TerryG's Profile

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Help Us Enjoy NOLA on a Budget (Long)

Yes reserve now if possible. And yes re: the prix fixe lunch. Enjoy. It was very special.

Apr 13, 2015
TerryG in New Orleans

Help Us Enjoy NOLA on a Budget (Long)

Yes. I completely felt like giving them a pass. I'm sure Chris' death was a devastating blow. We had the opportunity to participate in the second line for him the following Sunday and got a feel for what he meant to his family, friends, and staff. He was apparently quite a guy - brimming with life. What a tragedy!

Apr 05, 2015
TerryG in New Orleans

Help Us Enjoy NOLA on a Budget (Long)

Sorry, all. I meant to report back right away but time slipped away so let me see what I can remember. We realized we couldn’t have 3 rich meals/ day so often ended up with 2 largish meals instead and one day I think we had only one. Spent the first 2 days in Bywater and then a week on Freret, which turned out to be a better foodie location than we originally thought.

We tried for Bacchanal our first night, but because of the tragic death of the co-owner 2 days earlier, there seemed to be some kind of event Sunday evening with long lines. It was late so we went to the very casual Kebab. We shared a Gyro (pork) and it was tasty but slightly burnt which I really didn’t mind since I kinda like stuff a little burnt and a beet salad (nice and light, but nothing special). I was surprised that there was no lamb option at a kebab place. However, there was a beignet special with blood orange marmalade, which was actually quite delicious.

We had breakfast at Elizabeth’s. I thought it was OK. Had basic eggs and an order of the praline bacon (very sweet and burnt as well and this time didn’t appreciate the burnt taste). DH really didn’t enjoy his crab cake w/ eggs special. Thought it was too heavy and he disliked the coffee as well. He actually had a tough time finding a good cup of morning coffee in NOLA.

We did manage to go to Bacchanal that evening. They were short-handed that evening and had some serious service issues. DH had selected a cheese plate and it took over an hour to get it served. And then he realized it was the wrong plate. The server said they didn’t have a record of the one he ordered. He had taken pictures of the cheeses and the server finally came back to us and indicated they were out of his cheeses -- or couldn’t find them. After a while, the manager came and said they might have it after all, but we were pretty disgusted by that time and just agreed to take the plate we were originally served. Ended up we didn’t like the cheeses particularly. Surprised we weren’t comped anything for all the hassle. We also ordered from the regular menu. DH wasn’t crazy about his bean soup, the brussel sprouts were good, but not great. The bucatini, however, was excellent. I had also ordered the pork shoulder and it, too, took a very long time to arrive. We were kind of hoping they forgot about it because we were filling up, but it arrived late and turned out it was really sublime -- all the flavors harmonized beautifully. It ended well, but all in all, a mixed bag for us.

The next day, we had a quick breakfast at our airbnb and had lunch at High Hat on Freret. I had a nice ya ya gumbo which was full of lovely seafood and we shared a vegetable plate and the fried chicken special. Liked the mac and cheese and really flavorful greens. So-so on the sweet potato salad.

That evening, we had a late night bite at Ancora Pizza. The Bianca pizza had a good taste with quality ingredients but a soft crust, which is not our preferred style. The side order of 3 large meatballs was fabulous though and worked well when added to the pizza.

Wednesday was a culinary tour of the French Quarter and I really liked the guide and his recommendations dovetailed nicely with my research so after the tour we ended up tired at the French market. He recommended the muffaleta at Alberto’s in the French Market. It was freshly made and the ingredients were good, but guess I really am not crazy about muffaletas and somehow it just didn’t satisfy.

We did luck out when we realized that the no name place just steps away from our Airbnb was Cure. They have a great Happy Hour, which we frequented several times during our stay. The cocktails were lovely even though we just stuck with the classics. They do a special punch every day and especially enjoyed the one with tequila, grapefruit and champagne. The best app of our entire trip was their fried green tomatoes with the creamiest smoothest ricotta I’ve ever tasted.

That evening we met friends at Shaya, the new Israeli place. I read some terrific reviews so was expecting to be wowed more than I was. Ordered the “For the Table” apps. Really enjoyed the heirloom carrots and Ikra (paddlefish caviar -- better than it sounds) but found the rest: (beets, lutenitsa, tabouleh) just OK. Surprised that the basic hummus was meh. We get much better at home. Wasn’t crazy about the lamb kebab and DH liked but wasn’t bowled over by the matzoh ball duck soup. But the bread, ah … the bread was crispy and delicious – the best thing about the place.

