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Matouk's Calypso Hot Sauce

Union Supermarket. damn, i miss the midcity location... I perfer the Flambeau to the Calypso sauce, however.

Sep 27, 2012
foodmuse in New Orleans

Looking for Taro Leaves

I don't ever remember seeing them at the Versailles market, but i haven't ever sought them out, either. How pressing is your need? I say run back to HK Market or Asian Gourmet and buy some Taro roots and plant them. You'll have young leaves aplenty in a couple of months, without tempting the wrath of the English Dept or possible poisoning.

Aug 10, 2010
foodmuse in New Orleans

Veal Sweetbreads for our Anniversary

If the main event is the sweatbreads, my hands-down favorite in the city come from La Boca. They are first lightly poached and pressed, then stripped of their membranes and grilled. Definitely a pleasant departure from the classic paneed treatment. That said, the ambiance, while quite pleasantly dim, is a lot more lively and less elegant than Bayona's; it is a South American-style steakhouse, after all.

-----
Bayona
430 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70112

La Boca Restaurant
857 Fulton St., New Orleans, LA 70130

Jul 22, 2010
foodmuse in New Orleans

Blood pudding / Pho Nola

Are these two unrelated requests? If you're looking for the Euro-style blood pudding, i'd look for a boudin rouge from Cochon Butcher or maybe a black pudding from Dan Esses. If, however, you're talking about the Viet offering, read on...

The only place i've found tiet canh is at the Versailles market in the East. One of my Vietnamese friends handled the negotiations with the wizzened old woman. Then we purchased a live duck, which was whisked off to a nearby appartment and returned ~1H later plucked and dressed, accompanied by 3 or 4 styrofoam take-out type boxes, each containing a "duck blood pizza," dotted with peanuts, herbs, and various chopped organs.

It was interesting in a sort of savory-jello-nightmare kind of way; a little salty, and bit aromatic, and way, way too gelatinous for my tastes.

As far as PhoNola goes, three visits in and I am still making up my mind... which might say something.

Pho Orchid, however, is well worth the hassle of crossing I-10 and navigating the Clearview commercial zone.

Apr 13, 2010
foodmuse in New Orleans

Cheesesteaks in NOLA?

Cafe Nino on Carrollton.

Sep 24, 2009
foodmuse in New Orleans

Meltdown Popsicles

Thanks for posting, UL; i just polished off a mango-chili, and I have a hibiscus and a green tea/condensed milk in the -20C. They were out of the lemon-ginger and the pinapple-chili, but that just means i have to go back next weekend. And then maybe the weather will be better for a stroll.

Sep 13, 2009
foodmuse in New Orleans

What do New Orleanians eat in Savannah?

The chowteam will probably move this thread, but here goes.

Depends on what you're looking for. Elizabeth's on 37th is solid. I was decidedly unimpressed with the place in "the mansion," but that's based on one visit shortly after they opened; it may be better now... Sapphire is nice enough, but it hasn't wowed me. Honestly, i don't think that fine dining is the best option when eating out in SAV.

Places that i like, in no particular order: The Breakfast Club on Tybee, Firefly cafe, Vinnie Van Gogo's, Back in the Day bakery, Teeple's in Thunderbolt, Rancho Alegre in Southside, SoHo South, Wall's BBQ, Leopold's icecream, Sweetleaf.

Also note: You will be tempted to try the "low country boil" while in the SAV/Charleston/Hilton Head area. And, to be fair, you should, if you're going to spend an appreciable amount of time out there. You'll go to The Crab Shack or Desposito's, and the weather will be great, and there will be cold beer and ocean breezes, and the softening light of dusk will make everything look exquisite; the steaming seafood, the newspaper tablecloth, the pail for the soon-to-be-emptied exoskeletal remains. Then you will taste the food. And it will be bland. You will think you've perhaps just gotten an under-seasoned morsel and move on to the next crab, shrimp, or corn, but no...it all tastes like that. You will have empassioned discourse with barefooted local elites* who will tell you what you really like is the flavor of the boil medium and not the flavor of the things you're actually eating. You will respond that, no, what you really appreciate is well-seasoned food. Lemons, ketchup, and tabasco will be demanded. And things will go downhill from there. Seriously. Go for the experience, not the chow, unless you like boiled sausage. A lot.

