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Low Effort High Impact Dishes

ceviche amigo. you chop really fresh stuff up and then soak it in an easily assembled liquid. endlessly customizable...

Jun 16, 2010
bobinnola in Home Cooking

warm avocado salad in shell?

Sounds like we need a modified guacamole stuffed avocado (though i would recommend a more enticing name).

Ingredients: purple onion, garlic cloves, green onion, shrimp (diced), cilantro, lime, thick cut smoked bacon, avocados, salt, pepper, sriacha OR cayenne and optional soy sauce OR fish sauce.

First, let's add some nice flavor by slicing small pieces some Thick-cut applewood smoked bacon until rendered. (I would do this in a cast iron pan in the over, cold bacon in cold pan for 15-18 minutes in a 400° oven, NOT preheated.

You can place the bacon on the side for now. Take pan out of oven and place on stove over medium heat, the pan will be hot, so do the rest carefully so as not to burn yourself.

Add to the pan purple onion and cook til nearly translucent and then add minced garlic and diced shrimp. Cook only until the shrimp is opaque. (You could vary this and make it marginally healthier using an olive oil/veg oil mix for the saute work, but this is NYE and you want to make something your guests will flip over.)

Hit the pan with squeezed lime and a few drops of sriracha sauce OR cayenne if you don't have access to sriracha and lime and move the pan. Taste and add more for the requisite heat level.

Add fresh ground black pepper and salt or a touch of soy or fish sauce to taste. Taste it again and remove from stove when satisfied.

Personally, I would then cool this mixture in the fridge and dice some nice tomatoes, cilantro and scoop and chop the avocados. If you want it warm, the consistency of the avocados and tomatoes mights change but you could follow the steps below and then bake the avocados for a few minutes to heat them through.

Mix the (cooled) shrimp mixture lightly with the tomatoes, cilantro and avocado.

Place shaved ice or rock salt on individual plates to keep the skin still. Fill each with the cooled mixture and garnish with some mix of thin slices of lime, cilantro, green onions or even shaved hard cheese manchego, romano etc.

Just a thought :)

Dec 31, 2009
bobinnola in Home Cooking

Key Largo - 3 Lunches and 2 Dinners

I have been to the Fish House maybe 7 or 8 times in the last 9-10 years and I really enjoy it. I highly recommend going the route of choosing a fish and then a preparation. The Matacumba and the Blackend Bleu are damn good. They also have a nice little fish market. Try to eat in the main restaurant dining room, the other is a mixed bag of sushi etc.

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The Fish House
600 S Barracks St # 10, Pensacola, FL

Oct 29, 2009
bobinnola in Florida

Must eat in New Orleans?

I would really suggest going to some quality bargain/dives for lunch one or two days to save up for a nice (read: just over $20) dinner or two.

Where are you staying and will you have a rental car or a local guide? I am good at working with budgets as I am frequently poor, so let's talk about your mobility and then work on some suggestions for restaurants.

Also, where are you coming from? This will help determine what you must have...

Sep 24, 2009
bobinnola in New Orleans

Cochon V. Herbsaint

Coincidentally, I picked up one of Link's "Real Cajun" cookbooks for my uncle the other day. It was absolutely beautiful.

I did almost feel bad bringing it to him and my aunt in Philly, the night before Rosh Hashanah (sp), upon considering the sheer amount of bacon/pork product that is featured in the book. And then the Saints destroyed the gimpy Eagles...

Sep 22, 2009
bobinnola in New Orleans

Cochon V. Herbsaint

Any particular reason you are picking between two Donald Link establishments?

Echoing the other comment, they are completely different restaurants, both have menus online. I also agree that neither in my opinion are especially evocative of NOLA food. But both are good restaurants.

With a very broad brush: Herbsaint is far more delicate and Cochon is down-home cajun that's served in a dressed up environment.

Sep 22, 2009
bobinnola in New Orleans

Luchador

I've heard the spiel about how these are great and refreshing and someone even espoused that it's a wonderful "hair of the dog" choice for hangover weekends... but, honestly this drink made me want to die. I will stop with salt in the mexican beer, tomato and other savoury products belong in bloodys...

Apr 15, 2009
bobinnola in Recipes

Sometimes the lowliest of locations...

Great tips! Thank you kindly. Phyllis, you have the same surname as I. Are you originally from NOLA?

Jul 29, 2008
bobinnola in New Orleans

Sometimes the lowliest of locations...

I've long been a fan of Warehouse District and its owner/nazi and I love the topping qualities at Slice. Mark Twain's Landing is worth the extra mile or two and Theo's enchanted me when it first opened. NY Pizza is above average, thing crust delicious grease. Even Reginelli's and Italian Pie have their phenomenal specialty combinations (well maybe not phenomenal...). I personally think that Rocky's and LA Pizza Kitchen are garbaggio (in Italian). Angeli is overrated.

