Another Chow report from ALA
This was my first trip back to NOLA since I moved away in 2003. I’m still a bit shell-shocked from the driving about that I did, but I had a fantastic Chow experience.
First I’ll report on the places that I walked to, or could have walked to, from my friend’s house near Carrollton:
Wednesday night I had dinner at Brigsten’s (http://www.brigtsens.com/). We were lucky to walk in without reservations and be seated. I had three appetizers which were more than enough for me. I had the paté, the house salad and the soft-shell crab. I live in Florida, but we Floridians by and large don’t seem to know what to do with soft-shells. Why is that? This crab was as big as a plate, dredged in seasoned flour and sautéed (probably in clarified butter) and plated with munier sauce. These were such hard choices. I really wanted to try the butternut shrimp bisque and the rabbit tenderloin appetizers. Unfortunately, Even I can only eat so much. I never got to try the mains or desserts.
Thursday I walked to Mona’s (http://shopno.com/monas/ ) on Carrollton for lunch. I had a combo platter with baba ganouj, hummus, tabouleh, and two felafels. It was so good that I had to restrain myself from licking the plate clean.
Thursday night we dined at Jacques-Imo’s (http://www.jacquesimoscafe.com/main.htm) , again sans reservation and again walking in rather late. We were able to take one of the two window tables facing the sidewalk. I had the grilled duck breast with orange soy glaze, shiitake mushrooms and Pecans. The duck was served rare, as I had ordered it. It was rather tough, though I don’t think that the toughness was because of the preparation. It just had more connective tissue than I’m used to seeing in duck breast. Maybe it was wild duck and I’m accustomed to eating domesticated duck? My friend had a tasty fish dish but I don’t remember which one; I had too much Turbo Dog, I’m certain. I was really surprised to see escolar on the menu. Jacques-Imo’s was such a fun place. I can’t wait to go back.
Friday night, ready for a simpler meal, we hit Louisiana Pizza Kitchen (http://www.lpkbr.com/). I had the large Blue Cheese and Roasted Pecan Salad, which was far more than I needed, and my friend and I split an order of the eggplant parmesan appetizer. No Turbo Dog on tap here, I’m afraid, but they do have the Abita Amber on tap and Turbo Dog in the bottle.
Saturday, I spaced out on my schedule and had a late lunch at the sushi place that’s right off of Carrollton near the Walgreen’s. I ordered this combo that turned out to be enough for three people. It set me back only about $12. First I was brought a plate with three pieces of a California-type roll and three pieces of nigiri sushi – one tuna, one salmon, and one amberjack (I think). Then, I was served a plate the size of a steering wheel. It featured two dumplings, a green salad, shrimp and vegetable tempura (two huge succulent shrimp, a piece of eggplant, a slice of sweet potato, a piece of carrot and a slice of zucchini) and a boneless, skinless chicken breast that had been pounded flat and breaded in panko before frying. Each of these items had an appropriate dipping sauce. A bit of Ozeki to wash it down and it’s no wonder that I arrived late and befuddled to my next meeting.
Monday night, we again tucked into Louisiana Pizza Kitchen. I had the rosemary chicken breast. It was quite disappointing. The pasta was over cooked and over sauced and the boneless, skinless chicken breast was tasteless despite the rosemary that I could see. Having traipsed around all day without a chance to eat at all, I ate most of it any way.
This compilation represents my experience at places that I could or did walk to from my friend’s house. It’s getting long, so I’ll stop here. I will say, though, that I could name another 6-10 places right off of the top of my head that I could have walked to and eaten at but didn’t get the chance. I can’t tell you how jealous that makes me. Within walking distance of my house there are exactly three places to eat. I don’t want to eat at any of them on any regular basis. And, it’s hotter here than in New Orleans.
BeaN, the ravenous librarian
Yep, that's my neighborhood. I counted one time, and I have 36 restaurants within 10 blocks of my house. It's a definite perk.
I'm one who likes Jacque-Imo's but I'm under no illusions as to the reason why. We walk there, get good and lubricated during the 2 hour wait at the Maple Leaf, and order the blackened redfish. Everything is salty and creamy and everybody is loud and happy. Good times. :)
If you get a chance to come back to the neighborhood, try Iris as your high end place.