*this isn't a slur; it's a reference to the marketing scheme of the aforementioned restaurant.

Apr 02, 2009
foodmuse in General South Archive

What rice goes with gumbo

If it's authentic you want, go with plain, long grain rice, cooked fully but on the dry side (so the kernels fall apart when you touch them with a fork). Using the highly aromatic breeds is not a traditional choice, since they are not widely cultivated here, but I wouldn't be totally averse if that's what you've got in the cabinet... your gumbo will overwhelm all but the most fragrant cultivars. Short and medium grain varieties should be avoided, as they tend to go mushy after a few minutes in the bowl.

For the love of all that is holy, leave the parboiled stuff on the shelf; it is an abomination. (De gustibus non est disputandum).

Jan 05, 2009
foodmuse in Home Cooking

(SEA) Need help narrowing the field

Thanks for the heads-up re: Veil, dagrass; I guess a lot can happen in a few short weeks. Harvest Vine just missed the short list, it'll go back in the running. And though I run the risk of hijacking my own thread, is there something noteworthy about the Vietnamese food in SEA? It's perhaps my favorite ethnic cuisine, but we have quite a few excellent places here...

Oct 27, 2008
foodmuse in Pacific Northwest

(SEA) Need help narrowing the field

The better-half and I will be visiting SEA for a long weekend mid-Nov after a decade's absence and would like a local's perspective on our tentative dining plan.

Arrive late Thurs, three hours behind the time: We'll probably be too tired for dining, but one of my goals is to have at least 20 beers that aren't available east of the Cascades. (Not necessarily in one sitting, but a man can dream...) Is the Tap House Grill a good choice in the downtown area, or should we look elsewhere? I am especially interested in cask ales, if they're available.

Friday: Lunch @ Salumi unless the line is too long; alternate suggestions welcome.
Supper @ Veil or Lark - It took some effort to get the res at Veil, so I'm generally inclined to go, but the website is so self-consciously hip that I'd like some reassurance that the food really *is* that good. On the other hand, Lark's no reservation policy and boisterous background noise makes me hesitant... am i right in comparing it to Avec in Chicago? A two hour wait is not acceptable for a weekend jaunt, but i absolutely refuse to grease the palms of commerce.

Saturday: Lunch @ Matt's or some other venue near Pike Place Market
Supper @ Poppy or Zoe - I like the look of both menus, but lean towards Zoe. How fusiony is Poppy? We've enjoyed Vij's in Vancouver and Indika in Houston, but the better-half is South Asian, and she is exceptionally picky when it comes to Indian food. If the "thali" thing is a gimmick, this isn't the place for us.

Sunday: If the weather is accommodating, we're thinking about a day trip either to Victoria or Mt. Rainier. Otherwise we'll want one more taste of the PNW before our midnight red-eye back to the grind. What are good Sunday options?

Oct 27, 2008
foodmuse in Pacific Northwest

Best Place to Eat Appetizers

There's a new place in the CBD called Ramblas that you might want to check out. It's tapas with a local-ish twist. I also like the small plates at Arabesque.

I can't think of anywhere with really unique salads in town... my favorite is the tropicale at Le Crepe (w/ the basil dressing on the side), but they're not exactly pushing any envelopes. St James does good salads, too, but your other choices are limited to cheese and charcuterie, and you have to pick up your wines next door...

Oct 08, 2008
foodmuse in New Orleans

What's "in season" in November?

They're a japanese mandarin. Very loose-skinned; very juicy and sweet. Some cultivars are still green when ripe, so don't let the color fool you. Most similar to a clementine, i'd say.

Oct 08, 2008
foodmuse in New Orleans

What's "in season" in November?

Satsumas, assuming the crop survived Gustav... Go to one of the farmers' markets (Tue, Thurs, or Sat) and get some fresh to eat out of hand. Then head to La Divina Gelateria to try their spectacular satsuma & fennel sorbetto (call ahead to insure availabilty).

