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Everything posted by UptownKevin

  1. As far as the Columns goes, your observations have been correct. The bar is far too busy to take the time to make good drinks and the clientele is far happier getting a stiff drink than a quality one made with fresh juices. In addition, there is a lack of refrigeration prevented us from storing ingredients behind the bar. When I got there, I was embarrassed by the quality of the drinks being poured and one of the long-time bartenders was so complacent, he really didn't know any better anyway. When your guests are more enamored with a lively bartender than a quality drink, I guess it really doesn't matter. New Orleans is not an innovative city when it comes to cocktails, and many of the bartenders there are pouring for the lowest common denominator. The sole purpose is to make drinks for people to get drunk. In addition, I can bet that many of the bartenders have not spent time outside of NOLA and have no idea what is going on in the rest of the country. In San Francisco, cocktails are serious business and always made with real and fresh fruit juice. You won't find that in New Orleans. In a nutshell, the typical clientele of New Orleans bars doesn't demand quality drinks and many of the bartenders don't know any better. -Kevin
  2. I appreciate you posting the link, but I have to admit it was quite a letdown. Kind of like the kid opening presents on Christmas morning and getting the toy he's been waiting for all year, only to find out that he can't use it because it takes an obscure battery not sold in this country. Yep, I can't read French. Any chance you'll be working on a translated copy? (I know, I know, it was a thesis in French). But I was really interested in the topic and your research. -Kevin
  3. Todd, I hope you are going to scout it out for me on the first weekend. I'm coming in for the second weekend and will be bringing my girlfriend to her first JazzFest on May 4th. Let me know what's good and if you are there on that Friday, we can meet up for a couple of beers at the fest. Looking most forward to the couchon de lait poor boy and fried soft shell crab poor boy. Also can't wait for the crawfish beignets, The Benjy Davis Project and Better Than Ezra. Alright - gotta jump in the shower. In about an hour, I'm going to my second crawfish boil in two weeks. In Tampa! -Kevin
  4. UptownKevin

    Buffalo Wings

    Crystal hot sauce is made by Baumer Foods in New Orleans, which flooded during the storm. Not sure if they've built a new plant yet, but they since outsourced all of the bottling operations so they could get their product back on the shelves. When I moved here to Tampa after the storm, I only had one big bottle left and couldn't get it for months. Now I always keep an extra bottle, just in case.... -Kevin p.s. I also like Crystal in my wing sauce.
  5. Yes, there is a side of the city that he missed. Pretty much most of it. New Orleans has a lot of problems, but that was not what the article was about. If he was writing an article about the poor state of government or the decades of corruption in New Orleans government, I could accept the criticism. However, his article was about food, and he failed miserably. Based on your posts, I am pretty sure your knowledge of New Orleans food is limited. Yes, we do have a lot of fresh seafood, but I honestly can't figure out where you get the idea that everything is covered in cream sauces. Fried? Yea, we're guilty of a lot of fried food. But there is a plethora of good food, not fried or covered in cream sauce. Unfortuately the intelligence is lacking in our government, elected officials, tourism office, and pretty much anyone promoting the city. They've spent years creating a picture of a party town, and haven't really promoted the city for what it really is. You are 100% correct in your assesment of the way the city is marketed. The stuff that tourists do and what they eat is fairly distant from that of the above average citizen. If you think that I spent time drinking on Bourbon street, you're kidding yourself. New Orleans as a tourist town has become a caricature of itself, and Ray Nagin hasn't figured it out yet. So my point? Alan Richman's piece about New Orleans was a piece of shit. He might be a respectable guy, but he's not very smart. When you declare that New Orleans "shouldn't even exist" or that people moved there "because they wanted to live by the river" really shows his ignorance of one of the United States most important ports. And don't blame the locals because a bunch of tourists like to drink on Bourbon street. -Kevin
  6. Glad to hear that everything came out great. I would have loved to try the grillades and grits, but I am still thinking about that lamb shank and the roasted duck that my girlfriend ordered. I promised I wouldn't steer you wrong. Happy to hear your trip was memorable. -Kevin www.NolaFoodie.com
