Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Short Order Reviews

Short Order Reviews is back this week with an unfortunate ride on a one way train to Bogey Town.

Mr. B's - A break between depositions at One Canal Place necessitated a relatively speedy lunch in the Quarter, and unfortunately my dining companion vetoed Felipe's as an option. The Green Goddess was also closed for business, so we ended up at Mr. B's, which was surprisingly packed for Monday lunch service. The two course lunch menu seems like a great idea, but red beans and rice and grilled salmon as entrée choices were uninteresting to me, especially considering the quality of product put out at lunch by the likes of MiLa and August at a similar price. Instead I went with the burger, allegedly made from tenderloin, which probably would have made a difference had it not been cooked to death. Along side the burger was an order of soft, greasy fries. I paid the most attention to the hot and airy loaves of crisp french bread, which would have been more satisfying had the butter not been frozen solid and impossible to spread. My one visit every three years re-affirmed why this place is not on my regular rotation. Bogey.

Lilly's Cafe - A trip to Juan's in the Garden District was detoured by a suggestion to walk across the street to try out Lilly's, one of several Vietnamese restaurants recently opened Uptown. The tall ceilings and white tile floor give the space the feel of a nail salon, though the pressed ceiling is an interesting and surprising design feature. Lilly’s Rolls are the house specialty – shrimp, "pork ham" (?), mint, avocado, and sliced strawberries wrapped with vermicelli noodles in rice paper. The classic shrimp and pork spring rolls were serviceable enough, but the peanut sauce was thin and bland. Egg rolls filled with ground pork were a mushy mess. Long, razor thin shavings of cucumber, daikon, and lettuce formed the base of the vermicelli bowl, which was topped with slices of bland, dry pork that were remiss of the chargrilled, caramelized pork candy flavor that I associate with this dish. Before passing judgment I promised myself to return for the banh mi, but the outlook is not much better than Obama's chance of winning Louisiana's electoral votes. Bogey/Mulligan.

Prime Grille - This past Sunday we went in search of brunch in the Bywater. The Folk Singer was unwilling to act as a guinea pig to test if Elizabeth's had gotten it's act together, so we ended up at Prime Grille, which took over the former location of Bywater BBQ about 2 months ago. Had I bothered to inspect the brunch menu posted outside the front door, I would have saved us from one of the worst meals in the city that we can remember.  The quaint dining room is actually well designed, save for the bar which extends about 3 inches toward the diner and requires a constant slouch over to ferry food from plate to mouth. The menu though was flat and uninspiring, and the execution was even worse. Scotch eggs win the award for food that is most inexplicably still served in a restaurant. A dry fried chicken breast sat atop an even drier biscuit covered in "chicken gravy" that was a euphemism for chicken pot pie filling (complete with frozen peas, carrots, and green beans). I felt that I had been transported back in time to that fateful Friday morning at the fraternity house when our chef served up a slop fest of "King Ranch" for lunch because he got too stoned at the Panic show the night before. TFS did not fare much better with eggs benedict comprised of soft english muffins, institutional Canadian bacon, and a tepid hollandaise. Fighting among the staff was audible in the dining room when the expediter complained to the waiter that none of his tickets had a table number, which explained how the phantom veggie omelet went missing from Table 2. I think that you get the picture. Double Bogey.

11 comments:

jshushan said...

To me, Mr. B's is Gumbo Ya-Ya, BBQ Shrimp and Crab Cakes. The rest is usually crap. My visits there every two or three years are limited to those three dishes and I do well.

Jonathan

Anonymous said...

I still remain hopeful that one day you'll abandon the absurd golf metric for scoring. seriously, could you be any more cliche -- lawyers & golf?

I don't know what a bogey is nor a mulligan, and I'm thankful that I never will. if you want to be kind to a broader audience go with a more universal metric.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anonymous poster above

Peter said...

Anons,

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the odds of us abandoning our golf scoring system are slim to nonexistent. But for the google-challenged such as yourself, I am happy to translate the metric for future reference:

Double Bogey - Terrible
Bogey - Bad
Par - Average
Birdie - Good
Eagle - Very Good
Double Eagle - Excellent

As for the lawyers and golf cliche, if we had $1 for every round of golf that we have both played over the last 10 years, we'd probably have $5.

Thanks for reading.

Peter

Anonymous said...

Anons,

You are both idiots if you don't know either of those words.

Anonymous said...

not an idiot...just not into elitist rich-boy games. i like food. food and golf have no obvious tie to one another.

it's as absurd as using, oh, weather alerts for the metric. or threat levels.

Rene said...

Is that you, Tom?

Let me briefly explain why we use golf scoring again. And it isnt because either Peter or I are elitist rich-boys or golf playing lawyers.

Many restaurant reviews use a variation of the star system developed and implemented by Craig Claiborne. Naturally this system is unable to compare restaurants of certain genres. Thus the top starred places tend to all look alike - fancy high end dining, mainly.

Our system seeks a balance that says, "let's compare apples to apples." That is, a po boy shop should not be ranked against an August or Stella. They are two different dining styles. You would never say, "hmm what do I want to eat a $250 tasting menu or a $7 po boy?"

In developing this system we looked for a scoring system that utilized a similar scale. Since we aren't idiots, we knew of golf and its par, birdie, bogey rating system for each hole. In fact golf terms have slipped into the popular lexicon (see: That is par for the course...")

It seemed to be a good fit and we like it. Now back to ordering around staff, sipping a martini at lunch, and planning a golf trip to Pebble Beach. You know, typical lawyer shit.

Real Big Talley said...

To Anonymous 1 and Anonymous 2,

Why waste time trolling this blog? You don't know what a bogey nor a mulligan is? Screw off with that garbage. These are not words only used as part of an elitist vernacular. They are common terms used regularly off the golf course.

On this election day, please elect to lighten up and stop being ridiculous assholes. I wish you nothing but the worst.

Anonymous said...

I agree w/ RBT, give the guys a break - they are just providing some entertaining food commentary to break up the work day. If you don't like it, don't read it. Here are some more golf terms for you to google - stuff a three wood in your sand trap.

Anonymous said...

you guys are too rich. here's what i said:

"if you want to be kind to a broader audience go with a more universal metric."

...to which you start raging out like roid-ragers at the gym. what, did i look at your girl funny??

get real, nut jobs.

Rene said...

Tomanymous,

Can you suggest a more standard metric that allows us to compare po boy shops to po shops and 5 stars to 5 stars on the same scale?