Friday, July 23, 2010

We Live to Eat Fridays: Things are Getting Weird

Some more entries from our dear readers. Just one more week of the first round, so get your entry in stat!. This week we drink some dackrees, hit up Chinese across the lake, and visit someplace called Pumptown. We Live to Eat, do you?

Wild Bert

We begin this epic culinary quest on a holiday weekend. The Sunday before a holiday on Monday holiday ensures that you’ll have adequate time to recuperate from the simultaneously daunting and pleasurable day that lies ahead. You begin early, though unlike those pesky birds, it’s not worms you crave. You crave…pecan waffles. You race to Camellia Grill to beat the teeming University crowd and partake of those crisp, golden waffles with a side of hot syrup and melted butter. But wait, there are a few other food groups (namely bacon and cheese) still demanding recognition. You silence them by ordering a Chef’s Special Omelette and a cherry-chocolate freeze.

You emerge from Camellia sated but sober. Thankfully, New Orleans Original Daiqiuris has just opened, so you grab a go-cup of 190 octane and hop on the streetcar (be sure to shield that daq from the prying eyes of the operator). After an interminable but pleasant ride, you reach the end of the line. You look down and realize you are wearing seersucker, which calls for nothing less than a proper Brennan’s brunch. As soon as you lay eyes upon the pepto pink restaurant, your appetite is revived. You begin with a Brandy Milk Punch at the bar while Billie preps your table. No need for a menu, you order the turtle soup, Eggs Hussarde, and the Bananas Foster…“diet be damned”. No slouch in the beverage department, you also sample the greatest hits from their “Eye Opener” drink menu: a Creole Bloody Mary, a Mr. Funk, and a Sazerac. Perhaps some strong coffee with your flaming dessert will keep you balanced.

As you stumble out into the searing heat of the afternoon, calliope blaring, you realize that only one thing can save you from the midday nap that is calling your name…a Meltdown popsicle. One lemon basil refresher later, and you are rejuvenated like Captain Planet after a nap in the sun.

Feeling like your seersucker has magnets in the pockets, you and your cohorts find yourselves drawn to the Old Absinthe House. Alternating between absinthe frappes and Ramos Gin Fizzes, you realize that you will undoubtedly hurt tomorrow but continue binging into the evening with abandon. Overcome by the indulgences of the day, you select a dinner destination based on their dedication to simplicity and preservation of the essence of the sea, G.W. Fins.

Piping hot biscuits arrive at your table, and you order a Fins French 75 to cleanse your palate. Lobster dumplings and the fried softshell are a must, followed by Chilean sea bass that melts in your mouth. Since you are footing this extravagant bill, you insist that your companions perform the New Orleans Dinner Dance so that you also get to sample the seared sashimi-grade Yellowfin Tuna and the perfectly plump scallops, all of which are accompanied by a crisp Albarino. Molten chocolate cake caps off the evening with a food coma.

Undaunted, you summon the last bit of strength you have left and head to Gold Mine to dance off the colossal calorie intake of the day. A few Flaming Dr. Peppers later, and that stranger dancing/convulsing like Elaine from Seinfeld starts to look enticing. You clearly need some starch to soak up that alcohol before Coyote Ugly ends up in your bed, so you head to Coop’s Place for some rabbit and sausage jambalaya…and a tall glass of water.


The day would begin promptly at 6:00a.m. Why? Because that’s what time Pumpkin head wakes up…no matter what. We’d spend the early morning on the back patio listening to the birds chirping, Pumpkin head with his morning bottle and me with my big cup of PJ’s Windsor Court blend brewed from the comfort of my home by my trusty Krups coffee maker.

When a more reasonable hour has arrived, Pumpkin head and I would wake up Billy and off to The Broken Egg we would go. A wait for a table is inevitable, but it is of no consequence to us. The Broken Egg has opened its front porch bar - two Bloody Marys for Billy and me. After the short wait we’d start our breakfast with a plate of the warm brie served with apples and walnuts along side toasted bread. Maybe we’d get an order of biscuits too; it all depends on the mood. I’d order the Hey Ricky omelet – chorizo sausage with onions and avocados served with a side of sour cream. (Chorizo makes everything better.) I’d make sure Billy ordered the Lakeshore scramble, just so that I could get a bite too.

Today seems like a good day for the river. So, pumpkin head gets dropped off at the grandparents and mom and dad head off to meet some friends. On our way we stop off for some ice cold Abita Ambers for the boat ride. And for lunch, we can’t decide so we make a run by Bear’s and Bosco’s. At Bear’s I order a French fry po-boy and make sure they add plenty of their debris gravy. Billy opts for the fried oyster po-boy, dressed, of course. Then at Bosco’s it’s a muffaletta served warm.

