Monthly Archives: May 2014

Bevi Seafood – Game of Prawns

Bevi CrawfishOpulence! they dont has it.  No chandeliers, no white gloves, no benches for your man-purse can be found in little Bevi in Metairie.  What you got here instead is some outstanding seafood.  This small shack off the main road close to the airport delivered quite possibly the most memorable meal of a trip that included some pretty nasty eats (Peche for one).  It took just one bite of a BBQ Shrimp dish to confirm we are not in Kansas anymore.  We are in New Orleans, Louisiana – Seafood country!

BeviFresh Seafood that is.  The “if not fresh, we dont have it” kind.  When I ordered the BBQ Shrimp, the nice girl at the counter said “Let me see if we still have fresh Shrimp”.  She might as well have said “Let me go check in the back if you can get the best thing you will ever eat in this town”.  Who knew so much was at stake.  Ok, I may be a tad melodramatic here but this BBQ Shrimp instantly beat the BBQ Shrimp at Mr B’s Silly.  What it was lacking in butter, the addictive sauce more than made up for it in Canebrake beer and spices.  The ultra plump, ultra fresh head-on Gulf Shrimp swimming in that bright, flavor packed sauce can only be described by this quote from Seinfed “They are real, and they are spectacular”.  I just couldn’t get enough of this dish.  An unexpected gem that was not the main reason we came here.  That honor belonged to the boiled crawfish which we absolutely smothered.  There was plenty of meat in those little tails that day.  We also shared a smokey Oyster Po-Boy with smoked Gouda and pastrami bacon, dressed in delicious toasty bread.  I imagine long lines for this thing at the next Po-Boy festival uptown.Bevi BBQ Shrimp

After the meal a nice chat with chef/owner Justin LeBlanc revealed the passion and motivation behind this project.  Bevi may be new but Justin is no stranger to cooking, and it shows in the attention to details in those dishes.  I must have looked at their menu over 20 times before the trip, trying to remember the reason for schlepping the family up there.  You know its far when the name of the street is Airline Drive, and those cab rides can get as comfortable as a Donald Sterling interview sometimes.  But its all about the end results.  Counter order food has never tasted this good.  If only they had those little benches for your purse.

Bevi Seafood
4701 Airline Dr
Metairie, LA
$$
Reccommended Dishes: BBQ Shrimp, Smoked Oyster Poboy, Crawfish (in season)

NOLA 2014 786

Bevi Poboy Bevi in Bevi Seafood

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Annisa – Eating Without Borders (and Dictionary)

Annisa SquidSo I finally shaved and went to Annisa.  Anita Lo’s “Baby” has been on my list for a long time now, but not until the New York Times awarded it its third star, I figured its time.  Besides, I couldnt think of too many places that can match the elegance of birthday girl Mrs Ziggy on this rainy night (Awwweee! Ok enough).  Lo’s career reads like a movie script.  Highly acclaimed internships, Iron Chef win over Batali, a cookbook named Cooking Without Borders is just a small sample of Lo’s accomplishments.  But what separates this NYC food celebrity from the rest for me is instead of trying to build an empire, she’s staying put and concentrating on one place, her 14 year old “Baby”, Annisa.

AnnisaCooking without Borders means you cant quite categorize Anita Lo’s cuisine.  Hence, the default  American (New) title is applied for Annisa.  The menu includes influences from her French training, Middle East, plenty of Asian, and yes there’s even some American (New).  It also made me feel culinary dumb, (what the heck is a Satsumaimo).  Not as dumb however as I felt after I got a little tipsy and forgot where I parked the car after dinner.  Mrs Z thought it was Jones St, I said Waverly, while a homeless gentleman who overheard us talking kept yelling “WAVERLY” and pointed to it in case we didnt notice that Waverly was right in front us.  At some point we gathered for a brainstorm session with me, wife and the homeless guy who just kept saying “Waverly”, trying to figure out where we came from.  We finally found the car on Waverly as I and homeless guy predicted

I love coming to a place with a sound ordering plan.  Sometimes it doesn’t work too well, but this was not one of those times.Annisa Sashimi

Black Sea Bass Sashimi with trout roe, Yuzu Pearls and Shiso – Delicate, expertly cut Sashimi with the mild caviar that’s not overpowering.  We shared this one as our first course before the next two apps.  While I thought I ordered just enough or a little too much food, the couple near us who apparently was there a few times in the last few weeks ordered 4 apps, and 4 mains.  The waiter tried to convey that its too much food but quickly lost the argument.  These were some true Anita fans!

