Labor Day Visit Re-Cap: NOLA, Baton Rouge, Middendorf's and Scott, La.
Just back from a great trip and wanted to thank you for the help and report back.
It was so nice to be there with low crowdage and maximum heat and humidity.
--Mariza – what a nice “find” after finding Maurepas closed on Wednesdays. Very enjoyable meal in a great space from what I think deserves to be better known, a real up-and-coming place. Excellent oysters despite the season (oh how I miss gulf oysters when I am away). Great Black Linguine w/ Seafood. Whole fish of the day was a Lane Snapper and was just perfect.
--Clancy’s for lunch was wonderful. Most of my companions had salads with Crab – I had the angel hair with tomato and crab and capers, simple and delicious.
-- Maurepas Foods lived up the hype. Standouts where the Chicken Leg Quarter (we ordered two), and a Peaches and Peppers salad (OMG – what a dish). Goat tacos were too dry, IMHO. It was weird, the cheese list makes mention of many Louisiana cheeses, so we ordered the sampler, but they were all European. If you want to sample Louisiana cheese you better go ala carte. Dessert – a fruit pie -- was amazing and I do not like dessert.
Lunch before the trip to Baton Rouge was
--Peche – another hype-liver-up-to-er. Beautiful space, fabulous food and service. We sat at the oyster bar. Had a 1/2 dozen than spicy crab claws and yummy crudo (Swordfish with a fantastic white bean puree). Special of the day was outstanding – Fried Grouper Collar.
--Sandwich for the road – Cochon Butcher’s Mufellata. As has been stated around here it is a hard to do much better (well there is Nor-Jo’s). I think the meats and bread are better at CB but the Olive Salad is better at NJ. The olive salad @ CB was kind of light but very tasty. I suppose I prefer the more “rough hewn” version that Nor-Jo's does.
--Baton Rouge we liked Parrain’s quite a bit. Mansur’s was fine, a little too fussy for my taste (thought it is probably more my fault as I made the error of getting an andouille crusted trout with BBQ shrimp on top: way too much going on to appreciate the fish). Thought it was much better the next day as a left-over. Gumbo’s, Sensation Salad and a Poblano Chicken Soup were all very, very tasty. Parrain’s fried gator and boudin balls hit the spot, as did the excellent drum. We wanted to try either Hot Tail's or Ma Momma's in New Roads, and see the "new" bridge out that way but no time. As for coffee - not my obsession - we had several cups of wonderful chicory flavored blend, and great people watching at Coffee Call on College Drive. For the Beginet-minded this is a good spot that is, obviously, not Cafe du Monde.
-- Middendorf's - what a perfect setting to eat great seafood and sit with family and friends. I definitely preferred the whole fried catfish to the thin fried catfish. The boiled crabs were wonderful as well.
--Cajun Country lunches – Scott, Louisiana. If there is a smaller town with better food in the world I need to know about it, now. With Best Stop Supermarket and Don’s, Scott is worth a visit. Cracklin’s and boudin – yum. Don’s Sunday Supper was sensational – BBQ Stuffed Pork Chop on dirty rice (see picture below). A detour for a beer at Pat’s in Henderson then a drive through lots of fishig camps in the swamp reminded me how beautiful it is to be off the grid in Cajun Country.
--Cochon Lunch – Pork Cheeks and Grits, Tomato/Pork/Farro Soup and Rabbit with Dumplings. My first time at Cochon was wonderful and a personal bonus – we sat next to the guitarist from the Honey Island Swamp band! Excellent cocktails, beer and wine list too.
--Tacey’s Po-Boy’s on the flight home (and a John Goodman spotting at the airport) – we shared a Roast Beef and a Fried Shrimp. What a fantastic Labor Day visit.