But recently, and certainly for the money, I have put up with the obnoxious frat boys (and ogled their co-ed compatriots) for the excellent pizza at the Dough Bowl (at the Boot!). I know that the employees probably pee in the dough and whatever, but 1) the thinness, 2) the ratio of cheese to sauce and 3) the convenience, is incredibly hard to beat. The only pizza I would even speak in the same sentence as this is the 'Za at Pizza Fiesta (at Club Decatur 'round the HOB). Theirs is also good for all of the reasons, Dough Bowl is. It just happens to be smaller for the money and further away.

Please, taste the Pizza and get it before Tulane starts back in August!

Jul 24, 2008
bobinnola in New Orleans

Flaming Torch?

Went to the Torch just after it had opened for a valentine's day shenanigan. The food was better than average in a city full of french food spanning the spectrum between authentic and fusion. My service experience was ghastly, but as a some-time server I tend to conduct a WWBD (what would bob do?) analysis when eating out. The rooms are pretty but I also found it a tad pricey. Stick with Nanou.

Jan 29, 2008
bobinnola in New Orleans

Boiled crawfish and raw oysters?

Terribly disappointed by Big Al's on Annunciation. Went for lunch today. Sulky staff apologetically broke it to us that the fire department had not approved their broiler yet and so there are no chargrilled ersters (oh the irony, considering the setting of the restaurant). Also no crawfish "til this afternoon" (it was afternoon). The space is horrifying acoustically and its "chic" po-mo interior clashes like plaid to the [alleged] seafood's polkadots. The only thing that matched the decor was the $1 per piece of corn. Its either K-jeans or Cap't Sal's for me or Salvo's if I'm feelin the drive...

Jan 22, 2008
bobinnola in New Orleans

Agree with concierge for dinner and lunch rec's?

RioMar is great for seafood and esp. ceviche but I would not call it creole. Never heard of the latter. Lunch has quite the variety of choices. For poboys domilicies (sp) or perhaps crabby jacks for a quick calorie infusion. Many dinner restaurants offer lunch on various days of the week. Dante's does a good brunch, as does Commanders, Surrey's and Slim Goodies although the former two are three to four times the price of the latter(s). In any case, I don't hold to any "tourist places are junk" theories in NOLA, unless of course a crappy place happens to be a tourist spot. Sometimes visitors get good recs or happen to get lucky. Now back to the national championship...

Jan 07, 2008
bobinnola in New Orleans

Great new sushi buffet on St. Charles

Those machines are neat-o. Ever read The Zen of Fish Celest? Its phenomenal for an enthusiast. I actually work at a [to remain undisclosed] sushi restaurant and this book taught me a ton about everything from why (natural) msg tastes good to the historical spread of various fishes through japanese and american sushi...

Jan 06, 2008
bobinnola in New Orleans

Vizzard's on the Avenue-Opinions?

I've recommended this place before on the boards i believe. My old roomie Meatball is one of the guys on the line. Kevin, is a genuinely nice guy to boot. The food is very good and not too pricey for the quality. I think there has been a bit of a hang up on the move but it is happening by February according to insiders.

I remember last Gras. Walking into the kitchen with Meatball to use the bathroom and having the Soux take my lady and I into the freezer to eat local caviar off a spoon...

I love this place sometimes.

Jan 06, 2008
bobinnola in New Orleans

Cafe Grenada

Old name was a bit silly to say the least. Same owners, new menu which seems to evolve a bit. I think the owners might be the same as lebenon but who knows. chef was trained in montreal and nyc.

Jan 06, 2008
bobinnola in New Orleans

Great new sushi buffet on St. Charles

ever had "guri-guri" sushi? conveyer belts popular in japan an europe. i used to have an awesome place I went to in london... not quite a buffet but quick and cheap.

Jan 04, 2008
bobinnola in New Orleans

Riche Restaurant Closing

i agree, ruth's is OK but I want more deli action to feed my inner and outer judaism...

Jan 04, 2008
bobinnola in New Orleans

Cafe Grenada

Let's be honest, I know I have good taste. In food especially. I like to eat it, cook it and even look at it and read about it. I have the extra 15lbs and credit card statements to prove it. So that bit of ridiculousness aside, trust me on this one.

Just got back from fourth trip for tapas. Carrolton, between Lebenon's Cafe and Nino. Phenomenal. Literally everything was good, I want to kiss the chef. Great staff and sangria, nice happy hour with $5 1/2 L carafes. Try the zuchini pockets, sopa de ameresco, carpaccio and eggplant stack. Good prices to boot and they play flamenco.

Worst thing about the place is it used to be called fiesta bistro and that made it tough to take seriously.

Jan 04, 2008
bobinnola in New Orleans

Maximum Fancy Shmancy: delicious celebration

do i need to notify august re: the table d'hote if we are intending to have it? also, does everyone in the foursome have to order it?

thanks bam

btw: where's pebbles?

Apr 18, 2007
bobinnola in New Orleans

Maximum Fancy Shmancy: delicious celebration

Hello Folks out there in foodyville,

Let's talk luxury: I am celebrating the end of law school (and the end of the being the oldest student I know) and am looking for a dinner for four to talk about for years. I have a list of current contenders, places I have been and enjoyed immensely:

cuvee
august
brigston's
vizzard's
bayona
herbsaint

others I hear or have heard rock the party that rock's the party:
stella
rib room
antoine's
lillette

please suggest your pick for the absolute best meal you can think of, price no object...

have a great day!

