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And now the Report

Ziggy41 Nov 22, 2012 11:35 AM

5 days of eating in NOLA - $$$$$
5 days of drinking in NOLA - $$$$
Having folks like you (chowhound community) around to dish out great advice - Priceless

Anyway lets get down to business...

Drago's (Hilton) - Just a little snack of the chargrilled Oysters. I guess we got lucky with this batch as they were meaty and very flavorful.

Mr B's - BBQ Shrimp - Lets just say that I love to eat and this is the first time ever we had the same dish twice on a trip. Huge plump gulf shrimp with finger licking peppery, buttery sauce. All kinds of flavors packed in this one, simply amazing. Good gumbo ya ya but think I was expecting a bit more on my first gumbo in NO (I've had many gumbos before). Very nice bread pudding with whiskey sauce - first out of many BP's on this trip.
On another visit we also had the Pasta Jamblaya which was just ok. Compared to the BBQ Shrimp it was missing much of that explosive taste. Seafood gumbo was a bit more satisfying than gumbo ya ya.

Boucherie - Excellent meal. Started with a very nice smoked shrimp and fish beignets with tartar sauce and leek frites. Blackened shrimp and grits were beautifully seasoned and very tasty. But the star was the boudines. You could smell it when it arrived. Reminded me of shawarma seasoning. I was sitting next to the bar and a girl at the bar who was a little tipsy turned around and said "mmm I can smell your balls from here". Anyway, big falvors in those boudines, very enjoyable.
The brisket was another winner, so tender and juicy. The garlicky Parmesan fries that came with it were spectacular. Add some of the vinegar on the table to take them to another dimension. Also loved the dry rubbed ribs, again very well seasoned. The sides of crispy fried shallots were very tasty as well. Loved the sides here.
The Krispy Kreme bread pudding was as good as advertised. Perhaps better than mr bs tho tough to tell here. They also had an apple cobbler that we all enjoyed and a side of some amazing homemade butter pecan ice cream. We are 4 btw. I don't want you to think I'm some sick mad eater. I am, but I don't want YOU to think that. Great first dinner!

Commander's Palace - lunch. A very good meal overall. Perhaps lacking the other meals flavor wise but its more of a testament to the other establishment. Not much wrong here.
The only oohs and aahs came from the turtle soup although it was fairly small (large coffee cup size. we were part of a tour with Tree). It was nice and thick and very rich in flavor. (27 ingredients packed in this one). Another app of shrimp and tasso was good. Loved especially the pickled okra side.
The shrimp and grits were good but not as savory as the wonderful shrimp dishes from the night before. I enjoyed the Cajun Cochon de lait a bit more. Tender, savory pulled pork, boudin, corn and other goodies on a homemade tortilla. Took a bite of the brisket, not as good as boucherie's.
The famous bread pudding soufflé was good but again falls behind the others. I actually enjoyed the pecan pie more at CP. Still an enjoyable meal.

SoBou - What a fantastic meal! Great drinks, beautiful decor, nice vibe, and one of the more enthusiastic waitresses I've ever seen. Or maybe she was high not sure don't care.
As for the food, loved the cajun queso - pork cracklings with the sickest cheese fondue ever. The girls really enjoyed the butternut squash with honey soup. Very sweet but savory. The tuna ice cream cones were just ok for me. Yes its original, unique, cool, but that does not always translate to full of flavor.
Excellent alligator sausages and more of those awesome pickled okra. Need to start looking for that at home. The star perhaps was the pork belly with another fantastic boudin. We were split on the Duck debris and butternut beignets. The girls like them, the boys didnt care for them
Ok here's the thing with the cherry jubilee bread pudding. Great overall and perhaps the best one we tasted so far but not enough cherries in something thats called cherry jubilee. We (in a fun nice way) mentioned it to the waitress and she said we were not the only ones to mention it and that they were probably running out of cherries. The dark and stormy banana rum cake ordered by my brother in law who was still raving about the dark and stormy at boucherie was enjoyable as well.
Loved the menu, loved the meal. Highly recomment Sobou

More to come...