BBQ Squid, Thai Basil, Fresh Peanuts and Edamame (top) -Perhaps the dish of the night.  You just cant get more tender, better tasting squid than this.  With the peanuts probably getting boiled the heck out of them until their texture pretty much matches the Edameme, the sweetness from the Howisin sauce and minty hints, you got yourself a great dishAnnisa Dumplings

Seared Foie Gras with soup dumplings and Jicama – Very good as expected from one of Lo’s signature items that’s been on the menu form day one.  Since you get three dumplings we added one more which amounted to $28.  Sitting on top of vinegar reduction, you pick up the dumplings with your spoon, bite one end of it and suck out some of the soup much to chagrin of your 4 apps, 4 mains neighbors.  Then you eat the rest of the dumpling that includes plenty of crunch from the Jicama.  An enjoyable dish but despite the Foie presence, the few bites dont live up to the price tag in my opinion

Broiled Spanish Mackerel, Garlic fried Milk, Satsumaimo, Korean Chili.  A lot going in this one.  The fiery Korean Chili sauce balanced out nicely the strong Mackerel flavors.  Small cubes of Satsumaimo which is Japanese sweet potato and more ingeniousness from the Garlic Fried Milk balls.  Nice dish!Annisa Mackerel

Pan Roasted Chicken – There are those places where you simply must order the chicken (the NoMad, KFC) and this is one of them.  Something Lo picked up from her work in Chanterelle.  Tender, juicy, perfectly crisped skin, stuffed with pigs’ feet and chanterelles and sitting on a bed of creamy puree of White Truffle, Sherry and roasted onions.  This dish was sensational!

And what a fitting finish for us to end this one with what I call “The NOLA duo” (which confused the Maitre d a little).  From the Beignets of the previous post to the great little Pecan and Salted Butternut Beignets with Bourbon Milk Ice.  Although I was full I could have had another dozen of these.  The airy and scrumptious Bread and Butter pudding with lemon curd would fit nicely with the bread pudding behemoths in New Orleans.  There’s all sorts of mediocre bread puddings all over town, but this is certainly not one of them

Annisa
13 Barrow St
$$$$
Recommended Dishes: BBQ Squid, Black Sea Bass Sashimi, Pan Roasted Chicken, Beignets, Bread Pudding, Dumplings if you dont mind the priceAnnisa Chicken Annisa Beignets Annisa Bread Pudding Annisa Out

Categories: New York City, West Village | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Beignets – The Secret to Healthy Eating in New Orleans

NOLA 2014 454No, you didn’t accidentally stumble upon another health site.  I’m talking about the other “Healthy”, as in “of a satisfactory size or amount”.  How to eat well in one of the greatest food cities in America.  It took me a few trips to come up with the secret formula and now I am ready to pass this on to you dear reader(s).  Its all about what you eating for Breakfast that will set you free to fly with the Kale munching foodies of today (ok not sure what it means either, but I think you get the idea).  So grab a pen and pencil (because you know the lone pencil you have in the house is never sharpened) and write down the following recommended breakfast schedule…

Day 1:  Beignets

Day 2:  Beignets

Day 3:  Beignets

Day 4:  You guessed it… … Crackers!  (Preferably with honey… to cure the hangover accumulated from the past 3 days)

Any questions?

NOLA 2014 460

If there’s one thing I learned from all those trips to Italy is this… Eat like an Italian.  A croissant, pastry, coffee for breakfast and you are on your way to enjoy the two main things you came here to enjoy: Lunch and Dinner.  I approach travelling to New Orleans the same way now, but it wasn’t clear to me at first.  On my first trip as I would normally do, I researched the heck out of the city including the towns best breakfast spots, and had solid plans for the usual 3 meals per day.  The result was coming to dinner fairly full.  I recall hours before dinner I would wish that by the time dinner came I’d be hungrier than I was at that moment.  I was fantasizing about “Hunger Pills”, not pills that reduce hunger, but the ones that increase it.  But of course, in our backward society our scientists keep concentrating on the former!

Its very simple my friends.  New Orleans cuisine is fairly rich.  And even big eaters like Ziggy here will have trouble fitting in three full meals.  Something has to give, and that something is breakfast, which is why Beignets is the perfect breakfast choice.  Here are the obvious and not so obvious options you have in/near the French Quarter and my feelings on who is better.

