Turkey and the Wolf

I went to lunch today at Turkey and the Wolf with Charlotte and Thomas. This is a quirky sandwich place that also serves creative cocktails. It is on Jackson Avenue between Tchoupitoulas and Magazine. Now that the street construction in that area is completed, it is easier to find and to park nearby.

Charlotte and I both had drinks with our meal. The names alone were fun. I went for the Put On Your Socks and Leave. It was a refreshing a mix of honeysuckle vodka, hibiscus tea, lemon and mint. Her No Shirt, No Shoebox, No Service was a mix of mezcal, basil syrup, pineapple and lime. If you’re at all a mezcal fan, you’ll really enjoy this drink.

Mine was the red one

We started with the deviled eggs. They came with a piece of bacon on top and a drizzle of hot sauce. The yolk mixture was a bit too smooth  for my preference but the flavor was good.

For lunch, both Thomas and I went for the meatloaf sandwich – it came with gravy mayo, pepper jelly and melted american cheese on Texas toast. Very big and very messy but also very good. There were a lot of flavors competing with the meat loaf but it was very satisfying. I really liked the pickles that were on it.

Charlotte had the ham. It came with cranberry and cheddar on a roll. It looked good, especially on the Hercules plate they served it on. She really seemed to enjoy eating it, too.

I was tempted by the ice cream sundae that was carried past for someone else. They have soft serve vanilla ice cream with a choice of coverings. We got it with a chocolate shell and tater sticks. Salty and chocolatey plus smooth vanilla ice cream was an All-American hit.

The place was quite busy at lunch and it can get rather loud. They only have a few tables, although there are more tables outdoors (but only one umbrella). Be advised that the sandwiches are pricey – mine was $12.50. It was all good and the staff were friendly and unobtrusive, so I thought it worth it (and worth another visit).

Cavan Restaurant

Last night, my good friends took me to Cavan Restaurant and Bar on Magazine to share a birthday meal. It bills itself as a Coastal American dining experience and the eclectic menu definitely reflects the variety of tastes that can be found along the seaboard and gulf coast. The atmosphere is a sort of modern decay chic with the pine tables contrasting with black and white photos on the distressed renovated style walls of the restored mansion. It did get a little loud as it filled up but the crowd was convivial.

We started with cocktails. I had the paloma while Charlotte tried first the Wilde #9 which was like a spicy sazerac with mescal. Her second had a pepper infused tequila and apricot liquor. Both were strong and flavorful.

We shared the corn fritters, served in a small cast iron skillet with honey lardo. It originally had five but I wasn’t fast enough with the camera to capture them all. More like hush puppies than fritters, they were still good and the sweet and savory sauce was rather tasty.

Thomas had the jerk rubbed fish. I worried the jerk spices would overwhelm the delicate fish but they were really delicious together. The rice could have been warmer but the melange of flavors made one forgive a minor issue.

Charlotte and I both enjoyed the fried chicken. It came with Coca-cola braised collard greens. She raved about the flavor of the greens and kindly ate my portion. We also ordered their seasoned wedge fries that came with a tangy house made ketchup. The chicken crust was very good but the chicken itself (especially on the breast meat) was a bit bland and little dry.

The staff was helpful and friendly with lots of explanation of the menu. With regular checkins, they made sure our drinks didn’t run dry and we had all we needed to enjoy our meal.

I have great hopes for this place and continued success of their creative chefs.

 

La Boca

My parents are in town for my birthday weekend and we went out to La Boca for steaks to celebrate. I’m so glad we did!

I started with a pisco sour – more Peruvian than Argentinian but, close enough! It was very good, nice and limey.

Dad went for the 14 ounce New York Strip. It was cooked to medium rare and he ate more of it than he expected, it was so tender.

Mom and I splurged on the 24 ounce cowboy cut Ribeye Steak – it was ordered rare and came out nearly blue. One of the few times I haven’t had rare steak come out more medium than rare. So nice and tender, there was no talking, only moans as we chewed.

As you can see, we only had a little left on the bone at the end. Just perfect to take home in a doggy bag. Not that my dog got to gnaw on it until I had done so!

Accompanying the meat were some super good mashed potatoes. Creamy and buttery, it was some of the best I’ve eaten that I didn’t make myself.

As it was my birthday, the waiter brought me a piece of flourless chocolate cake. So very dark and delicious.

We also shared some dulce de leche ice cream. Decadently smooth and rich. I could see myself stopping by the restaurant just for the ice cream.

This is the top rated Zagat steakhouse in New Orleans and it shows. The cuts of meat were cooked perfectly and the portions sizes were immense. The waiter was very knowledgeable about the wine list and helped us find perfect pairings with some glasses of Malbec. I highly recomend La Boca.

