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A Canucknucklehead in NOLA: Day 6

bourbonstjoe Apr 19, 2010 07:11 AM

Day six, it's Sunday and we head down the the Hotel cafe for some caffeine and a kick start to our day. A couple of cups do me fine (Excellent coffee, not sure of the blend but it's nice and strong) while the GF decides on a croissant filled with scrambled egg, ham and Swiss cheese. I get the last few bites after she`s had her fill and the croissant is very flaky and the fillings are yummy as well.

Adequately fortified we shuffle back to the room and waste several hours just doing nothing, all the walking we`ve done over the last few days has landed me a nicely swollen right calf and a shin-splint. Still at about 2pm I hobble behind the GF through the French Market and back to the banks of the Mississippi and another picnic lunch of Central Grocery mufaletta. The sandwich is even better the day after it seems and we quickly devour the half we brought with us. After wandering around for a bit more and watching the Ironman athletes finish their gruelling event @ the finish at Jackson Square it`s back to the room to rest my tired dog.

8:30 ish found us watching a torrential downpour hammer the streets of the FQ as lightening and thunder plied the sky with brilliant flashes and echoing booms. WOW, when it rains it rains here. The GF still wanted to head out for dinner and seeing as how we get as much liquid sunshine in British Columbia we decided to venture out into the rain. Unfortunately the upcoming experience we had was just the kind I`d been hoping to avoid by studying the CHOW boards.

We made our way over to Remoulade on Bourbon Street, there were more than a few people inside so we thought that an indication of the food, apparently looks can be deceiving. After we were seated our waiter arrived to take our drink order, though he was polite he was far from engaging, my Bloody Mary was ok though it did seem to have a lot of horseradish swirling around the bottom of the glass and the GF just had coke. We each ordered a taster platter and I ordered a half-dozen oysters on the half-shell. My turtle soup arrived at the same time as the lady`s seafood gumbo, the waiter did ask if I wanted a splash of sherry (I did) and it was delivered as straight faced as everything else, though it was my first time trying turtle soup I definitely would have it again. The GF fished about 4 separate pieces of shell etc from her gumbo and commented that it was ok, but only lukewarm. The platters arrived and the meal didn`t look like it was improving, my crawfish etouffee did have a generous portion of mudbug tails in it, but as with everything else that was supposed to be hot it was warm at best and very salty. The natchitoches meat pie ran with juices when I forked it, but the juices all ran out onto the plate and the first bite revealed the crust to be dry and tasteless and the filling of ground meats grey and salty. It looked like something that had been mass produced and rewarmed (Sort of) for the platter. The GF`s red beans and rice had hard, dry clumps of rice on top of the beans which bland and again cold, the New Orleans style stuffed crab gave her pause with almost every mouthful as she encountered bits of shell with every bite. The Oysters were plump, large and looked gorgeous and after everything else that had gone wrong I couldn`t even bring myself to try one, they were left untouched on the table after I paid the bill and we beat a hasty retreat back to the Hotel. We`d have been better off to have gone over to Verti Mart grabbed a 6 pack of Abita Amber, a few Hubig`s pies and stayed in the room to finish the remaining mufaletta half we still had in the fridge, that and it would have saved us $40.00 even after buying the beer and the pies.

  1. nola79 Apr 20, 2010 09:58 AM

    It really was storming pretty bad Sunday. That's probably the only reason Remoulade was packed, so people could avoid getting drenched. I've never seen a crowd in there when I've walked past.

    1. h
      hazelhurst Apr 19, 2010 01:29 PM

      I have to say I've never darkened the door of Remoulade and I am racking my brain trying to think of anyone I know who has done so...from its location and the general idea begind it, though, I'd be suspicious. Arnaud's is a different story (and it has been inconsistent) but one would think the kitchen cold pump out the basics for the foot-traffic trade on Bourbon without too much trouble.

