turned the inside into a temple to dinning. Cozy spaces and a comfortable bar area highlight this venue.
My dinning companion and me started our dinner with a lovely breadbasket of crusty bread, a foreboding of the evening. I ordered the Charcuterie Plate, which was in fact, a long cutting board loaded up with an in-house country pate with olives and red bell pepper. A small bowl of cornichon and olives perched along side condiments of grain mustard, onion relish, and Dijon mustard. Spread on bread in various permutations made for a delicious and interesting way to start the meal. My companion, a lady who frequently accompanies me at my New Orleans meals, went with the Steak Tartare with a smoky aioli (mayonnaise) topped with a mirogreens salad. My taste proved beefy and satisfying.
Next I went with Shellfish Bisque with Creme Fraiche and Chives. The base was crab and tasted of it in the best way possible. It contained some medium shrimp. The flavor profile wonderful with deep intense flavors. One of the best I have eaten. To maintain dinning balance my companion was brought something extra from the kitchen, a Gratin of Blue Crabmeat in Brie Cream. This turned out to be outstandly rich and creamy with a wonderful crab flavor. A twist on an outstanding Crab and Brie soup from another New Orleans restaurant.
Salad followed. I went with a Celery Root, Apple and Walnut one with Blue Cheese and fresh herbs with a white wine Vinaigrette. The crispy crunchy slightly sweet ingredients with the mild vinegar tang worked for me. My companion opted for the Shrimp and Hearts of Palm with Shaved Fennel with tarragon and watercress in an Herb Emulsion. While the profile of the emulsion did not suit my palate I could taste the potential of the other ingredients working together.
Main course for me was a braised Berkshire Pork Shank with stone ground grits and smothered greens. The meat came out fork tender, juicy and with a great pork flavor profile. I never had to my knife. As good as the meat turned out the smoky greens and grits proved better. It bought out the southern boy in me. This dish of low on the hog was turned into a high on the hog eating experience. My companion went with the Fresh Market Fish that happened to be Escolar. A pan seared fillet sat on a proscuitto rich risotto. My taste provided a fish with a crisp exterior and succulent interior and risotto full of hammy flavors.
We were so full dessert did not seem an option but we decided to split a vanilla bean crème brulee. However the kitchen surprised us again with a trio of frozen treats from Sucre (another Joel Dondis operation). It consisted of Lemon Sorbet, Mango Gelato, and Chocolate Ice cream. All packed to the gills with wonderful flavor punches. The lemon sorbet especially was nice after the heavy meal. The creme brulee provided a perfect example of the art of this dessert. The ratio of sugary crackly crust to creamy custard was sheer perfection.
Service was exemplary, as I would expect. The menu changes on a regular basis. Some of the dishes I ate remain but with different preparations and sides. Whatever they offer, you can be assured it is going to be the best. I highly recommend this venue if you want to get out of the Quarter to a local place with flavor and flair.

Wal Mart gets another chance

I received a pleasant surprise last night. A Wal Mart employee called me in reference to a e-mail I sent last Friday about the coupon situation. I explained what happen from my point of view. She basically said she knew of no policy not to accept internet coupons but she would have to check. An hour later she called back and read me the policy. Basically they accept internet coupons and others but retain the right not to accepting specific coupons that they feel are being counterfeited. Stores are sent warnings. She apologized and asked me to continue shopping. I will put them back in rotation but armed with this info I will handle the situation differently if it arises again

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Leronard's Food Quarters

It has been a long stressful day that started with an incident that left me slightly battered and sore. I was hungry, stressed, and sore enough not to want to crutch into someplace. Luckily I have three viable options with drive thrus, none of which are fast food. I went for the one that has the comfort food I desired. Below is smothered steak with corn and garlic bread. The steak is not the traditional 7 steak but like high quality beef tips. What ever it was it was cooked to fall apart tenderness with a rich gravy and real (thank god) rice. The smothered corn was sweet and spicy with bell pepper. The garlic bread very garlicky. Hit the bulls eye.

This is a new addition to this establishment. Lisa's Desserts. This one was a sweet potato pie. The crust was very short and the filling had a great balance of warm spices with an outstandingly smooth super sweet potato taste. It time for me to crash to face tomorrow. My boss is out of town and it always seems to fall apart when he is gone.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Upcoming Week

I probably will not be posting much as this a deadline week and my boss at the restaurant will be out of town so I will have to spend more time there. So you don't need to check everyday but maybe every third or so as I may be able to sneak one in.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Wal Mart Grocery Shopping Nixed

I was so mad I could have eaten nails and spit out white hot brads. You could have fried a full breakfast (eggs, bacon, hash browns and a new york strip steak on my forehead) five times over. I had just spent a little under 2 hours finding items to match my coupons. The newspaper inserts pages mostly contain useless (to me) mail in stuff and few coupons I want. Most of my grocery coupons are from the Internet. I get to checkout and put all my stuff on the rolling strip and get told " We don't do these coupons" Not the first time I've heard from these people. She goes and gets what I assume is a manager to tell me I can not use them. I tell her "If you don't want my coupons I don't want or need to shop here ever again". Then I ride off leaving them close to $150 in groceries to restock with at least 35% frozen items. Bad mistake on their part. I am sure other coupon people are doing the same.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sam's Cheeses

