November 8 - 11 Trip Report
Having a quick trip to spend time with my daughter, staying in the CBD most of this trip.
Much less food oriented than past trips but having some very fun new experiences, with many meals thanks to great CH advice. I have had fewer "splurge" dinners than in the past but am still eating VERY WELL! Here is my report:
Thursday am: Surrey's Juice Bar. I think this is a great spot for breakfast, with particular kudos to the charming wait staff. I was solo and had the baked Mediterranean frittata ( great texture with a well-balanced blend of tomatoes, artichoke, salami & cheese tucked in a slightly crispy baked egg dish) and a delightful House-made Biscuit. Once again in NOLA restaurant, I saw a TV star: the lovely young actress who plays Sophia on Treme. According to my attentive server, oodles of celebs hit Surrey's Cafe. A nice spot and a nice walk back to CBD.
Thursday pre-lunch: Swizzle Stick bar, for their aged Sazerac with some kind of specially aged rye. I could not quite understand what the bartender was telling me about how they prepare this drink, but they keep in in those cool ceiling high shelves behind the bar? Perhaps they pre-blend and age all the ingredients except the simple sugar? Hmm. It was a little smoother than other Sazeracs I have sipped.
Thursday lunch: Cochon Butcher. I got the duck pastrami slider and the marinated brussel sprouts. The former tasted much better after I put the sweet potato habanero on. The sliders were just a little too "white bread/mayonaissy" for my taste prior to spicing them up. The sprouts were a winner, would get those again. I was not fond of the uber-loud music.
Thursday Happy Hour: Bellocq. This is a wonderful place, gorgeous decor -- and I was surprised it was not busier. I had the whiskey cobbler (Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Orange, Lemon, Vanilla Tincture) and my daughter had one of the sweeter berry cobblers and we both savored those lovely cocktails. We had a brushetta appetizer with chevre and roasted beets and arugula that was tasty and substantial.
Thursday dinner take-out: We both had work to do that night so we went back to Cochon Butcher and got roast beef sandwiches and pumpkin pie to take back to the hotel. I was not nearly as thrilled as I thought I would be with the sandwich and the pie serving was skimpy. So this was my third trial of the Cochon brand, and I guess I am not a fan, except for that habanero. Oh well...
Friday Dinner: Root. I have very mixed feelings about Root. I really liked the appetizer of the duck rillettes with pickled watermelon, beets, satsuma marmalade and other lovely pickled accoutrements. I had the KFC spicy chicken wings which I thought were nicely done. My daughter was very unhappy with the pork belly entree: perhaps she like the idea of pork belly more than the actual experience. It seemed almost gelatinous to me, but i have only previously had pork belly as a flavoring/accent -- never as an actual dish. The service was considerate, but I felt a bit rushed. The restaurant was not very crowded, and I just felt they were sweeping our dishes off the table and replacing cutlery too quickly. I wanted to linger more. Hard to say what was off in the vibe, because the intention is there, I just felt there was something a bit "canned" about Root.
Saturday lunch: Bayona Light lunch 3 --course $25. Lovely early lunch on the patio. Superb experience, my second time at Bayona. This was such a joy, and we were treated brilliantly from beginning to end. I had the apple blue cheese salad that may have had prosciutto, then I had the brochette of sweetbreads/oysters as my main followed by one of the best desserts I have ever enjoyed: a chocolate monkey bread with brulee bananas and banana ice cream on the side. Chewy and rich but just the right size dessert. I was so enthralled with my meai I did not pay too much attention to DD's but I think she has the rabbit gnocchi and liked it very much. Great service, leisurely and efficient. Highly professional, of course.
Saturday dinner: Maurepas Foods. WHAT A GREAT PLACE! For the money this is a good value, and a very fun place. Warm and friendly from the minute you step in. Marepas Foods is on my list for another visit. Had the Omergerd cocktail which was perfect for me: bourbon, ale and a bunch of exotic fruits. Great drink. Then we split the cheese plate, the sweet potatoes, cheesy grits -- which I ate most of -- and those goat tacos which are WONDERFUL. DD had the pumpkin pot de creme, I was too stuffed.
Sunday breakfast: Cafe Adelaide. Nothing to write home about. Too bad, I love Swizzle Stick.
Sunday lunch: Watched part of the game at Rusty Nail, the Disco Lemonade is yummy. Food truck outside was doing a nice business, wish I could remember the name, nothing memorable but hit the spot with burritos and lamb pie i.e empanadas.
Sunday dinner, Dat Dog because it is one of DD favorites. Not my favorite kind of food, but I liked the way they put the slaw and BBQ sauce ON my turducken dog. It was Ok, for a hot dog. Happy Hour all day on Sundays.
Not sure what tomorrow (Monday) will bring. I will be over at Riverbend/Oak Street area so I may have to be adventurous. Thanks NOLA Board CHers, you are the best, I will be back again in April.
sf: Refuel looks solid & I cannot believe I/we have not been to Crabby Jack's yet -- it looks very fun, close to her place, and well-regarded. I was beat from a day of decorating/cleaning so we had Lebanon Cafe take-in. But I sent your advice to DD, and I will be back in April at the latest. And yes, Mrs F, I woud try Root again. I think we had such a wonderful foodie Saturday that the Root experience - the prior evening -- just fell a bit flat. My next trip will be with a NOLA virgin and a bit more FQ-oriented, so I will keep my eyes on CH NOLA open for the latest.