The next day was prix-fixe lunch at Commander’s Palace. We started with soups – the creole gumbo for me and the turtle for him. We loved them both – but that gumbo was fabulous. Not crazy about either of our entrees – seared fish for me and the crawfish boil fried chicken salad for me. Was expecting way more flavor from both of these. We shared the creole bread pudding soufflé (tasty but not much substance) and the quite good strawberry shortcake. Loved the service and the experience more than the food but after those 3 martinis I knew no pain.

Maybe that’s why I can’t remember where we ate that night –or even if we ate that night. We had made a stop at Rouse’s and la Boulangerie earlier that week and I suspect we nibbled on bread and cold cuts. Kinda disappointed in the Boulangerie bread (an artisan whole wheat, I think) although their scones,, croissants, and pastries were excellent.

Next morning we met my sister-in-law for a quick breakfast at Morning Call. We set out for the one in City Park but due to GPS mix-up found ourselves in Metairie. Was curious about their beignets. I found them somewhat doughy and for someone who is usually sugar-adverse, discovered that I had a tough time getting enough powdered sugar on them. As a native told us later – “we just take the top off the sugar container and pour.”

The star meal of our visit was Friday lunch at August. The service, the ambiance, the food -- were all a luxury for us – especially on our tight budget. DH started with a beer and I had a lovely glass of Prosecco. The amuse-bouche was a Parmesan mousse with cauliflower crumbles and caviar in an egg shell. Wow! The apps were delectable: crawfish bisque for him and the pate de champagne for me. I had the guinea hen (which I liked but didn’t love the gaminess) and he had some fish -- drum I think, but he enjoyed it. The desserts were both beyond fabulous. Wish I could remember them – lots of ingredients that came together like a symphony -- and no, not the banana and peanut butter one that everyone raves about.

We were invited for a home cooked dinner that evening which we really enjoyed.

Saturday was our one Po-Boy experience and we made a good choice at Parkway. Enjoyed the fried shrimp but oh, that roast beef was messy and dripping and oh so good.

Dinner with our friend that evening at Boucherie. The broccoli parmesan and the duck breast were both very good. Enjoyed the collard greens and grit fries a lot. We were comped the boudin balls, but learned I’m not too crazy about boudin.

Can’t remember breakfast the next day. We took kittyfood’s recommendation and had a late lunch/early Vietnamese dinner at Tan Dinh on the West Bank. Great suggestion. It was just what we were hoping for. Huge, but perfect spring rolls. DH had a lovely chicken soup with a rich broth and full of wonderful add-ins. I had spare ribs recommended by the waitress – maybe not actually Vietnamese but really, really good.

That evening, we dipped into the French Quarter for the real deal Café du Monde. It was heaven. Every bit as good as I remembered from my previous visits 20 years ago or more.

The next day we had lunch at Superior Seafood in the Garden District. Soup and angels on horseback for DH and the BBQ Shrimp for me. The shrimp were so, so rich and buttery. Enjoyed them but there wasn’t much to them.

That evening we went out for a late night snack at Wayfare. We shared and loved, loved their roast beef sandwich with a cutesy potato crisp – the Knuckle. I’d say, it was up there with my favorite sandwich of all time.

Had hoped to stop by Cochon Butcher on our way out of town, but it was too much of a detour. Must say we regretted that decision on the food desert Interstate through Mississippi. So, we managed to do pretty well on a budget and not stuffing ourselves with three big meals a day.

The highlights: buccatini and pork shoulder at Bacchanal, meatballs at Ancora, cocktails and fried green tomato app at Cure, soups at Commanders Palace, Shaya fresh-baked pita, Friday lunch at August, roast beef po-boy at Parkway, spring rolls at Tan Dinh, beignets at Café du Monde, the Knuckle roast beef sandwich at Wayfare.

Still trying to remember those desserts at August. DH says he has photos, which I’ll try to post.

Apr 03, 2015
TerryG in New Orleans

Best Sandwiches...?

