A Canucknucklehead in NOLA Day 7
The dawn of a new Day (7) had filled us with the hope of possible culinary redemption after yesterday's fiasco. Still not big on breakfast we headed back to Cafe du Monde for more good, strong Cafe's and more powdered sugar cover bits of deep-fried dough, I hate to admit it but they're starting to grow on me the more I have them.
Today was another planned attack on the NOLA food scene and after a quick $2.50 each we'd ridden the St. Charles Avenue Street car to the end of it's line and re-boarded. We jumped car (Ship?) at Napoleon Avenue and headed South to Magazine Street, once we'd gotten our bearing we headed for Casamentos...which is not open Mondays and IS only open for lunch Tuesdays till Saturdays on after 11:00 am (I'm not 100% sure of the exact days) and they open for dinner Thursdays till Saturdays after 4:00 pm.
Plan B. We walk from 4330 Magazine Street to 3454 Magazine street and find ourselves in from of Mahony's Po-boys. Oddly enough it is open with several people seated outside enjoying what looks like wonderful food. The inside was nice, spacious and very open with the the two front doors being clearly marked as being an In and an Out. I tried the Fried Chicken Liver po-boy with Creole-Slaw and a small order of the Onion Ring (A must have so Chowhounders said) and an Abita Amber and the GF went for the Veal Parmesan po-boy and the Mufaletta salad and a Coke. The food arrived very quickly carried first to the front counter by a very cute, petite elderly lady and then to our waiting table by the wait staff (Further examination of newspaper articles framed and hung on the walls revealed this powerhouse to be the owners Grandmother who still works in the kitchen.) The chicken livers in my po-boy were crispy and cooked right through, but still managed to avoid being chalky on the inside as can happen when liver is overcooked. The Creole slaw was creamy and had a bite thanks to a healthy dose of mustard used it the dressing, they were made to be together. The bread used is of course Leidenheimers and that seems to be critical for a solid (No pun intended) foundation for any good po-boy. The onion rings were amazing!!!! They seemed to have been just sliced paper thin and fried till they were crispy, I could not detect any form of batter or coating (Even flour) on them and you know what IMHO they do not need one anyways! While generously helping herself (Shovelling seems rather unlady-like) to the onion rings the better half's Mufaletta salad arrived, a rather sizable wedge of iceberg lettuce with stacks of salami, provolone and other meats and cheeses nestled around it and a generous portion of olive salad and capers heaped over the top (Olive and vinegar came separated and separate on the side.) After making a large dent in that she then unwrapped her po-boy and started devouring it, the veal was nicely crusted and the mozzarella cheese used was thick and very gooey. I took the opportunity to sample a bite and the tomato sauce was very flavorful and I could detect hints of fennel or aniseed in it's chunky goodness. Having finished as much as we could we wandered over to Louisiana Avenue and then back up to St. Charles to catch the streetcar back to Canal.
Dinner oddly enough found us almost back where we had started our lunch excursion, we hobbled back over to 817 Common Street in the CBD to dine at Mila. It wasn't very busy when we entered and were quickly ushered to a table and given menus, I was slightly confused as I had been examining the Bar menu and the Dinner menu had a smaller selection of small plates which was the way I had been wanting to go. I asked out server and he explained that while both the Dinner Menu and the Bar Menu were accessible from the Bar the same wasn't true from the restaurant. Thankfully they were more than happy to move us over to the Bar and we were shown that menu as well. The GF started with coconut shrimp beignets with pepper jelly and then the seared scallop salad with shaved fennel and local grapefruit with a grapefruit reduction. I opted for the hush puppies with caviar and creme fraiche, deer and cheddar biscuits and the rabbit tenderloins with a cane syrup mustard. The GF cleaned both her plates spotless and the only hiccup in here experience was that a fume of pepper jelly went up her nose, the scallops were perfectly cooked, the dressing nicely balanced and the beignet/jelly combo was well matched. In retrospect maybe I shouldn't have tried to carb-load like I did, I didn't finish everything, but I did try everything and ended talking the rest back to the Hotel with us. The hush puppies were light and airy, the caviar was a nice, salty foil to the richness of the creme fraiche and the finely minced chives rounded the morsels out well. The deer and cheddar biscuits were flaky and very savoury and very enjoyable with the provided butter melted all over them. The rabbit tenderloins were hot and juicy, nicely crusted and the cane syrup mustard was similar to a honey mustard but not nearly as overpowering as they usually are nor as thick, much more delicate on the palate. The Malbec/Cabernet
Sauvignon that the bartender recommended went well with everything and the GF enjoyed her “Old World” classic daiquiri.
Another short hobble found us back in the FQ and preparing to face our second last day in NOLA.
3454 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA