Monday, January 3, 2011

The 2011 Challenge


Two years ago, we initiated what has become dubbed "The Challenge" as a way to motivate ourselves to expand our culinary horizons. In 2009, I attempted (and failed) to avoid eating in the same restaurant for 365 days. Last year, Rene spent his time recreating restaurant dishes at home. While we may have not reached our end goals in our respective challenges, we learned a lot along the way. Hopefully you readers did as well.

And with the dawn of a new year, it is once again time to throw down the gauntlet. We received a number of suggestions for this year's challenge. Eating dessert after every meal sounded like a delicious recipe... for diabetes. Vietnamese weekdays would have won out except that I can not afford to pay the Crescent City Connection toll so often. And unfortunately, The Folk Singer put the kibosh on "Awful Offal Humpdays" because she said there was no way that she was eating tripe, sweetbreads, or tongue for dinner once a week.

In the end, I decided to dovetail off of a suggestion from a reader who thought it would be fun if every week I had to eat at a local restaurant that I have never been to before. Given the lag time between dining at a restaurant and writing about the experience, I knew that such a challenge would not be feasible as written. Plus, Rene and I try to cover as much ground as we can individually, and there are quite a few spots that he has written about but I have yet to visit, such as Le Foret, Dominique's, and Rue 127. Still, the goal behind this suggestion is to push your faithful bloggers to cast a wider net over the local dining scene, an expansion that many other readers have encouraged us to undertake.

So without further ado, the 2011 Challenge is stated henceforth:

Once a week, every week, I will write about at least one local eatery that has never before been written about on Blackened Out. This includes write ups by Rene and myself. Basically, if the restaurant does not have a label (a full list of which is located on the left midway down the page), then it's fair game to be included in the challenge list.

BONUS: The first 15 qualifying restaurants listed in the comments of today's post MUST be included in The Challenge. Only one restaurant per commenter. Changing IP addresses in order to submit multiple entries is grounds for disqualification. No purchase is necessary. Void in Alaska, Hawaii and wherever else prohibited.

The 2011 Challenge. In the words of Barney Stinson, it's going to be LEGEN... wait for it... DARY.

35 comments:

Kevin said...

El Rinconcito.

Happy 2011!

Snakebite said...

Maple Street Cafe.

Good luck

josh said...

Wayne Jacob's, enjoy.

Phil said...

Salt n Pepper

Celeste said...

Ciro's Cote Sud on Maple
(and a +1 for Wayne Jacobs, too)

Anonymous said...

Little Chinatown, Williams Blvd. Kenner. In the old Frostop.

Best Chinese on Eastbank

Niki Mouton said...

O'Brien's Grille

Anonymous said...

Restaurant Cypress

Megan said...

CASA GARCIA.... lunch one day in Kenner-- call me!

Peter said...

Celeste,

We have written about Ciro's before both on the blog and in the June 2009 issue in OffBeat: http://www.blackenedout.com/2009/06/ciros-cote-sud.html

I know you have another suggestion in the hopper, so get it in.

Rene said...

Kevin,

Covered El Riconcito in my review of Mexican restaurants in the late summer of 2009. Pick another one and you can keep your 1st spot.

Lorin Gaudin said...

Cafe Abyssinia

BBD said...

Mimi's in River Ridge- no clue if it's good.

Pat said...

Megumi.
Ridiculously fresh sushi that is worth the drive across the lake.

Shelly said...

How about the Moroccan place on St. Charles?

TheFolkSinger said...

LaThai!!!

JB said...

Katie's in Mid-City

Kevin said...

OK, strike El Rinconcito. How about Wong's Po-Boy?

(And I agree with Pat about Megumi - amazing sushi and sashimi.)

Peter said...

Cowbell

Anonymous said...

Rick's Sporting Saloon

Anonymous said...

Ye Olde College Inn.

CharlieH

Lindsay said...

How about Jamila's Mediterranean Tunisian Cuisine on Maple Street?

Anonymous said...

Brigtsen's

He Said NOLA said...

Mona Lisa

Celeste said...

Aw, see, I didn't see Ciro's on the tags list. (Pardon my limited facility with the alphabet.) Do I get a mulligan? I have THREE more suggestions: the lunch specials at Rivershack Tavern, Clementine's on the Westbank, and the weekend dim sum at Panda King (chicken feet, stuffed squid, sticky rice in a lotus leaf). Or how about the sandwiches at Kingfish Grille in Gretna--two words: Weenie Panini.

Peter said...

Celeste,

Of course you get a Mulligan. I have been wanting to try both Clementine's and Rivershack Tavern. Dim sum at Panda King is an easy sell for me as well. I'll try to get to all 3.

Anon,

Rene has written about Brigsten's before: (http://www.blackenedout.com/2010/07/short-order-review-brigtsens-and-dine.html) but I can possibly see the Shell Beach Diet in my future.

And with that, The Bonus List is officially closed. But more suggestions are welcome, so keep them coming.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see reviews of the places that somehow inexplicably end up in guidebooks or are overly praised as excellent places to eat via word of mouth. I'm thinking Mother's, Praline Connection, Court of Two Sisters as some that come to mind. And if you've been, what about a review focusing on why or why not these places are actually good (or not)?

katie said...

Aunt Lenis on Algiers Point
http://www.auntlenis.com/menu.shtml
have you already done it?

Fat Harry said...

The pink roast beef poboy building on Elysian Fields and St. Claude

Double Chin said...

Make sure you bring the camera when you go to Megumi. They do some pretty artistic presentations.

Bill said...

The Bistro at The Maison de Ville

Slug said...

You should try Da Wabbit in Gretna. It'll clog your arteries almost instantaneously, but it's so delicious you won't care. They have excellent potato salad on Fridays, FYI.

Anonymous said...

I second Clementine and Da Wabbit...both on the Wank. The eggplant napoleon appetizer is yummy!

Aunt Leni's is no longer open.

Lana said...

Cowbell! More Cowbell!

Anonymous said...

Very nice, you got any tutorials on how to tie some of those?
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