The Parkway RB Po-Boy is amazing and I was blown away by the Roast Beef sandwich (The Knuckle) at Wayfare on Freret

Apr 01, 2015
TerryG in New Orleans

ATL to NOLA Road Food Advice

Nothing at all between GA and Mobile on I-85?

Mar 15, 2015
TerryG in Central South

Help Us Enjoy NOLA on a Budget (Long)

Thanks, Everyone. Good suggestions. Any recs for good Vietnamese -- authentic rather than kitschy (unless the kitschy is very good)? Remember, we can travel.

Mar 14, 2015
TerryG in New Orleans

Help Us Enjoy NOLA on a Budget (Long)

So, my DH and I will be visiting for a luxurious 9 days --trying hard to do manage it on the cheap. We will be spending 2 days in an airbnb in Bywater and then another week in an airbnb on Freret. We have a car, which can be an asset or a major headache, but might offer some opportunities to explore more widely. Will have to skip fine dining for the most part. Right now we have a few reservations and trying to have an authentic New Orleans experience on stretched finances. So, please critique this itinerary for affordability, ability to avoid long lines, and deliciousness. Too many good options so help me narrow the choices.

About us: we are seniors and generally like hole-in-wall ethnic but can splurge occasionally for more refined fare. The plan is to mostly go light on breakfast (though not always). Not into beer at all but I enjoy an occasional cocktail for $10 or under. Prefer spaces that aren’t too noisy w/ NO TVs blasting. Hope to avoid places with people that make that “whooooo” sound. Service is not that important. In fact, Grumpy and colorful wait staff can enhance the experience. Of course, we’d like New Orleans traditional fare, but enjoy a variety of food – especially something a bit quirky and different we can’t get at home (Raleigh NC). We are late starters so tend to hit places after the rush. Brownie points for available parking.

Sunday, March 15.
Arrive late (we’ll be driving from Atlanta).
Dinner: Bacchanal

Monday , Match 16,
Breakfast: Maybe Elizabeth’s
Doing an afternoon “free tours on foot” of Marigny.
Lunch: Kebab or Red’s Chinese
Dinner: Maurepas, Mariza, or Arabella’s on Claude. Plan to take in some clubs on Frenchman, so might Three Muses be a possibility?

Tuesday, March 17
Breakfast: Cake Café
Visit the Ninth Ward and neighborhoods
Lunch: Dooky Chase or Willie Mae’s Scotch House
Trying to catch the start of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade before we move to Freret
Dinner in Freret: High Hat or Wayfare

Wednesday, March 18
Morning Culinary Tour of the French Quarter. I think it starts at the Beignet Café which gets no love here on CH.
Lunch: Coop’s, EAT New Orleans, or even Verti Marte
Dinner with a friend at the new Shaya. He knows people who work there.

Thursday, March 19
Breakfast: La Boulangerie
Tour of the Garden District and cemetery
Lunch: Commander’s Palace (have reservations)
Explore Magazine St
Dinner: Casamento’s
Tix for Zydeco night at Rock ‘n Bowl.

Friday, March 20
Breakfast: Morning Call at City Park
Lunch: August (have reservations)
Dinner: Friday evening dinner with friends of our friend

Saturday, March 21
Brunch: Maybe Wakin’ Bakin’
Going to Congo New World Rhythms Festival – may pick up some food there or Po’ Boys at Parkway.
Dinner: Boucherie (have reservations) and know the mother of the chef

Sunday, March 22
Breakfast: light, Maybe District Donut
Italian- Irish Parade in Metairie.
Lunch: a seafood place in Metairie – maybe a crawfish boil. Bevi or Harbor Seafood
Dinner: time for something ethnic – perhaps some authentic Vietnamese. I know that Pho Tau Bay just closed but what about Tan Dinh on the West Bank? What else would you suggest?

Monday: My husband’s day to do whatever – serendipitous. Maybe a swamp tour.
Maybe MIddendorfs. Possible options for lunch and dinner: Mandina’s, Mopho, Toups Meatery, Bon Ton, or Cochon Butcher

Tuesday, March 23
Maybe breakfast at Surrey’s. If we didn’t do Cochon Butcher, will pick up a muffeletta for the road,
Depart NOLA

So what “must do” or good value are we missing? What would be good to order? Tips on cutting costs? -- maybe like a late lunch at Domenica's or great Happy Hour deal.

