Blue Oak BBQ

I, and most of the city, seem to agree that barbecue is the perfect food for July 4th. After I did my reading for the Star-Spangled 4th of July Marathon Reading of the Mueller Report, my friends Charlotte and Thomas took me out to Blue Oak BBQ in MidCity.

The place was packed!

I ordered a sandwich – the chopped brisket with a side of roasted garlic mac and cheese. There was a spicy rub on the brisket that was very tasty but a little spicy. The heat was cut by the coleslaw that was served on the sandwich. I wasn’t particularly a fan of the mac and cheese but that’s mainly because I didn’t think it wasn’t cheesy enough.

Charlotte got her pulled pork plate with baked beans and garlic mac and cheese. She tried all the sauces (Jerk, Carolina, House) and like the house bbq sauce best.

Thomas got his pulled pork with the spicy green onion sausage. His sides were the potato salad and baked beans. He was definitely a member of the clean plate club.

Blue Oak BBQ has a full bar but I stuck with soda.

There was a long line that extended out the door but it didn’t take more than ten minutes to reach the front and order. We waited just a short time for a table (the tables outside are cooled with misting fans but the theater was not air conditioned, so I wanted to stay inside). There were a ton of people who had ordered ahead and just came in and grabbed brown paper sacks of meaty goodness.

The staff was fast to bus tables and bring out the food – all of which is smoked in their on-site pit. I always judge a bbq joint by the smell of smoke and meats and this one place is wonderfully perfumed for carnivores.

For the size of the crowd and the lines, everything ran smoothly and everyone had a smile on their face.

I would definitely return to give the rest of their menu a try.

900 N Carrollton, New Orleans
504-822-BLUE (2583)
www.blueoakbbq.com 

 

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Wolf Bay Lodge in Foley, Alabama

For my birthday, we went to lunch at Wolf Bay Lodge in Foley, Alabama. I’ve been here before and written about it (here and here) but it has been several years, so I figured I’d post again. We’ve been going here since it was a private club across Wolf Bay from my folks place.

At lunch we had about a fifteen minute wait for a table, as they were pretty hopping at noon. We spent our wait at the bar and the time passed quite quickly, especially once I received my tea filled alligator cup. Dad enjoyed the house draft and Mom had an ice cold bottle of Budweiser.

Once we were seated and had perused the extensive menu, my mom ordered the coconut shrimp. This is an appetizer but is actually perfectly sized for lunch time. The shrimp were lightly breaded with flour and toasted coconut and it was served with a tasty tropical marmalade.

Dad had the shrimp kabobs – the lunch portion is 2 kabobs of shrimp, coated in a sweet bourbon glaze before being grilled. It is served over rice and comes with a couple of very light and delicious hush puppies.

Michelle had the blackened shrimp tacos with a chipotle tartar sauce. They were very well seasoned and came with cheese and coleslaw on soft tortillas. It was served with chips and a very tasty house made salsa. She really enjoyed the flavor and would definitely order them again.

I ordered the large plate of fried Gulf shrimp. These are some of my favorite fried shrimp ever with lots of shrimp on the plate, covered in a light, crisp breading and fried to perfection. As the sign on the wall states – if it ain’t fried, it ain’t food! It came to the table with a full plate of french fries and a couple of their hush puppies.

I hope you like my alligator cup as much as I do. As a bonus, it also comes with free refills. Crazy to say, they sell it as a kids cup!

Most of the meals came with one trip to the salad bar – they have a pretty extensive selection of items including some pretty darn tasty deviled eggs. I convinced Mom and Michelle to add one for me to both their bowls, so I was happy.

The servers are friendly, even considering how busy the place is. The selection on the menu will satisfy piscivores and carnivores alike and the portion sizes are plentiful. They have a wide selection of seafood but, as you can see from our orders, their shrimp is what brings us back, year after year.

Wolf Bay Restaurant
20801 Miflin Road, County Road 20
Foley, Alabama 36535
(251) 987-5129

Using Uber Eats

We ordered from Uber Eats tonight for the first time – Chinese from Jung’s Golden Dragon on Magazine Street. I had never been to the restaurant but it was the closest listed Chinese restaurant to my delivery location.

Michelle placed the order of steamed dumplings, crab meat rangoon, sesame chicken and General Tso’s chicken from her phone on the drive home from the New Orleans Fairgrounds and Racetrack. My cousin’s horse, He’s Dann Good, was racing.

Dann (#8) tried but came in 5th.

We specified order time from 6:30 to 7pm and received it 6:39pm. The app let us know once the driver was five minutes away and then when he was pulling up. We ordered curbside, so I went out to the car to get the food.

The dumplings were very good as was the sesame chicken. They gave us large portions of steamed rice and lots of extra sauces and mustards. Unfortunately, the General Tso’s was bland and the crab rangoon was more pastry than filling, although the filling was tasty. They also gave us 3 fortune cookies, so that was good, too. All in all, for not having to go out and for only a small delivery charge, it was a filling and very acceptable meal.