  7. Well, you are in luck right now, because the restaurant scene is not exactly in the best position right now, and you can probably squeeze into some really great restaurants with last minute phone calls. In my opinion, there is no better restaurant serving classic New Orleans Creole food than Galatoire's. They don't take reservations downstairs anyway. Upperline is one of my favorite restaurants serving both classic cuisine with some modern favorites. Call Joanne and tell her you are an eGullet regular, and you are in. I was there a few weeks ago. In the riverbend, Mat and Naddie's has a smaller menu, more modern but with a Creole/Cajun influence. Restaurant One is also a favorite of mine. Though the menu is small, everything is fantastic. They also have a food bar so you can dine alone and enjoy watching the action in the kitchen and echange fun banter with the staff. If you go, call ahead, and tell Lee and Scotty that I said hello (I used to be the manager at The Columns). If you want some other classic NOLA food uptown, check out Clancy's; they have the best smoked soft shell crab and a great atmosphere. In the Warehouse distrisct, I like Tommy's for the soft shell crab or roast duck. You can get the same cuisine at Irene's in the French Quarter. If you want Cajun food, Bon Ton Cafe is fantastic. Great soft shell crab, outstanding steaks and a fabulous bread pudding (with a strong whiskey sauce). I haven't tried it, but a lot of my friends have enjoyed Cochon, the Cajun restaurant opened by Donald Link. If you want good Po'Boys, stop by Domilise's for a great oyster or shrimp po'boy at lunch, or get a roast beef po'boy at Parasol's. Well, that should do it for old-school NOLA food. Yea, there are a lot of great new restaurants in the city, but I can't get excited about Longbranch or Ralph's On The Park; I don't care how good the food is. There is good food in most large cities. When I am in New Orleans, I want New Orleans food. While there are several other classics, I am out of time since I am ready to go to sleep. Good luck on the trip. Kevin Lacassin www.NolaFoodie.com
  8. I'll see what kind of details I can get about the show. My girlfriend, now 29, grew up with the Marine and we found out a while back about the outcome of the show. However, I only saw a few minutes of that episode; she dated him over a decade ago so I guess I'm a bit jealous. Looks like a cool show though, I'll watch from here on out. -Kevin TampaBayEats
  9. Have a Great time. ← Good to hear. My plane leaves from Tampa at 7am and I land in NOLA at 7:40 (I gain an hour). I'll be running the CCC on Saturday and doing plenty of eating in the meantime. One on Friday evening after happy hour at The Columns. Galatoire's for lunch on Saturday and the rest is undecided. Probably going to hit Upperline and Tommy's, and I'll be sure to get some oysters and an oyster po-boy. I'll let everyone know how the trip went. -Kevin
  10. Barbara, Perhaps you should re-read the whole post that Brooks outlined. I am not sure you understand the scope of what it takes to run a restaurant. There are no fisherman with boats to catch the seafood. If the fisherman could catch the seafood, there are no seafood distributors to deliver the seafood. The polluted waters have really damaged the availability of fresh shrimp, fish and most of all, oysters. Sysco cannot pull up in a giant truck with the daily delivery of cans of tomato sauce, jars of olives, cases of cayenne pepper or bags of flour. There are no liquor distributors working right now: Glazer or Republic or your friendly wine purveyer cannot process orders or put it in a delivery truck to fill your order. Who will sell it to you? Most of the salespeople are not sitting around New Orleans. There are no (or maybe a couple) line cooks sitting around waiting to jump back in the kitchen. There are no waiters that can sit around living off of a savings account for the next few months until their restaurant opens. The linen company is probably not open, so napkins and tablecloths cannot be washed. Even if you use paper napkins, where will you get them? That doesn't leave us with much except for MRE's. I wish it was the opposite, but remember what it takes to run a restaurant, then multiply it by 10,000, and that's what it takes to run a city. It's not as easy as it looks. -Kevin
  11. Ok, so maybe I am being a bit bold here, but I consider myself an amateur authority on margaritas. I might go so far as to consider my margarita the best one in New Orleans! So here is my take. While the ingredients will never vary, different people will need different measurements of the recipe. There is so much variation in the flavor of limes, that I can't even keep my recipe consistent. At this very moment, I am drinking a margarita with the following components: 2oz El Tesoro Platinum 1.5 oz Triple Sec 1 oz Fresh squeezed lime juice .5 oz Key Lime Juice The key lime juice is a natural sweetener and helps balance out the cocktail. At Maria's in Santa Fe, they use lemons, because the taste is more consistent. I've used a mixture of lemon and lime juice for the past couple of years, but am currently using lime and key lime. One of the better margaritas I've had at a restaurant was at Frontera Grill in Chicago, but I was disappointed that the mixture had so much refined sugar. I'm a bit of a purist, and I love a good margarita. Ok, so I'm obsessed with them. Feel free to check out my margarita web page and download my margarita book. I wrote it last year and gave them out as Christmas presents. The NolaFoodie.com Margarita Page -Kevin www.NolaFoodie.com