Mar 13, 2015
TerryG in New Orleans

Trip Report: Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area

Great report. Appreciate all the detail. I've never been very impressed with La Farm. I always thought that the unfortunately long departed Gourmadises de France in North Raleigh was far superior. Yes, Baghdad Bakery is a gem that people should seek out, So, what is Bread and Butter -- not in the Triangle I suspect since I never heard of it.

Feb 22, 2015
TerryG in Southeast

Pop's in Durham, NC has closed

Awww! Fond memories of the mussels and especially the salty egg pizza. Or do I date myself? It's been some years since I've been.

Dec 13, 2014
TerryG in Southeast

Kosher Turkey in Chapel HIll / Durham?

I would also inquire at the Durham/CH Jewish Community Center. If you are willing to schlep to Raleigh, the Kroger at the corner of Strickland and Falls of Neuse is the grocery that carries the largest variety of kosher foods in the area. I'd be surprised if they didn't offer it. Definitely try TJs as well. They do have kosher meats.

Nov 10, 2014
TerryG in Southeast

Anyone going to the Fall Harvest Farmer Veteran Dinner next week in Durham?

It's at the Cookery on Nov 12. Menu just announced sounds pretty interesting. Features food from Six Plates (which I like) and Foode (never heard of it). We're signing up. Who else?

http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/10/2...

Nov 06, 2014
TerryG in Southeast

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - November 2014 [Old]

Salivating... but they never heard of Harry & David pears here in Raleigh, NC store.

Nov 06, 2014
TerryG in Chains

Need Last Minute Rec for RTP area - Good Ethnic

We ended up at Betel. South Indian. Small, contemporary room. Pleasant service. Food was good -- saw some dishes that were new to us. We shared a nice portion of grilled paneer (cheese) as an appetizer. I thought it was a bit dry but our friend liked it. Had 3 entrees -- all had very different sauces and we enjoyed all of them.
1. a chicken in coriander and mint sauce
2. vegetable chettinad (only a little spicy).
3. a chicken korma in a cashew cream sauce (delicious, but very rich)
Breads (a naan and a tandoori roti --puffy bread) were great. Rice was lovely. So was the lassi.

The big thing was not to embarrass ourselves with an out-of-towner. Our friend was happy. I recommend and will return.

Nov 05, 2014
TerryG in Southeast

Need Last Minute Rec for RTP area - Good Ethnic

I'm checking and Saffron gets some pretty bad reviews -- especially consistent complaints about the service. They also noted that there was a change in management a year and a half ago and that the quality has declined as prices rose.

Has anyone tried Betel?

Nov 05, 2014
TerryG in Southeast

Need Last Minute Rec for RTP area - Good Ethnic

Friend from the DC area just called and is flying in this evening for a quick business trip and wants to get together for dinner. We all like ethnic (or something moderately priced and unique). He suggested maybe Indian food (he enjoyed Udipi in Cary a few years back). I know a few new Indian places have opened in Morrisville recently - Betel, Saffron, etc. Anything people recommend? Or open to other suggestions in the Triangle (ethnic, unique). Sorry this is last minute.

Nov 05, 2014
TerryG in Southeast

Asheville NC restos

Definitely the Admiral. We had a stellar meal there recently. Funky setting but wonderful food. Great mussel and scallop dishes.

Oct 21, 2014
TerryG in Southeast
1

Captain J's Restaurant in Raleigh

Had dinner there last Saturday. We had a great experience with the new staff and the food was top notch though we had a guest and were less adventuresome than usual. There's a new manager (Andy) and a terrific new part-time server named Joy. Both were very personable and helpful.

The XLB (soup) dumplings were better than I remember so whatever you do, order them and if Joy is there, allow her to demonstrate how to eat them. Loved the Szechuan string beans (though beware they come with ground pork which is not noted on the menu). The Shanghai(?) wonton soup was good but DH liked it better than I did. We all enjoyed the excellent flounder in garlic sauce (comes with nice amount of scallions and bok choy).

They have a new menu (prices have increased a bit). The old menu with the pictures is still available but prices are wrong. But definitely worth a visit. As everyone else notes avoid the buffet and make a beeline for the dining room on the left as you enter.

Aug 19, 2014
TerryG in Southeast
2

Carrboro - new place on main, across from Milltown?