Oct 08, 2008
foodmuse in New Orleans

Pho Tau Bay in Metairie...Closed? Also, review of Vietnam Cuisine

Troika is correct. The Metairie Frosty makes a decent bahn mi (it's the best thing on the menu, imo). I was also surprised Saigon doesn't make them, since they do Western sandwiches, but indeed they don't. IIRC, the Kenner Pho Bang has them as well. but i may be mistaken.

The Noodle House at Carrollton & Canal lists them on the menu, but their pho was so god-awful that i haven't been there since '07, and I live in MC...

Bahn mi are (is? How do you pluralize that? Bahn mis, bahns mi?) pretty easy to make at home, BTW. Whenever I give in to the pate at St. James', I always set a bit aside for a quick sandwich or two. PeteV's boudin noir made a particularly spectacular base for DIY vietnamese poboy...

Jun 18, 2008
foodmuse in New Orleans

Pho Tau Bay in Metairie...Closed? Also, review of Vietnam Cuisine

I made it to Saigon Pho (3000 block of Cleary) today, after Frosty's failed to satisfy my craving on Monday. It's tucked away in the corridor near Bugsy's, and don't let the big cheesburger picture menu by the door scare you off; their printed menu is 90% vietnamese, and the food is good. It may not be up to PTB's or Tahn Dihn's standard, but my soup surpassed the bowl I had over the weekend at the place attached to HK Market. Finally, the eastbank has real pho again. (Yes, i know Kim Ahn, but Harahan isn't any more convenient than the WB.)

The broth was perfumed with plenty of anise, cassia, and clove, and it balanced (instead of overpowered) the rich meatiness of the stock. The tendon was cooked down to collagenous succulence; the tripe was nicely shredded; the fatty flank not too fatty. Even the (1) meatball was okay, and I generally disapprove of them. My only complaint was the lack of brisket, but it's only a minor one. The complementary herbage hosted the usual suspects, lime, sprouts, basil, cilantro, and jalapenos. I should add that it's also the largest "bowl" of pho I've seen in ages. It goes for $8.50 and it's problably 50% larger than the standard melamine pho bowl. Enormous. Only the "dac biet" was 8.50, so the orders without all the fixings might be smaller...

My DC had the bun with pork and imperial eggroll. It was also gigantic, as well as quite delicious. A good mix of bun and greens, with cucumber and herbs. Coworker's to-go order of bun bo xao (lemongrass beef and a stir-fried onions) looked good, as well.

DC and I each had spring rolls (2/order). I tried the "special" while she had the standard pork & shrimp. They were the weakest part of the meal, though not bad by any means. The regular ones were pretty restaurant-stardard, with only vermicelli and lettuce, and no cilantro or basil. In lieu of the rice noodles, the special rolls had a crispy fried wonton skin which was pleasantly crunchy. The meat was a pork forcemeat of some description, much like the spammy stuff that comes on a bahn mi. Rounding out the stuffing was a lovely fresh cucumber spear. They were good, but at $4 for two, they're not going to become a standard order.

The pricing was on the high end for vietnamese, but only 10-15% above Frosty's or (the allegedly) Vietnam Cuisine a few blocks away, and the food was decidely superior. The dining room was spare but not the hollowly depressing of, say, Pho Bang, and the proprietress was exceedingly nice. I'll be back. Regularly.

Jun 11, 2008
foodmuse in New Orleans

Sweetbreads, Best in N.O.? Good butcher shop? Is there any market where you can by them raw?

La Boca's rendition is tops in my book. They're grilled to perfection, which is a nice departure from the usual saute job.

I've never seen sweetbreads in the markets here, but ox tails, tongue, tripe and the like are all available at Rouse's (at least as recently as sunday); just ask the butchers if they aren't in the meat case. The price is probably more reasonable at HK Market, though...

Jun 03, 2008
foodmuse in New Orleans

Craving Feld Salat

Valerianella locusta

It's usually marketed in the US as mache or lamb's lettuce or corn salad.

May 04, 2007
foodmuse in General Topics
1

Hot dogs?