After a little while on the boat we make it to Friend’s. We decide to dock in Madisonville and get a couple of drinks at the bar. Before we leave, we get the “Gynormous Mountain Brownie.” Is there anything particularly inventive about this dessert? Anything particularly unique? Nope. But when it’s 101 degrees outside the sight of a foot tall mound of creamy vanilla ice cream served atop layer after layer of chocolately gooey brownie more than makes up for its lackluster performance in the individuality category. It’s good. Period.

It’s getting late so the crew turns in. The grandparents have offered to keep Pumpkin head over night so mom and dad can have a much needed evening alone. So, where to go? There are so many options. Should we take a drive out to Lacombe and enjoy the provincial offerings of Besh at La Provence? Or maybe take a drive out near the lakefront and enjoy an old classic at Nuvolari’s? Or maybe we should head north of I-12 and indulge in the brie and crab soup at Dakota’s? Hmmm, nope…it’s an old stand by instead – Trey Yuen.

We get there and after we are served a couple glasses of wine, we ask for the specials. The Wong’s have a fantastic ability to take uniquely Louisiana items and make them into delicious, traditional Chinese dishes. In that vein, we decide on the Tong Cho Soft Shell Crab (honestly, I’d probably eat shoestrings if they were prepared properly and served with Tong Cho sauce!) But, one dish isn’t enough. So we also order the combination fried rice. At most Chinese restaurants, fried rice is a filler - a pathetic excuse for a side dish. But at Trey Yuen, it’s a meal alone. Rounding out our table is an order of steak kew and, just so that we can entertain our inner child, spicing flaming chicken, flambéed tableside. As dinner is winding down, Tommy Wong makes his rounds through the dining room making sure every patron had an enjoyable meal. We thank him and are off on our merry way.

On the way home, we stop at Martin’s for a glass of wine to sip on before we call it a day. A bottle of Baus Family Cabernet Sauvignon should do the trick. Then it’s off to bed to start all over again tomorrow.

Grace Under Pressure

Alarm: Bonnie Tyler's "I Need A Hero." Deflate the esurient trollop I ended up with, again, the previous night and pack her near no sharp objects. Get out of bed, aka "Pumptown" and get the day started.

Breakfast: It would have to be somewhere fast because I'm fat…like real fat and the only thing bigger than my girth is my impatience level. Therefore, I'd jump, if I could, in my car (just after kicking over my neighbors bike with those illustrious streamers) and drive, really fast, down Magazine. Stop at Surreys and yell at all the hipsters in line that they are nothing but Jedis and that Conor Oberst is overrated. Fearing I may take a Vans shoe to the back of my SUV or god forbid an attempted hug, I screech out and head to Wendys. I love New Orleans but this town has no clue how to make a proper Southern breakfast. I settle for the Biscuits and Gravy and a chicken biscuit. Turn the speakers loud and jam out to Joe Esposito's "You're the best around"

Mid Morning Snack: The affirming music is only fleeting and don’t let the self-deprecating humor fool you. I'm fat and food makes me feel good. Time for a snack. However, all I need is a little teaser. I'd head to Bud's and get a #2 and a #9. Get in my mouth Hickory Sauce. I'd bathe in you if you weren't so acidic and fear you'd prompt an ashen hue to my killer base tan. Feeling better about myself, our dystopian country and even the existence of the Counting Crows, I crank Mark Safan's "Win in the End" and wonder where Stiles from Teen Wolf is right now.

Lunch: Even though my metabolism is as fast as dial-up internet, I'm starving. I contemplate eating my finger, which would probably be the better diet plan but decide my cannibalistic, emetic urges can wait another day. Today it's about the Cajun Burger at Fat Harry's. The cook asks me if I want cheese fries with that. I'm pretty damn certain that I don’t suffer from body dysmorphic disorder and that my general stature implies I want cheese fries with that.

Pre Dinner Snack: It's Saturday night and as the turbos on the West Coast say, "I wanna RAGE!" I settle for a less caloric intensive meal: the dome!

Dinner: My heart is racing like an Architecture in Helsinki song. Feeling skinny, feeling sexy. The dial-up has instantly turned to DSL and I'm ready to drink and eat…a lot. Head to Rocky's for Pizza. It's a Large Wild Tchoupitoulas for me. This pizza or "Za" as the denizens at Surreys would proclaim makes you want to get on your knees and beg for buttermilk. Time for bars and female rejection.

"Fourthmeal" or Sixthmeal for me: Irate that the Taco Bell on Claiborne did not return post-Katrina, I head to its location, Orleans Seafood, anyway. Hit the drive thru and order 3 Chalupas, a Gordita, a Mexican Pizza, Nachos Bell Grande and a diet Pepsi. Once my order is roundly rejected ( a decent nickname for myself actually…) I head to St. Charles Tavern. After promising the waitress I am not driving this time, I order a bacon & cheese omelet and one of their filthy hurricanes. Upon plate punishment, I pay the bill, shake my keys at the waitress and bolt to my car to unpack my girlfriend and escape to Pumptown.


Ryan Waldron said...

This was just bizarre.

Jonathan Maki said...

Very Weird, but interesting. I Like the shout-out to Bud's...