No need to look to Manhattan for Meatball-centric dining. Look no further than downtown Raleigh's Oak City Meatball Shoppe: http://www.oakcitymeatball.com/

Been meaning to try the place. Anyone been there?

Aug 08, 2014
TerryG in Southeast

Things to do with cucumbers?

My favorite comfort food: onion bagel toasted with peanut butter and cucumbers. A few chips on the side doesn't hurt.

Aug 03, 2014
TerryG in Home Cooking

ISO Kim's Magic Pops anywhere in the Triangle

This is good, crispy rice cake like stuff for a new diet regimen (15 cal, 0 fat, 0 sugar for a big wafer). Used to buy it at the late and somewhat missed Antonio's in Lafayette Village (Raleigh). I remember seeing it somewhere else around the Triangle but can't remember where. Any sightings would be much appreciated.

Aug 03, 2014
TerryG in Southeast

What discontinued products do you miss?

Nabisco Zweiback in the yellow box.
The old, good Entenman's products like sour cream chip and nut loaf and blackout cake. The current versions are terrible.

Jul 12, 2014
TerryG in General Topics

ISO Birthday Cake in the Triangle, but not Super Sweet

I have a challenge to find a Birthday Cake that doesn't offer a sugar high or rot your teeth. And something chocolate, too. Who knows of a good option. Preferably in Raleigh, but Durham would be OK.

Jun 10, 2014
TerryG in Southeast

Captain J's Restaurant in Raleigh

Chow-meet sounds good.

Jun 02, 2014
TerryG in Southeast
1

Has anybody else tried the new Himalayan restaurant on Chatham in Cary?

We had a good lunch experience a few weeks ago. Sorry, I can't remember what we had -- a Thali, I think. It was good, but not as much variety as I am used to in a traditional Indian Thali. We also had a chow chow soup -- spicy and very tasty. And yes, liked the achaar. Very reasonable.

May 26, 2014
TerryG in Southeast

Where to Buy Turkish Ingredients in CH/Durham?

I posted something about this in an earlier thread.

In Cary, there is a Turkish grocery -- Harmony Mediterranean on Cary Towne Blvd. It's in the strip with Ollie's. They have lots of Turkish foods. I don't remember pepper paste but I suspect they would have it.

One thing they offer that is very good are sesame rings -- but only on Saturday mornings. You see them all over Turkey and these are freshly baked and authentic. But get there early because they tend to sell out.

Hope that's still the case, Since the Galaxy closed, I don't get there too often. As I remember they also had some delicious feta cheese and other Turkish delicacies.

Apr 10, 2014
TerryG in Southeast

2 Nights in Durham..........................would like great food experiences

It's not authentic and doesn't pretend to be. I enjoy Los Comales and I enjoy DP. Two very different experiences and I don't think you can compare them.

Not sure what you mean by hype. When I think of hype, I think of loud places with micro portions and skinny, cramped seating -- or overpriced chains, but that's not Dos Perros. The margarita I recently had there (something like blood orange and cayenne) was damn good.

Mar 24, 2014
TerryG in Southeast

2 Nights in Durham..........................would like great food experiences

Never had a bad meal at Dos Perros and the friends we dragged there agree.

Mar 24, 2014
TerryG in Southeast

Dinner & a Movie Raleigh/Durham

We popped into Zinburger a while back. I remember there was a great deal for one of the weekdays for lunch (don't remember which day). Liked the burger a lot and the hand cut truffle fries were terrific. I know those upscale burger joints are a dime a dozen these days, but this is one I would check out again. But I may have had rosy glasses since it happened to be such a deal that day.

This may be too healthy and casual for the girls, but Saladelia is also near the Carmike Cinemas on MLK.

Mar 14, 2014
TerryG in Southeast

Cafe Soo in Raleigh

Did they ever do banchan? Didn't know it was THAT kind of Korean restaurant. Thought they mainly did the fried chicken thing. The Korean fried chicken places I went to in NYC didn't do banchan.

Feb 17, 2014
TerryG in Southeast

What Food Trend are You So Sick Of?

Adding tea to just about every fruity soda. I hate tea. And 5 -10 tears ago you never saw tea in soda. Now it's hard to find a soda that isn't spoiled by adding tea. I keep trying to find new and interesting fruit sodas, but they keep putting &*((%$ tea in it.

Dec 22, 2013
TerryG in General Topics