NOLA 2014 472Café Du Monde – As much as I like the underdogs, CDM won the Beignet war by a small margin.  Great texture, not too daughy, not too airy, just perfectly executed Beignets.  The lines for seats look longer than they actually are.  The lines for takeout look exactly as they are.  Get a table, order the amazing Café au lait, Beignets (the only thing they have) and take your time to enjoy this one.  Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or trying to pass a town not supported by Chris Christie, you probably already know about Café Du Monde, one of the greatest American institutions.  BTW, once you are in looking for a table take a peak inside the building and try to grab seats there.  Even while sitting out, take a look at the scene inside.NOLA 2014 462

Café Beignet – Two convenient locations and very solid Beignets.  The reason I wouldn’t rank them higher is that some beignets were a bit more dense and chewier than others.  Both locations are very popular and the lines can get painful at times, but the Beignets (below) are top notch

Morning Call – We tried the one at City Park and while I was expecting something that would at least rival the other two due to its extensive history, it did not.  These were simply not as fresh and not as great, but still a decent convenient option at the parkNOLA 2014 281 NOLA 2014 690 NOLA 2014 465 NOLA 2014 452 NOLA 2014 473 NOLA 2014 450

 

 

 

 

 

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Bassanova – Some Ramen are Better than Others

Bassanova YuzuApril 12th, 2015 Update:

I have mixed feelings about reblogging this one.  On one hand I have an important update on Bassanova (Important to me at least.  To roughly 89% of yous this is as important as the news that Bruce Jenner is now wearing a bra).  But on the other hand, after reading the original post below, I have no clue what the hell I’m talking about there.  I suppose I can just rewrite the entire thing, but that would not be keeping it real.  You are with me folks, with the good and the bad, and the terrible.  And the “He must be high on kasha or something”.

I’ll make this one quick and painless, without any Morrissey references.  Its painful enough for me to even spell Morisseey.  But I really do wish everyday was like this Sunday.  A nice day of eating with the misses where I introduced her to more of my favorites, and in return she made let me try on 17 pairs of jeans in Soho.  I’m so lucky to have her.

Adding the Yuzu Wadashi Ramen to the equation.  The Yuzu is cleaner, with a profound citrusy flavor in both the stock and noodles (Yuzu is an Asian Citrus fruit that looks like a cross between a grapefruit and a lemon).  Cleaner than the Green Curry that is, which still rocks with its complexity and chewy wavy noodles.  Its a fairly busy plate with okra, shrimp, and shaved dried chili, and almost mazemen-like with its thick broth.  Still enjoyed it, but I give a slight nod to the lighter Yuzu at this point.  We also loved the long flat sizzling hot Iron-Pan Stick Dumplings.  They are hot alright, and quite delicious with pork, chives, chinese cabbage, garlic, and scallion.  Get it!

I’m not complaining, but this is one of those places that puzzle me why there are no lines out the door like you see in Totto and Ippudo.

Bassanova Green Curry Bassanova Dumplings

May 21st, 2014 post:

The likely title if the great Morrissey would have written this one for me.  “Some Girls are Bigger than Others” by Morrissey and the Smiths always pops into my head when I go to one of those school events like I did today.  And you know what?  He’s right!  Some girls are indeed bigger than others, and not only that but “Some girls mothers are bigger than other girls mothers” (listen to the song).  You can say a lot about Morrissey, but you cant say he’s unobservant.  Today at my 12 year old Honor Society Ceremony I just couldn’t help but notice how tiny some kids are compared to others.  Some look like 16, while others look like 6.

BTW (switching to “Big mouth” as the soundtrack for this post) did you ever wonder why people put those “My child is in an honor student” bumper stickers on their cars.  Is this something you need to announce to total strangers driving behind you?  And do you honestly think that anyone would actually care and go “oh look honey, her son is an honor student, well isn’t that special”  Why not announce it to total strangers at other venues, like when entering a subway train “LADIES AND GENTLEMAN, can I have your attention please..”.  It never made sense to me. (Switching gears to “How Soon is Now”…)

Bassanova Ramen

Anyway, some Ramen are in fact better than others, and Bassanova’s Green Curry Ramen is moving up the NYC rankings.  Rankings that include heavyweights like the Akamaru Modern by Ippudo, Spicy Ramen by Totto, and Ivan Ramen’s array of Ramen and Mazemen.  The awards and various list mentions are proudly displayed on the sign in a very unique way.  But to my and the Hummus Whisperer’s shock, no mention of the “Battle of the Soups” discovery by the Hummus Whisperer back in November”.  While we didn’t expect the Bassanova founder to put the bumper sticker “I was mentioned on Eating With Ziggy” we sent him, we did expect something next to the NYT top 10.