The app is easy to navigate and the selection of restaurants in my area (New Orleans) is pretty extensive. When you enter your address it lists the restaurants closest to you but also the option to search by restaurant name or type of cuisine. You then order from restaurant’s menu and complete the charge process for your food to be on the way.

We will be placing another order soon!

If you’d like to try Uber Eats here is a code for $5 off your first order: eats-michellec56380ui

 

Westside 66 Grocery and Deli

Over the weekend, I took some friends over the Mississippi river to visit the Whitney Plantation. That is the only plantation that focuses on the stories of the enslaved and it is a moving and powerful experience that I highly recommend.

A black angel carrying a baby to Heaven is built in the Field of Angels, a section of the slave memorial dedicated to the 2,200 Louisiana slave children who died before their third birth date as documented in the Sacramental Records of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

We were overwhelmed and hungry when we finished and knew we couldn’t make it all the back to New Orleans without refueling. One of the workers in the gift shop told us about the Westside 66 Grocery about 5 miles away.

This is a very unassuming place – just a few tables but it smelled really good and had options for po-boys, catfish and fried chicken. I’m always willing to try fried chicken. I’m so glad we did.

Two pieces and fries and a drink for $5. The skin was crispy and the meat was super juicy. They put a seasoned salt on the fries and they were so creamy inside. Super yum!

Picture by Roxie

When you are visiting the Westbank plantations, consider stopping in here for a meal that is delicious, filling and very reasonably priced.

 
Westside 66 Grocery and Deli
4229 Highway 18
Edgard, LA 70049
985) 497-8060

 

Cochon Butcher’s Muffaletta

I’ve written before about my trips to Cochon Butcher (here in 2012 and again in 2014). On Friday, I had friends in town who had never had a muffaletta. For those who aren’t familiar, visualize a cousin of the Italian sub. Layers of various meats and cheese—ham, capicola, salami, mortadella, provolone are typical–plus some sort of pickled veggies. In the case of muffaletta, it is typically an olive salad.

The Cochon Butcher version has smoked meats on a sesame seed Sicilian bun. They were a really nice flavor addition. The olive salad wasn’t overpowering, it gave just the right amount of tang to the sandwich.

We also had the Brussel sprouts, mac and cheese and pretzels but we inhaled all of those too fast for me to get picture. Trust me, they were all delicious.

I’ve yet to have anything that wasn’t good at this place.

Cochon Butcher
930 Tchoupitoulas
New Orleans, LA
504-588-7675

Brandied Peach Ice Cream

Summertime in the South means putting up with heat, humidity and mosquitos the size of small cars. As a consolation, summer also brings us peaches. It makes my soul happy when I hold its softly in my hand, breathe deep of its perfume before biting into it and letting the succulent juice run down my chin.

Saving a few of them for ice cream makes me even happier. And, adding a little brandy to the mix can make a person nearly expire from happiness! Of course, if you choose not to use brandy, you can replace it with 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract.

Brandied Peach Ice Cream

2 pounds peaches (about 5-6 large peaches)
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brandy

Peel and pit peaches; cut into chunks. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Refrigerate until cold.

After it has set for a while in the refrigerator, blend everything one last time to ensure it is well mixed. Process in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to plastic container and freeze until firm.

Brennan’s Restaurant

My friends, Leigh and Garrett, brought their family through New Orleans on their way to a vacation and we went to Brennan’s Restaurant for dinner. If you’re looking for a lovely dinning experience with lots of old New Orleans’ charm, this is a place to go.

We started with cocktails. Garrett and I had the Caribbean milk punch with bourbon and rum and cream and vanilla. It was like drinking a glass of melted vanilla ice cream – if only ice cream had a sneaky little kick to it.

Their son, Jake, had the good taste to order a number of terrific appetizers. The frog legs were light and crispy with the tempura batter.

 

The foie gras was smooth and buttery.

 

The roasted oysters that the others ate were large.

 

Michelle had the the summer corn and coconut soup with shrimp. Very good flavor.

 

I ordered the spiced tuna, rare. While the outside had a lot of heat, the creamy black eyed peas took away the burn.

I tried the bacon wrapped pork tenderloin with octopus that the rest of the table ordered. Very smokey and delicious.

For dessert we had bananas foster, of course. I took a lovely video of the table side, flambe presentation but it didn’t turn out so I’m afraid you’re missing out both on the experience and flavor.

The walls are covered with paints of old carnival floats and the secret patio is lovely to look at from the air conditioned dining room. The wait staff was attentive and knowledgeable. The general manager even stopped by the table to make sure all was well.

I would definitely recommend Brennan’s for your next high level, culinary affair.

Brennan’s Restaurant
417 Royal Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
504-525-9711