Apr 18, 2007
bobinnola in New Orleans

Mandina's reopening report?

I live about 500 feet from Mandinas on Cortez and have been there 3 times since they reopened. To be brutally honest the best thing I have gotten there has been an oyster loaf. Meat dishes ordered by friends each time I went were alternatively over and undercooked and the rest was just plain greasy (but not in a good way). It was also pricey. Could be opening kinks, but I doubt it. I had eaten there a handful of times before the 'cane and the ambiance was always better than the food. It is not the type of place to offer en vogue specialties (or really menu changes at all) but at the same time everything I have had there I can find better at at least a couple places place in town. If on the other hand you are looking to hear local politicians scheme, then there is no better perching point.

Mar 26, 2007
bobinnola in New Orleans

Matt and Naddie's $10 Lunch Buffet...

Anyone gone and tasted this buffet? I've actually never been there despite living in the riverbend from 2000-3... I have to say I am intrigued by the friday lunch innovation: pay for the drinks and get cheap food instead of vice-versa...

Dec 11, 2006
bobinnola in New Orleans

Adelaide's in the Loew's on Poydras Street

tonto, amigo see up top for the hijack invite... have a favorite between the two?

Dec 11, 2006
bobinnola in New Orleans

Cafe Adelaide's bar chef table?

I am getting the shakes just thinking about this concept... drew could you kindly go into any details you might remember regarding this stellar concept? Also: how is it priced?

Dec 10, 2006
bobinnola in New Orleans

Adelaide's in the Loew's on Poydras Street

Kevin Vizzard took over the joint at the bottom of the Garden district hotel from Corbin of Lulu's fame (also had a location down in exchange ally in the quarter across from Michaelopolis gallery). Corbin subsequently opened the savvy gourmet on magazine uptown which is an awesome, if not pricey kitchen supply/cooking school/lunch haven, the shrimp BLT is out of this world.

But back to Vizzards: its still the same funky space filled with new bright paintings with a nice old fashioned bar up-front. Good service (they tolerated a rather rowdy and inebriated Halloween group of 15, even though I was dressed as Broadway Joe Namath and flagrantly had a sock stuffed in my football pants... an old friend cooks there) and sensational food. Highlights were the scallop skittles as a finger food with a habanero dipping sauce. The potato latkes with a dollop of carp roe dip is a must order and the mussels with chorizo similarly are off-the-metaphorical-hook. They have softshell crab bisque- need i say more? I can't honestly remember what I ordered for an entre last time, like I mentioned I was dressed as Broadway Joe. I do remember the dark chocolate and bleu cheese molton cake which is rich as all get out but definitely worth it if you hate freedom and love stinky french cheese.

Dec 09, 2006
bobinnola in New Orleans

Bachelor Party Suggestion

Jaque e mois, its hearty and delicious if not a bit sloppy. There's kitsch crap and local art (sometimes not mutually exclusive) on the walls and the other patrons will be rowdy and drunkish too so no worries about making a scene. Book ahead of time make clear its a bachelor party and I can almost guaranty the proprietor (Jack Leonardi) will have the 'tender pour you bushmills shots... Casual dress is encouraged.

Dec 07, 2006
bobinnola in New Orleans

First timer hoping for some help...

Personally, (and I'm sure others think way different) I think Mothers' is yucky and quite frankly The CBD tourist trap. I have also seen things in their kitchen. For Po-boys etc try Domilisie's, Parasol's (roast beef is damn good, plus boudin balls) or perhaps Parkway Bakery as its cutesy and near the bayou. For "uptown creole" Upperline and Dante's are a couple favs of mine. For a grourmet snack with a nice glass of wine try Delachaise. Romantic... Bayona (Susan Spicer joint), Martinique (French-Tropical with a wonderful interior and patio, Ralphs on the Park (beautiful redone interior of an old mansion house, classic Brennan's-esque grub) or GW Fins (private-ish booths, excellent service and IMO some of the best seafood in the city. Hope you already booked the lunch at commanders, have run into some road blocks with the booking of lunches in the last few weeks...

Dec 07, 2006
bobinnola in New Orleans

Adelaide's in the Loew's on Poydras Street

Been there 3-4 times for lunch and dinner. Friday lunch does the Commander's style $.25 martinis (they are part of the same wing of the Brennan's Family). The art deco decor is fun but the dining room comes across more than a little "hotelly". Service ranges from decent to excellent. Foodwise, there are several excellent options all in the vein of commanders. For apps try the chop salad, shrimp with bisuit thingy or anything with P&J Oysters. If you've never had it try the turtle soup, but taste it before you add more sherry or you'll get drunk. For the main the duck is awesome, the steak over duck fat sweet potatoes awesome and the trio of pig (with hogs head cheese en glace) is also scrumptious. I can't remember any desserts. The food hasn't suffered perceptably since the departure of psuedo-celebrity chef Kevin Vizzard, although his new restaurant (curiously also at the bottom of a hotel, the Garden District) is perhaps half a notch above Adelaide.

Dec 07, 2006
bobinnola in New Orleans