The Green Curry Ramen is peppery, intense, and features wavy thicker al-dente noodles which I haven’t seen before in a Ramen bowl.  The added okra, shrimp and of course the porky goodness adds to the joy.  The pork stock with hints of fish was rich, complex and simply Marvelous.  Another unique Ramen to us but an increasingly common one in Tokyo is the Lemon Pepper featuring thinner more basic noodles.  The waitress grinds fresh pepper on top of the lemon slices coating the entire dish.  Check out Bassanova everyone

Bassanova Ramen
76 Mott St
$$
Recommended Dishes:  Get the Green Curry

Bassanova - Green Curry Ramen Bassanova Lemon Pepper Ramen Bassanova

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Peche Seafood Grill – Meal of the Year

Peche Whole Grilled RedfishBetony, Carbone and Estela, three new powerhouses from NYC lost to Peche in the coveted James Beard awards as America’s Best New Restaurant.  The event, held earlier this month, also awarded Ryan Prewitt, Peche’s chef and co-owner, Best Chef in the South (tie with fellow New Orleanean Sue Zemanick).  As much as we cherished our meal at the more elegant and refined Betony, James Beard got this one right.  Simply put, in all my years of travel and eating, Peche is like nothing we’ve ever experienced on our mainland.

When I first started looking into what to eat on this particular trip, it didnt take long before this latest Donald Link (part owner) establishment became the front-runner.  Link’s Herbsaint was the top meal of the previous trip and the Peche menu was a “screaming buy” and a delight for the ants living in my keyboard (living off my drool).  More often than not, high expectation arent met and things fall sometimes annoyingly short.  So Its almost refreshing to not only have the most anticipated meal deliver, but also the most anticipated dish rock in such a big wayPeche

When you first step in, it feels like you accidentally walked inside a fancy rustic crab shack, but with just enough neighbor separation and comforting noise level.  We dont need penguin suits and benches for our purses to enjoy fine dining in its purest.  A nice booth in the back, and an eager waiter that was especially enthusiastic about my order as if he was enjoying this meal himself was all what we needed for a truly memorable meal.  I’m in danger of overhyping this one, so let me stop right now and dive to the food

Fried Bread – Remember kids, anytime you see bread on the menu, get it.  This one was salted, honeyed, fried and tasted much better than it sounds

Peche Fried Bread

Crawfish Bisque – Dark roux, not too thick or thin.  Didnt have enough of it to pass proper judgement partially because my youngest totally destroyed this thing.

Hushpuppies – Dont remember the last time I had this falafel of the south.  Get this!

Peche Hushpuppies

Crawfish Capellini – Outstanding!  Capellini pasta, a bit thicker than angel hair with plenty of meaty, sweet crawfish meat.  Terrific broth made with shrimp and crawfish stock, with hints of jalapeño.  Highly recommend this one

Peche Crawfish Capellini

Curried Mussels – More like a salad with potatoes, other veggies mixed in with the mussels and covered with light homemade curry sauce.  I was a little nervous about this one with my mussel obsessed family used to plain ol’ mussels in red or white sauce but it turned out to be another winner

Peche Mussels

Smothered Catfish – Smothered in deliciousness!  We aren’t the biggest fans of the catfish, but this was light, flaky, and quite good

Peche Smothered Catfish

Whole Grilled Redfish –  A Revelation!  Expertly cooked Redfish, perfectly complimented with first-rate minty oily salsa verde.  You dont mess around too much with greatness.  One of the best things I ate all year.

Peche Whole Redfish

Top notch Chocolate/Raspberry Cake and an even better Pineapple Rum Cake.  Not the usual soggy mess you normally expect out of a rum cake but a drier delicious pineapple flavored cake with Dolce de Leche ice cream.  Well done!