The signs around Shaggy's on Banks claim they serve Vienna Beef hotdogs, though I've never been in to try them. I'll try to make it by there sometime soon to do some recon.

May 02, 2007
foodmuse in New Orleans

Supermarkets/large grocery stores???

There's an A&P in the Quarter for basic necessities, and the N Carrollton Sav-a-center is a quick jaunt up Canal or Orleans... not that it's that great, but t is convenient to the fairgorunds, if you're going to be there anyway.

The market Frolic mentioned will have bread, grass-fed beef, shrimp, crabs, and drum, as well as some produce and herbs, and some texmex and turkish prepared foods. I wouldn't rely on it for all my needs, however. It's saturday morning, 8-noon, at Girod & Magazine.

May 01, 2007
foodmuse in New Orleans

Proper coffee

I can't really help you out finding a coffee shop that fits your needs, but as far as the homebrew trouble goes, look no further than:

http://www.orleanscoffee.com/

Call them up and ask them what's freshly roasted, or find out when your favorite beans are coming up in their production schedule. They aren't really set up for retail sales at the plant, but they've been pretty accomodating when I've wanted to pick up a few pounds to take as gifts on my way out of town (very near MSY). If you're unable to find anything there that floats your boat, my general feeling is that you'll probably need to look outside of the metro area to source a coffee that conforms to your personal ideal. If you have to go that route, I'd give Intelligentcia (out of Chicago) a try---their offerings are stellar.

Apr 26, 2007
foodmuse in New Orleans

Swamp Critters

The Atchafalaya Basin is *west* of New Orleans, not to the east as reported. Otherwise, the feature offers a picturesque glimpse into the unique culture of South Louisiana.

Apr 01, 2007
foodmuse in Features

Lattes in the Marigny

Cafe Flora at Royal & Franklin (right across from Mimi's) is a very funky, entirely local coffeehouse that is in the heart of the Marigny. They open at 6:30, and that would be my first choice. Otherwise, you can hit Rose Nicaud at Frenchmen & Royal-ish for a less bohemian, though not at all bad, cup of joe. They have the added bonus of serving food, which you might be able to take for lunch...but I have never actually been that early in the morning, so I don't know if they offer savories at that hour.

Mar 22, 2007
foodmuse in New Orleans

St. James Cheese Company

I have enjoyed my visits there, too. I generally stick to the cheese plates, with maybe a few slices of serano ham on the side, and a beverage from the Wine Seller next door. I have not been overwhelmed by the rather scattered service, but what they lack in organiztion they certainly make up for in cheerfulness and obvious passion for---and knowlege of---their products.

I haven't found the selection there to be that superior to WF's, but I'm certainly glad to be able to spend my cheese-dollars at a locally owned cheese monger. I am also impressed by their emphasis on locally sourced products. In addition to a full line of John Folse's cheeses, they carry PeteV's pates and galantines, and---I'm blanking on the other guy right now... maybe Cochon's?

Mar 01, 2007
foodmuse in New Orleans

Vietnamese Caramel Syrup Disaster!

The quick and easy answer to your problem is to add 1 T of honey, corn syrup, or blackstrap to your sugar. Table sugar is so well refined these days, it's nearly 100% sucrose (a fructose:glucose dimer), which tends to recrystalize instead of supersaturate when you cook it down. Adding a chemically different sugar, glucose, will help to prevent crystalization. You can also add a touch of acid, lemon juice or cream of tartar, to the mix, as it will cause the sucrose to break down into its substiuent sugars.

Feb 26, 2007
foodmuse in Home Cooking

Cafe Roma Mid City?

Cafe Roma in Mid-city is not re-opening; there was a "for sale" sign on the building the last time I passed by there. They used to have another location just off Magazine at the one-way split (by the Half Moon) but I don't know if that one is still around. I liked the Turkish pizza better at the Sophie Wright venue because they were more heavy-handed with the pepper and lemons.

I don't think the Dixie Tavern is coming back, either---they were gutted some time ago, but I haven't seen any activity recently.