  1. Ziggy41 Nov 22, 2012 11:59 AM

    Coquette - I've been fortunate enough to be able to eat at some great establishments all over the world and there's one thing almost all got in common: Great bread. This Ciabatta straight out of their oven was a Wowser (foodie technical term, besides I'm running out of adjectives). Loved the goat cheese and greens salad with these crazy delicious sweet pecans. Loving the pecans here. Louisiana crabmeat with remoulade, potato and quale egg was another stunner. The shrimp and grits as good as they were are probably at the bottom of the food chain as far as all the other shrimp dishes we had this week. The winning entree was perhaps the duck confit. The Brussel sprouts that came along made us order more bussel sprouts. My SIL was having a "ill have what she's having" moment with her veal tacos.
    Desserts were some uneventful choc munchkins but overall another superb meal.

    Herbsaint - If I have to give you just one must from this trip, it's probably dinner at Herbsaint. What a meal!
    The one dish I was so looking forward to try on this trip was the homemade spaghetti with Guanciale and fried poached egg. You break the egg, mix it up and the result is pure ecstasy with every morsel. A beef short rib with potatoes and salsa verde did not disappoint. The salsa especially was such a nice compliment. Grilled mushroom special was terrific as well.
    For main we shared a great pork cassoulet. Heavy and full of flavors. But the star of the mains to me was clearly the lamb neck. I had a great lamb neck in Tel Aviv a few months ago and Herbsaint's version beats it without question. Crunchy crust with super tender inside with these delicate savory noodles and a tomato confit. So so good. Also had a side of fries. Someone posted somewhere these were the best fries in town. That person must have not tried Boucherie's. These were a little too salty for me and I love too salty. The bacon braised faro with beans was more like it. Great side.
    The desserts here were mixed. Their banana butter tart was even too sweet for my too sweet tooth. The duck egg creme brûlée was the creme de la creme of the creme brûlées. A spectacular meal overall. Bravo.

    Poboy festival - Fun but crazy busy. Huge lines. My fave was perhaps Sammys Ray Ray (fried boneless chicken, ham, cheese). Other hits were Pascal manales BBQ shrimp, simple but tasty and Seafood au Gratin from breads on oak. Red fish grills pecan trout disappointed. Too much bread, dry trout.

    GW Fins - Loved it. Lobster dumplings were excellent, like very good Russian Pilmeni. The sizzling oysters were sizzling alright, and delicious. The blue crab pot stickers were a bit too doughy but enjoyable.
    No scalibut on the menu today but we really enjoyed the Brie and blue crab stuffed flounder with some sort of bread and mushroom concoction and asparagus. The black drum was simply fried came with an amazing lobster risotto. A dish of just the risotto would be better. The White chocolate and caramel bread pudding with dark chocolate and pecans was the best BP of the trip. Delicious!

    Thanks again everybody

    4 Replies
    1. re: Ziggy41
      s
      shanefink Nov 22, 2012 02:36 PM

      You did good. I really liked the BBQ Oyster Po Boy at the Po Boy Fest, but it was so big that I couldn’t eat for another few hours.

      1. re: shanefink
        s
        sanglier Nov 22, 2012 04:28 PM

        Ziggy, great report. Glad you made it to Herbsaint, I continue to call it the best restaurant in New Orleans.

      2. re: Ziggy41
        c
        collardman Nov 22, 2012 05:25 PM

        Very good report. Thanks.

        1. re: Ziggy41
          g
          Gizmo56 Nov 24, 2012 01:48 AM

          Loved the rich detail and the excellent writing in your report, Ziggy41. thank you!

        2. Ziggy41 Nov 23, 2012 01:22 PM

          Thanks! Shanefink, I made a mistake that day. I kept in mind the advice from this board to go to the festival early but still opted to go later on after visiting the zoo. But as a veteran of many such festivals here in nyc I was still caught by surprise on how busy it was. We almost turned around and left.

          Herbsaint was definitely a highlight. I forgot to mention their excellent Gumbo as well.

          For breakfast we did the customary CDM thing and cafe beignet. Both beignets are good. CB's are a bit larger and doughier perhaps. Both hot and fresh out of of the oven but if I have to pick one I would give CDM a slight edge. Their coffee was better as well.

          Btw, thanks to whoever mentioned the Bloody Mary's at Mary's bar. Probably the best BM I ever had. And there it was again tht pickled okra found me again. There was an entire salad in that drink.

          Ok, now I'm gonna lose half of the audience. I wasn't too crazy about the muff from Cochon butcher but I haven't tried any others and I'm suspecting this is just not for me.

          Red gravy was very good for breakfast. The Sicilian omelette especially was a winner.

          Ok, think I got everything covered.

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