Reason #37 to visit New Orleans

Peche Seafood Grill
800 Magazine St, New Orleans
$$$
Recommended Dishes: Hushpuppies, Fried bread, Crawfish Capellini, Whole Grilled Redfish, Pineapple Rum CakePeche Rum Cake

Peche Chocolate Cake

 

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Bar Bolonat – Shiksa Approved

Bar Bolonat - Malabi

December 26, 2014 Update:

Took yet another shiksa to Bar Bolonat the other day and had another fun meal.  Plenty of empty tables on a Friday night at 8 pm but by the time we left the place was packed.  Are we eating later now like in Europe?  I didn’t get the memo.  Einat Admony’s pink scooter wasnt there again, and I’m yet to meet this NYC legend.  Yes, to me her accomplishments here are inline with some of the famous chefs in NYC.  Although there were some misses on this particular night, there were plenty of hits, some of which I added to the recommended list below.

Sunchoke Latkes – Hannukah special.  Tasted much better than they looked (they looked like Latkes!).  Nice falafely flavor

Delicata Squash – Good.  Essentially a hefty meaty sweet squash lightly dressed with some Tahini and a few pieces of brittle adding more sweetness and crunch.  Contrary to how the media praises the veg dishes, I don’t see them as the strong points here.  Timeout named the Everyday Cauliflower one of the best dishes of the year, but I thought it was just ok and not nearly as good as Balaboosta’s version

Octopus – Just ok. Came with a couple of purees, roasted peppers, and something called “Squid Ink Cracker” which was like a tasteless rice cake.  The octopus itself was a bit too tender, as in undercooked and missing that nice octopus bite (octobite!)

Bar Bolonat - Creme BruleeZabzi Tagine – Still great but lost some of its “Taginess”.  Short rib instead of beef cheek this time (I prefer the cheeks).  Came with a closed lid.  I was hoping to impress this particular Shiksa with the incredible aromas I remember from last time that would drive her mishegas.  But this time as soon as the lid went up, we got bupkes.  None of that crazy good herby action I smelled before.  Still, a solid plate overall and something I would order again

Hudson Street Kibbeh – This was a fantastic dish and possibly the best Kibbeh I ever had.  Three x-large egg shaped pieces with preserved lemon sauce.  The meat was perfectly seasoned and the crust had a nice crunch.

Falafel Encrusted Grouper – I wasn’t sure about this one.  Love my falafels and groupers but not necessarily together.  Turned out to be a great surprise.  The falafel crust was just strong (or weak) enough to compliment the delicate fish which was perfectly cooked.  Loved the accompanied beans in this white Chermoula seasoned sauce which absorbed much of the fish.  Perhaps my new favorite dish here

Halva Crème Brulee – As good as before.  Admony’s desserts are some of the best in the business.

I should also note that with the end of the year looming I’m seeing some of these dishes included in various best of the year lists.  Namely, the Jerusalem Bagel, Halva Crème Brulee and Cauliflower dish.  And this is just the beginning of the lists seasonBar Bolonat - Artichoke

Original May 14, 2014 post:

Something peculiar happened to me yesterday that worries me a little.  It could be nothing, something, or an eating lowlight of sorts not sure.  A wardrobe malfunction after another great meal at Ma Peche.  A rather important button disappeared from one of the only shirts I have that makes me look healthy.  Not just any button.  A designer button made in a Mongolian orphanage.  For about an hour on the bus I looked like something like this.  There was nothing in the way, nothing I could do to control or contain that gut but cover it with my hands as best I could.  A sign perhaps, like a timely Metamucil commercial that I should start watching how much what I eat.  “You are what you eat” is what they keep saying (They=Dr. Oz) and according to the laws of digestion, the gut in question was loaded with Korean, American, Italian, Modern Israeli and chocolate covered pomegranates from Costco (serious awesomeness) among other delicacies.  Yes, it was one of those weekends.

The first word that came to mind when I arrived at Einat Admony’s Bar Bolonat is guts.  The pink scooter was not there which means perhaps that Einat doesn’t give a couscous about the all important critic stage after an opening.  Ok, after missing her in Balaboosta and Taim over the years I just cant get a break.  All I want to do is tell her how awesome she is, and complain about the way they spell S’chug at Taim (wtf is “S’rug”) thats all.  The good news is that the Schug (Yemenite hot sauce/spread) spelling makes more sense at Bar Bolonat.  The better news is that the meal was very good.Bar Bolonat - Jerusalem Bagel

As in Balaboosta and just about every new place these days, its large, small, smaller plate format.  We ordered 6 dishes + 2 desserts for the 2 of us and it felt that it was the right amount of food.  Plates started rolling out at a furious pace at first.  We got the first 4 dishes fairly quickly including some at the same time (we were there no more than 20 mins I think)  And I had to ask them to slow down a bit which they did.