Over the last year Sam's Club has upgraded their cheese selection. I have been buying the Danish Blue for a while now. It delivers an excellent blue cheese punch while being smooth and creamy for a reasonable price. The Cabot (a dairy co-operative from the Northeast started in the 1920's ) always has excellent cheddar some of them extremely sharp. This particular one is white (the natural color of cheddar) and fairly mild. What makes this special is the hand rubbed coating of sun dried tomatoes, dehydrated garlic and onions, cracked black pepper and fennel seeds. That backnote of licorice really adds to the cheddar flavor.

Faux Cochon de Lait

In New Orleans it is now the fad to put "Cochon de Lait" sandwiches on menus of po boy places, sandwich shops, and BBQ joints. However what they give you is a pulled pork sandwich whose origins are in the Carolinas. Anyone feeding you pulled pork for Cochon de Lait is feeding you a line of bullshit (literally and figuratively). Pulled pork is pork shoulder (Boston butt) of a mature hog slow cooked until it is falling apart. The best is hand shredded then some moisture in the form of thin sauce is added back in. Cochon de Lait is a baby pig under 40 lbs or so, slow roasted whole. Then you slice off pieces of the various parts top with the crisp skin and chow down. So if you do not want to call pulled pork by it's real name invent some snappy title like Cajun Shredded Pork, Forked Butt, LA Cochon, etc but don't call it what it aint ie Cochon de Lait.
If this keeps happening I may have to form a special squad of the Food Police to deal with these frauds. I feel lots better now that is done. Some things eat at me until I just have to spew it out

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Patak Tikka Masala Curry Paste

Below is the last of the Sweet and Sour Lamb that I finished off while cooking the Tikka Masala.

You start off my mixing the paste with yogurt then marinating the meat of your choice. This time it was cut up boneless chicken thighs. Because of circumstances they sat in the frig for three days. Forgot to snap a picture of them. Below is the the marinated meat and marinade with sauteed onions. It also calls for tomato but the paste had plenty of tomato for me.

This is after adding water and simmering for about 30 minutes then adding some creole cream cheese which I happen to have in the frig. Normally calls for yogurt

This is it over rice with a dollop of Stonyfield Plain Whole Milk Yougurt. Not too spicy with good Indian flavor throughout the meat and sauce

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pho Tien

As I told you before you will be seeing this place often. Below is the standard rice paper roll of shrimp and pork with rice noddles and leafy greens. Along side the peanut sauce. I did various things as I went through the rolls. Adding fish sauce, hoisin, sriracha ending up with a very spicy dipping sauce

I had ordered one of my favorites here. Clay pot catfish. However now it come out in a steel "claypot". Same taste and flavor. Catfish pieces braised in a soy based sauce with jalapeno slices.. I miss the sand cast pots but I assume they were expensive and have gotten broken since they introduced this dish. What I do like even it is plastic is the rice bowl, For me this is the way I like to eat rice with an oriental meal. You can put the protein on top and take some rice and the protein with the chop sticks. If there is a sauce you can drip it on the rice. Also this is practically the only place were I eat all my salad. I especially like the pickled carrot and daikon

Here is a closer shot of the catfish. The sauce and flavor is through out. Truly delicious

Monday, November 3, 2008

Chuckwagon BBQ

A favorite of mine has moved to a more accessible place. They use to be way down Sam Houston Jones in Moss Bluff now they are at the Bronco Filling Station directly on 171 just past the new L shaped strip malls on the west side of the road. They have the best BBQ in the area. My conversation with Eric got me hungry for BBQ. I went to the old place first to encounter "we have moved sign". Soback to the highway and up it for a triple combo. Their sauce is different. Thin, sweet, spicy and served warm. I would rather have it room temp but having a sweet tooth I really like it.

I got sliced brisket, leg quarter and sausage. The brisket features an excellent smoke ring and so tender you cannot pick it up with the plastic fork without it falling apart. The chicken was smoked throughout and moist. The skin was inedible although a nice color. This leads me to believe that pecan wood is a component in his smoking. I have seen this happen to chicken skin when pecan wood is used. The sausage kinda sorta reminded me of hot links. It is snappy, greasy and full of red pepper. Not a bad thing in a BBQ sausage especially on white bread. The side of beans and potato salad were really good. This kinda puts pay to my corollary about BBQ joints. If the meat is good the sides suck and vice versa.

Knights of Columbus Gumbo Cook Off

I had the great pleasure of judging a gumbo cook off with my friend and colleague Eric Cormier. Some excellent gumbo was tasted but the best was the conversation about food and old time restaurants in the Lake Charles area with him and some of the Knights. The most pleasurable two hours I have spent in a long time.