2016 Reveillion Dinner – Cafe Adelaide

A writer friend of mine came into town and we took advantage of the holiday season to go to Cafe Adelaide for their Reveillion dinner. The word comes from special meals that were served after midnight mass on Christmas Eve (ie the awakening or reveillion). These days, the special menus are available all December. You can find a list of all the restaurants participating in Reveillion HERE.

We made reservations through Open Table but the first one they had was for 8:30pm. The restaurant wasn’t that busy so they sat as soon as we arrived around 8pm.

We started with the Crab Bisque. Very smooth and light. The saffron gave it a lovely color. It went very well with the Hemingway Daiquiri that I ordered.

bisque

This was followed by fried oysters with a bacon covered cauliflower log. Separately the oysters and roasted cauliflower were good but, when eaten together the flavors really popped. Of course, how could you go wrong with bacon and oysters?

oysters

I’m a fan of snails (even the ones which aren’t basil-fed as these were) and the next course of pasta with escargot, sundried tomatoes and truffle butter was very, very good.

escargot

For the next course, I had the tournedos of beef with whipped potatoes. The ganache was a little sweet and took a little away from the flavor of the meat (which was cooked perfectly medium rare) but that didn’t stop me from eating every bite.

beef

Cindy had the shrimp and grits. The shrimp was barbecued and pretty spicy but the grits did their job in cutting the heat to a manageable level.

shrimp

Dessert was a chicory coffee custard in a orange flavored tart shell drizzled with caramel. Yum!

dessert

The fixed priced menu with its four courses was plenty of food for about $50 per person (not counting drinks). The staff was friendly and quick to check in but also allowed us lots of time to catch up and chat.

If you want to see their holiday menu, it can be found here: https://holiday.neworleansonline.com/reveillon/cafe-adelaide-4/#sthash.5up87PQE.dpuf

Pho Orchid Uptown

I met up with a friend today to give her a few hazelnut thumbprint cookies in exchange for a package of sourdough starter. She had been working out at St. Charles Avenue Athletic Club and was looking for something not too heavy, so we went for Vietnamese for lunch.

The Uptown Pho Orchid is a small place on St. Charles near the corner of Jackson Ave. Their pho is rather good and they have a pretty in depth menu of other items. Their other location is in Metairie (3117 Houma Blvd).

I had the combination Banh Mi – my sandwich was served on French bread and had grilled chicken, pork and Vietnamese ham along with pickled carrots and cucumber. A great combination of flavors.

banh mi

Gillian had the lunch special of scallops and veggies which she enjoyed to the last bite.

scallops

The service is pretty fast and, when I’ve gone on other times with other folks, the servers have been happy to explain the dishes to those new to Vietnamese nouvelle cuisine. Prices are quite reasonable – we both ate our fill for less than $15/person including tip.

Roux Carré

I was on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard today and stopped in at the food court Roux Carré. They showcase emerging food‐preneurs and give the vendors food service and retail training, back-office assistance, small business coaching, as well as entrepreneurial wrap-around support from Good Work Network.

The current venders are Johnny’s Jamaican Grill, The Pupusa Lady, Estralita’s Express, the Juice Box (run by the young people of the Youth Empowerment Project) and, finally, the Splendid Pig.

I went for the pig, of course.

splendid pig

I had the Cochon de Lait Poboy. The pork was plentiful and flavorful. The pickled turnip threw me for a little bit of a loop but, over all it was a good and messy poboy. It came with creole potato hash that was also very tasty. Their fresh squeezed lemonade was awesome- nice and tart! I ordered seconds for a $1!

poboy

The food court is clean and inviting although only open 11 until 4 Sunday through Thursday. They have later hours on Friday and Saturday. If you’re looking to feel good about eating out, supporting these food‐preneurs is a good way to do it.

Stein’s Market and Deli

shalom yallI was dropping off my taxes on Magazine street around lunchtime, so I stopped at Stein’s Market and Deli.

They’ve got retail shelves of vinegars, jams, crackers, spices, salts, etc. They have a large selection of beers and sodas from all over and a good selection of gourmet bitters. They sell meats, cheeses and have bagels flown in from New York.

I was there for a sandwich. You order at the end of the counter and I went for the corned beef on rye. They make sure the sandwich is to your specification including seeded or unseeded or marbled rye, type of mustard, and if you want your meat cut from the fatty or the lean end (I opted for fatty).

The sandwich is thick, piled high with meat and comes with a slice of half sour and a slice of full sour pickles. They added extra pickles for me so I had some with every bite!

corned beef

They’ve got tables set up inside and outside so you can enjoy your food there or, be like me, and take it home with you. If you’re ordering beer, you’ve got to go somewhere else to drink it as they’re just retail for alcohol.

The guys at the counter and making the sandwiches are super busy but they’ve always been friendly and helpful to me. They can also be irreverent and a little crass but that’s the sandwich business.

I definitely recommend a visit there, especially when you’re craving deli food. Oh, and their matzo ball soup is terrific, too. I didn’t order any this time but the last time I had a cold I went in for some and it sped the healing up!