The Jerusalem Bagel with Za-atar spices on the side was light and fresh.  I always say that if you see bread on the menu, get it, and I continue to follow the rule.  But I cant help but be less enthusiastic about this rule of thumb now that every new place follows this trend.  It almost feels refreshing these days when you get free bread, like the focaccia with various dips/salads we got at Enoteca Maria (the rotating Italian Babushka place) the other nightBar Bolonat - Zabzi Tagine

A fine baby artichoke dish, coated with a good amount of pistachios and spices.  As good as baby artichoke can taste for me.  The “Everyday Cauliflower” was on the dry side with very little tahini at the bottom and tasted more like.. well… everyday cauliflower.  Maybe that’s the point, but a slight nod to the Balaboosta version.  The star of the show by far was the Zabzi Tagine.  Incredibly aromatic and flavor packed beef cheeks and homemade couscous.  The beef cheeks made me forget about the super tender beef cheek dish I had in Sylvain in New Orleans recently

Four plump, expertly cooked Shrimp with Yemenite Curry and just a touch of that spicy S’chug was quite delectable.  A similar dish she offered at Balaboosta as a special.  Fresh Pasta with ricotta was simple, and quite delicious.  If there’s one thing I like more than simple fresh pasta, is simple fresh pasta with a bit of a kick.

No Chocolate Falafel on the dessert menu last night (probably a good thing) but enjoyed a nice Malabi, (the Israeli Panna Cotta), and an ever better Halva Creme Brulee.  Like the Silan at Taboon its all about the shredded Halva taking this one to the next level.  Check out Bar Bolonat everyone, and bring your Shiksas

Bar Bolonat
611 Hudson St
$$$
Recommended Dishes: Jerusalem Bagel, Zabzi Tagine, Shrimp with Yemenite Curry, Fresh Pasta, Hudson Street Kibbeh, Grouper, Halva Creme Brulee

Bar Bolonat - Cauliflower Bar Bolonat - Shrimp Bar Bolonat - Pasta

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Easter Sunday in New Orleans

NOLA 2014 618 NOLA 2014 625 NOLA 2014 641 NOLA 2014 640 NOLA 2014 647 NOLA 2014 655 NOLA 2014 477 NOLA 2014 612 NOLA 2014 607 NOLA 2014 605 NOLA 2014 597 NOLA 2014 579 NOLA 2014 572 NOLA 2014 562 NOLA 2014 549 NOLA 2014 552NOLA 2014 474 NOLA 2014 591 NOLA 2014 610 NOLA 2014 626

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Atchafalaya – Gazuntite

Atchafalaya Shrimp and GritsTucked deep inside the Irish Channel neighborhood is New Orleans’ first and only five “A” dining establishment, Atchafalaya!  An On and Off neighborhood gem that changed hands a few times to become On again, offers one of the most sought after jazz brunches in town.  Its no coincidence that some of the best meals we had in all our travels are off the beaten path, away from the tourists (those damn pesky tourists!) and this one was definitely not an exception.  Reaching Atchafalaya after a long walk in the star studded Garden District/Lafayette cemetery area with 3 women wearing new “but I swear they are so comfortable” shoes, requires a five “A” award in itself.

Due to the blister action, we opted to be served the bloody Marys instead of making our own in their popular Bloody Mary bar.  The BM was on the spicier side, loaded with all the usual veggie suspects including broccoli and okra, along with nuts, bacon, car keys, and god knows what else they put there.  Bread Pudding, Bloody Mary, drinking in public are some of the things New Yorkers need to experience in NOLA.  Every time I try any of these in NYC I’m either disappointed or arrested.Atchafalaya Bloody Mary bar

Speaking of Bread Pudding, the savory bread pudding in Atchafalaya is outrageously good.  Filled with Mushroom, Sundried tomatoes and topped with tomato sauce, addictive stuff to say the list.  A solid top 10 dish of the trip contender.  Shrimp and Grits were probably the best shrimp and grits I ever had.  Huge plump gulf shrimp with a tangier darker looking sauce.  Another fantastic dish is the Eggs Atchafalaya, sort of an Egg Benedict but with fried green tomatoes and crab.  Fried green tomatoes is one of the specials here, adding much needed tartness to some dishes.  Crab and poached eggs are featured all over the brunch menu.  Another winner was the Oyster Rockefeller special.  There was beautiful bacon, creamy spinach, more delicious grits, meaty glorious fried oysters, and yet another poached egg tying everything together.