      I must say in their defense, though, that crab shell is quite common in colder months and although summer is coming on fast, lots of crab that you are getting now are still in their January armor and those shells splinter something awful. The oysters are the reverse story...just about now is when I say my fond farewell to raw oysters for the year (well, I do cheat occasionally in warmer weather---but it is rare) but figure to start ramping up on crab. Still and all, that's a shame about Remoulade (the Arnaud's sauce that gave the palce its name was one of the glories of the City back in the days of double-headed eagles in European courts.

      4 Replies
      1. re: hazelhurst
        bourbonstjoe Apr 19, 2010 03:05 PM

        Well hazelnurst I can safely say that I will never again darken the door of Remoulade unless I'm stumbling by with a hand grenade in my hand headed up/down Bourbon Street watching the tourist circus. It's also a really good indicator when the menu is trying too hard to please everyone...back away and settle for that out of the way corner spot that has some appies, some entrees and a few deserts. KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) can float a Ma & Pa corner joint to a 5 star Restaurant. Exotic and esoteric doesn't mean that some places can't pull of a rock solid dish because you've never had an ingredient that you've never had before. Do it, do it well and bring it to me on a plate and I'll decide whether it works for me or not even if it doesn't I can certainly pass on tastes or textures to you hazel, or Bill Hunt or uptownlibrarian or the other faithful Chows and you can go try it for yourselves. When I learned to cook at College (Course not in a Dorm) they always said you had to sets of taste buds, your own and your professional set. Whether you liked something or not you needed to know what it tasted like well seasoned and prepared to order, didn't like medium rare steak...too bad, flex your hand and poke between finger and thumb, THAT's medium rare; didn't know roast beef didn't have to be cooked till it was gray? (Cue shaft of light from above and medium rare goodness); Started baking only to learn that your own mom had lied to you for years and that brown sugar isn't yellow...but, I digress.

        (Removes soap box.)

        Eat well my friends I will try and report as best as I can so that you may form your own opinions :)

        1. re: bourbonstjoe
          h
          hazelhurst Apr 19, 2010 03:26 PM

          I speak only for myself, of course (but would be surprised if I am not joined by some others) when I say that your comments re: Remoulade have given me all I need to persevere in my stoic course of celibacy as regards eating there. Moreover, I will use your helpful comments to warn off others. Still and all, maybe there could be changes...it happens. Obviously, given my tastes, the mere presence of a place on Bourbon Street is not an automatic disqualification but that hutch's obviousl reliance on the tourist foot-traffic sure scared the helloutofme. It is both depressing and gratifying to have your report vindicate my suspicions. Many thanks.

          1. re: bourbonstjoe
            Suzy Wong Apr 19, 2010 04:09 PM

            One would think a busy place ='s good food, sadly not the case. But it seems that was an exception and not the norm with your trip, thankfully! I'm a native New Orleanian and have lived in N.O. my entire life, and never had a hand grenade. I will admit to being curious!

            as a ps Do you not like oysters? Or were you just too annoyed at that point?

            1. re: Suzy Wong
              bourbonstjoe Apr 20, 2010 07:19 AM

              As they say Suzy Wong close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades and small thermonuclear weapons (Cause when you use big thermonuclear weapons you don't need to be close.) Our bartender from last night explained the secret formula as Everclear (ie 180 proof), Midori (Melon liquer), a splash of pineapple juice and Sprite. Since the drinks came out of a hose as I remember it's probably just a pre-mix that they serve. Better to remain curious as after a few hand grenades the next day it'll feel like a small nuke went off in your head and the horse who's shoes you took did something unpleasant in your mouth by means of revenge.

              P.S. I LOVE oysters, at that stage annoyance had canceled any appetite I had left.

        2. s
          Shiloh Apr 19, 2010 08:44 AM

          Damn, that's awful. Sorry about the terrible experience. That aside, I'm greatly enjoying your dispatches. So thanks! I hope Day 7 is better!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Shiloh
            bourbonstjoe Apr 19, 2010 02:43 PM

            So far so good Shiloh, I'll post Day 7 later tonight with a few more tasty nuggets!

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