Feb 21, 2007
foodmuse in New Orleans

Anyone have the scoop on the Brazilian(!) place on Canal?

In the space formerly occupied by...an aging greasy spoon whose name escapes me at the moment. It's a couple of blocks lake side of Galvez, at any rate.

When I saw the Portuguese sign a couple of weeks ago, I made a mental footnote that I ought to case the place, but the seasonal festivities distracted me. On the way in to work today I noticed that there's now a large "Carnival Grocery" sign on the side of the building, while the "main" corner-entrance advertises churrascuria and other things I didn't catch as I rolled by. I know we're on track to get a Fogo do Tejas or some such, but this place is certainly not it. Until I know more I am not, *not* going to get excited, but even if all I get out to the place is an easily accessible replacement for the Union supermarket, I'll be happy. And if they make a good feijoada completa in addition to the other meaty offerings, well, then I'll be thrilled.

Feb 21, 2007
foodmuse in New Orleans

La Crêpe Nanou

They have four or five sandwiches and several luncheon salads (~ $8), in addition to the cheese and charcutrie plates ($10-15). The Wine Seller is right next door to meet your beverage needs. They're also pretty liberal with cheese samples.

Jan 27, 2007
foodmuse in New Orleans

Great soup?

A few more for the list:
--Casamento's oyster milk stew
--Jamilla's crawfish bisque (or chorba, if they have it as a special)
--Horinoya's miso (their dashi is noticably richer than most)

Jan 03, 2007
foodmuse in New Orleans

You guys aren't going to like this...

There is (or was?) a Russian/Ukrainian place out off Williams out in Kenner... Maximilian or Maxim. I don't know if it still exists; I only went once before It, and the food was okay but not remarkable.

Our Persian places did not return, for sure, but after Tehrangeles, they would have been a disappointment anyway. If you find yourself in Houston, Garson in the SW is pretty decent.

Indian is limited, too. I still have no word on India Palace, the only place in town that had any South Indian food. There are a couple of places in Baton Rouge that might be worth the drive, if you're not into cooking your own cravings away. Locally, Nirvana's best dishes are the few Goan selections. That tiny North Indian place on Metairie road used to be good, but my last meal there was so laughably awful that I haven't had the heart to go back. There’s a Pakistani place in the FQ across from Canal Place, with the unlikely name of Salt & Pepper. Zero atmosphere but pretty good Northern sub-continental fare.

Our Ethiopian place is gone, but I think Benechin (West African/Camaroon-ish) is still running in the FQ...I know they reopened, but I haven't been since the spring. The spinach dish with coconut rice is very good.

We remain in a culinary desert as far as (tex-) Mexican goes. There are several Central American (Honduran? Guatemalan?) places on the WB that are worth checking out.

Pete Vasquez, of the late, lamented Marisol, does a weekly informal dining al fresco deal Sunday evenings at Bacchanal over in the Bywater where he cooks an eclectic menu that varies weekly. I don't know what the onset of winter means for that undertaking, but in the past few months, he's done Persian, Cambodian, Russian, Ethiopian, etc. It's not the perfect solution, since he might not be cooking exactly what you want, when you want it, but the offerings are tasty. The menu gets emailed out on a weekly basis; I’ll post the subscription info once this week’s menu posts. Plates generally run about $8-10 each, and I invariably want 5 or 6; go with a group so you can share in the bounty.

Here’s last week’s menu as a sample:
Spicy Korean Pork Rib and Kimchee Soup
Pumpkin, Coconut and Spinach Soup
Longbeans in Sesame Sauce
Spinach with Pineapple and Tomatoes
Jamaican Meat Pies
Crab Okonomiyaki
Conch Fritters with Mango- Pepper Sauce
Avocado Stuffed with Esalata de Bacalao
Coconut Rice with Pigeon Peas
Curried Oxtails
Braised Lambshank in Black Bean Garlic Sauce
Jerked Pork Shoulder
Duck with Broccoli and Honeyed Walnuts
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Son of Chocolate Homicide
Tahitian Vanilla Flan with Key Lime Curd

Nov 14, 2006
foodmuse in New Orleans