So put your old shoes, some bandages just in case, go for a little stroll to Atchafalaya, and get rewarded.  Highly recommend this one

Atchafalaya
901 Louisiana Ave.
New Orleans
$$$
Recommended Dishes: Savory Bread Pudding, Eggs Atchafalaya, Shrimp and Grits, Oyster Rockefeller (special)

Atchafalaya Sunday Jazz Atchafalaya - Bread Pudding Atchafalaya Oyster Rockefeller Atchafalaya - Eggs Atchafalaya Atchafalaya French Toast Atchafalaya in Atchafalaya Eggs Atchafalaya - Bloody Mary

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Kokum – YeShiva University

014Rule of thumb still stands.  Want solid Indian in the city of New York, just visit any of Shiva’s establishments.  That’s Shiva Natarajan if you scoring at home, or if you’re alone.  Adding Kokum to the Arsenal that includes Chote Nawab and Malai Marke.  Kokum, named after a fruit used as a spice in South India cooking represents the cuisine of Kerala among other South Indian regions.  A refreshing addition to North Indian heavy (read Heavy as in rich) NYC.

When you first walk inside Kokum, it feels like second hour of lights fixture shopping time with the wife in Chinatown.  You start feeling dehydrated, dizzy while hallucinations and impure thoughts about Indian and Chinese food start kicking in.  If this is what Shiva went through to get funky lights fixtures, than I feel for you brother.  Women Schwomen you know what I’m saying!

Kokum’s menu requires a stint at Ye(Shiva) University, before arrival.  Its not only large, but it will make your head spin.  There must have been 30 items at least that I wanted to try including some familiar items from Shiva’s other establishments.  As a result, flavors were a little more familiar than I was expecting but in a very very good way.010

Tropical Kerala – Perhaps the first ever cocktail at an Indian establishment I really liked.  Get this.

Kumily Chicken Fry – Well done. Good depth and not too dry. Similar to Chili Chicken at Malai Marke and perhaps your neighborhood Szechuan

Mysore Masala Dosa – You gotta get a Dosa crepe here. This one was stuffed with spiced potatoes and onions.  Terrific accompanied chutneys ranged from mild to hot.  This thing is huge

Red Pumpkin Thoran – Good, nicely balanced, but should have ordered the bindi (okra) we enjoyed so much in Shivas other establishments

Kori Gassi – We liked this a lot at Chote Nawab so had to get it again.

Chettinad Kulambu – I’ve been on a Chettinad high lately as my go to lunch choice. This is probably the best Chettinad I’ve had

No Naan here. Got some spongy Appam rice crepes, like Sri Lankan Hoppers. Appalam, lentil pancakes I would skip. Great Paripu Podi Rice

Kokum
106 Lexington Ave
Recommended Dishes:  All of the above005 007 012 013 015

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5 NOLA Desserts to Target

Banana Brown Butter Tart at Herbsaint.  So good we have to have it on every trip.  Rhonda Ruckman the young looking pastry chef is reaching legendary status according to various blogs/publications.  Add their terrific homemade vanilla ice cream and call me in the morning.  (Its just an expression – dont call me) Herbsaint Banana Butter tart

Butterscotch Pudding at La Petite Grocery.  We tried a few desserts at La Petite Grocery and the least exciting dessert prevailed over the others.  Truly delectableLa Petite Grocery Butterscotch Pudding

Pecan Pie at Brigtsen’s.  I love love Pecan Pie, and this was probably the best I’ve had.  The pecans are cut so fine that when they fill the top layer it results in a crunchy cookie like texture.  And the inside isn’t as jelly like and gooey as you find in your ordinary pecan piesBrigtsen's Pecan Pie

Pineapple Rum Cake with Dulce de leche Ice Cream at Peche.  There goes that Rhonda Ruckman again.  Far from your ordinary soggy rum cake Peche Rum Cake

White Chocolate Bread Pudding at GW Fins.   We’ve had some amazing bread pudding in NOLA from the great Cherry Jubilee at SoBou to the funky Krispy Kreme at Boucherie, to the classics of Mr B’s and Commander’s Palace.  But GW’s prevailed and not so much for the white chocolate, but the use of the dark stuff (chocolate) that did it for me

Courtesy of GW Fins via Foodspotting

Courtesy of GW Fins via Foodspotting

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