New Orleans Review Part 1
We were in New Orleans for two weeks (Wife Daughter and I). We ate at quite a lot of places and did some cooking at home as well, but not a lot of higher end places as we had our daughter and only a few nights with a babysitter, but I felt like we ate really well and had a blast as usual. Here is part 1:
Butcher: Ate there twice – first time we got all the small plates they offer and everything was great. Some of the best mac-n-cheese I have ever had. Second time I had the muffaletta and while it was good I am just not a huge fan of a warmed/toasted Muff. I prefer the cold version. However, if you do like the warm/toasted version, the meats, cheeses and olive salad were top notch. I will certainly be a return visitor to the Butcher on certain trips. Another place that Mr. Link has knocked out of the park.
The Joint: I ate a rib plate and it was very tasty and pulled right off the bone with a little effort, but didn’t fall off just by handling it, which I believe is a very important distinction as if it falls off too easy it just doesn’t have the right texture. I really like the funky nature of this place and while it is nowhere near as good as any of the Texas hill country BBQ like Coopers or Blacks around Austin it is very good for a city that surprisingly lacks a little in the BBQ department (I do want to try Squeal and wish I would have as we were headed there but stopped elsewhere instead).
Camellia Grill (original location): Went to take my daughter because I thought she would like the show and got a double cheese burger. I have always liked their burgers because they are straight forward classics and this one didn’t disappoint. Cooked perfectly medium rare, but I was not a fan of the fries and for the add on price they certainly were not worth it. Daughter lover her vanilla freeze and had fun watching everything going on.
Three Muses: This was a fun little spot on Frenchmen that we had a dinner of 8. Frankly I was a bit tipsy when we got there, so I don’t remember exactly what we got, but the food seemed good while not spectacular. We all split a bunch of small plates. If you are looking for a fun spot on Frenchmen, this is a good spot. We didn’t have reservations, but got in pretty quickly for it being a small place on a Saturday night.
Commander's Palace: This dinner was awesome, but it could have been very bad (I will explain). We were seated promptly and took our drink orders, but then we were not given menus and did not receive drinks for a good 15 minutes, nor were we even attended to at all in that period. Our waiter then brought our drinks and apologized for the wait. I had the Big Easy which is a twist on the Pimms Cup with some added gin and another liqueur that I cannot exactly remember, but it was outstanding. One of the best cocktails I have had in a long time. I will have to find out the liqueur as I need to recreate this drink! My wife and I each ordered one of the 3 course meals, her the soft-shell crab and me the gulf fish each starting with the turtle soup, which I just love and it did not disappoint. After our soups and as we were waiting for entrees it became obvious to us why the restaurant seemed a little off when we first arrived as a large table of about 12 people started to make their first of many outburst of throughout the night. There were 4 kids and 8 adults, kids ranging from 12 to 3 years old (we didn’t bring our daughter as she is just two young and we don’t wish to spoil anyone else’s dinner although she is very well behaved for a 3 year old). One of the adults pulls out an ipad and starts playing a video for the table on the ipad at full blast, no headphones. It was outrageous (I am all about pulling out an ipad on mute for my daughter at a casual restaurant, but at commanders really?). Then the kids started literally running around the table and at one point a parent intervened when the child climbed on the chair to moon the table before he could get to the moon part, yet the ipad went on and on and on. Then out came a light up noise blaring child’s toy (all of this happened in about a 15 minute span) which finally brought a visit from the manager who got the children’s toy shut down and the ipad sound turned off (although it remained on and a source of outbursts). One of the parents apparently took acceptation the manager’s visit and bristled a little bit and the table remained extremely obnoxious for the remaining 30 minutes they were there. However the staff was great, apologizing and even giving us a free glass of wine we were drinking. Our meals came and both were exceptional (although Herbsaint’s Soft-shell Crab is more to my liking) with the gulf fish being one of the better white fish dishes I have ever had. Desert was a bread pudding (I think the best in the city IMO) and also a great crème brulee which I really liked how they spread it out on a larger plate rather than a deep dish so as to get more of the crustiness which is really what everyone wants. I actually felt bad for the staff, because they had to put up with this extremely obnoxious party, while not totally offending them, and trying to manage to not upset the rest of the dinners. I cannot fathom how parents think that behavior from their children or for themselves of that nature is appropriate at even a higher end eatery let alone a place like commanders. It really took poor parenting to another level in my opinion. Otherwise I was extremely please and will return!
626 S Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118
701 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130
536 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA 70116