Thursday, June 17, 2010

Short Order Reviews

Instead of giving you one long review to sort through this Thursday, how about a bunch of short reviews of places where we have been eating? What you don't like that idea? Well, than go take a long walk off a short bridge.

What better way to start off than with breakfast, though I would choose somewhere other than the Peppermill, which is where The Folk Singer and I stopped in one early Sunday morning on the way home from the airport. The interior is dated to the 70s – wall mural in the center, pale yellows, low lighting – the place just has a worn out feel (and not in a good way). Tired is the more appropriate term. An omelet was heavy and dense instead of light and fluffy, the biscuit was dry, and the hollandaise was an orange, gritty mess. Even the excellence of the Belgian waffle - crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, and served with warm maple syrup - could not resurrect this meal. The Peppermill: Bogey - Peter.

Craving old school Italian a few weeks ago, Lindsay and I headed to Vincent's. This is the place you go when you want to dip enough breadsticks to plug a leaking oil well into garlicky, green onion specked butter and sip lusty red wine while listening to Sinatra at the Sands. The house dressing can best be described as olive salad put through a finer dice, but it works equally well on thick slices of tomato and mozzarella as it does on thin slices of carpaccio. Try the veal parmesan. As the Turk says, "It's the best in the city." For old school Italian, I give it a Birdie - Rene

Let's stay in the land of the Azurris. Nor-Joe's, the Italian delicatessen/grocer/trading post in Old Metry (the "OM" to locals), puts out the city's finest muffaletta. You can have it cold or hot, your choice. While the razor tongued ladies make your sandwich, roam the aisles. You know how you go to Whole Foods for a piece of pork and walk out $78 poorer carrying a pint of flax seed oil and some organic tofu? Shopping in Nor-Joe's is a Mediterranean version of that phenomenon. Your basket will soon hold marcona almonds, sherry vinegar, peppery olive oil, a chunk of Parmigiano Reggiano, a wedge of Pecorino Romano, a bottle of grappa, and salted cod. Enjoy the sandwich on the deck with an ice cold Moretti. Just a word of caution, be nice and polite to the ladies who work there. If you are not as soon as you leave they will talk about you behind your back. And you will deserve all the vitriol they can muster. For muffalettas and grocery shopping, I give it an Birdie/Eagle - Rene

During my last year in Baton Rouge, TFS and I became obsessed with Bay Leaf, an Indian restaurant off Sherwood Forest, and we have been trying to find something in Nola on par with their curries ever since. After one look, Taj Mahal does not seem to make the cut. The meal started off on the wrong foot: no air condition in the dining room and the kitchen was completely out of lamb. Most meats on the tandoori platter were dry, the mint and tamarind sauces were weak, and the raita tasted watered down. On the positive side, the mixed bread basket had several types of naan stuffed with potato, cheese, and onions - all delicious. With so many entrees on the menu, it's too early to pass judgment. But I am looking for marked improvement from Taj Mahal on the next visit. - Peter

What do you do when you have time to kill? We go eat Vietnamese. Last Saturday before braving a 4 year old's birthday party, we gave Pho Tau Bay a chance to assuage the pains of a few too many. Ehhh. The flavors were muted, the chargrilled pork sliced to thin, the banh mi skimpy, and the pho broth milky. But the tendon in their pho is some of the best in town. Pho Tau Bay: Par - Rene


Betty White said...

I love the Peppermill. It tastes like old people smell.

Shelly said...

I'd like to see y'all review Tarka on Williams for Indian food if you are out that way. I think it's really good, although the selection on the lunch buffet is somewhat limited. On the other hand, I ate at Nirvana last week and felt completely ill for the rest of the evening...too much ghee?

Richard and Danielle said...

I have always wanted to try Vincent's, so you'll understand my disappointment on a recent trip to Sam's Club for diapers and catering trays to see two guys wearing Vincent's shirts pushing a huge cart loaded down with Ragu sauce. Why would you wear a shirt identifying your Italian restaurant if you are buying Ragu sauce for the restaurant?