  12. Oh well, it was a shame that I didn't get to meet them, but I'm pretty ecstatic that I was mentioned! -Kevin
  13. I'll go ahead and second a visit to the bar at the Columns; and selfishly so. I've been going there for years, but I have recently been hired as the new manager for the bar ("The Victorian Lounge"). Although my official start date isn't until next week, I will be bartending there this Saturday night, as well as Easter Sunday night. I would be thrilled if they stopped in for a couple of bottles of champagne and a great view. Tell them to ask for me at the bar. -Kevin
  14. Aww Geez, you people are killing me! Now I have to go make some gumbo! I've got some duck breasts in the freezer, so I think I'm going to do a duck and andouille pretty soon. FWIW, I'm pretty impressed with the gumbo's that are being created. Usually I cringe when "non-Louisianians" attempt creole/cajun dishes based on flawed stereotypes, but there is some good stuff here. Keep 'em coming! Kevin www.NolaFoodie.com
  15. Amy, Great question. Sorry about your lack of response, but this board doesn't get a whole lot of of local traffic. There are several other places that are heavily traveled. That being said, I have an article on my website that I wrote a while back, titled "Where to eat in Lafayette" It should give you some good ideas. I'll chime in later on Abbeville - there are some great oyster places there. For posterity, I'll post the article below. Kevin www.nolafoodie.com Where to eat in Lafayette I lived in Lafayette for about six years and probably exhausted the supply of good restaurants, hence my return to New Orleans. Lafayette lunch is a lot different than New Orleans. Lafayette is big on the “plate lunch” mentality, which I thoroughly enjoy, and most of the best lunch spots are local. For dinner, there are several nice local restaurants; however, Lafayette has been inundated by chain restaurants. That being said, I ate at Chili’s about once a week when I lived there – it’s just too easy. Here are some GOOD recommendations: Café Vermillionville is located on Pinhook. Fantastic for lunch or dinner and has a great selection of Creole and Cajun food. It is more of an upscale, “white tablecloth” type of place, but it is worth the money. Blue Dog Café is average. I find that a lot of the food is heavy and over seasoned for an “attempted” Cajun cuisine. It is also located on Pinhook, almost directly across from Café Vermillionville. On Ambassador Caffery Parkway, Charley G’s is always a safe bet for an upscale lunch or dinner. The bar is a quiet setting for a cold beer or a Bloody Mary, and the food has always been good. Now that the Metairie location is closed, I have a feeling they are giving all of the attention to the Lafayette location. Hard for me to say though, I haven’t been in a while – but I’ve always had fond memories of the crab cakes and my favorite- the duck and andouille gumbo If you can make it a few miles north on I-49, I think Prejean’s has some of the best Cajun food in the world. Get a seafood platter and sample it all. It comes fried, but they will be happy to grill it for you. The shrimp dinner is to die for – fried shrimp, grilled shrimp, stuffed shrimp, shrimp gumbo… you know the drill. It’s worth the short 15 minute drive. You’ll likely be taking leftovers with you. If you want some mediocre San Antonio style Tex-Mex I suggest you visit La Fonda, on Johnston St. The place is an institution and the “place to be” for lunch on Friday afternoons. Locals have been known to start there at lunch and sip on margaritas all the way through happy hour and dinner (yes, I’ve done it many times). Be careful though, the margaritas are small, but the most potent I’ve ever had. It’s still a mystery as to what goes into them. Try the fried rabbit for an appetizer, and the cheese enchiladas and guacamole are some of the best I’ve had. If you are in the mood for a real treat, ask for the “Don Briggs Special.” It isn’t on the menu, so you have to be “in the know.” It is a filet mignon topped with sautéed onions and cheese - I suggest getting the cheese enchilada as your side dish. Wash it down with some margaritas; just make sure you have a place to take a nap afterward. Almost next door on Johnston Street is Pete’s sports bar – another Lafayette tradition. The hamburgers are fantastic, but no trip to Pete’s is complete without the homemade onion rings and homemade chips (yes, they slice the potatoes and make chips – fresh and hot). The beer is cold and the atmosphere is relaxed, but hey – it’s a sports bar! This is a great place for lunch or casual dinner. Another Lafayette institution is Judice Inn on Johnston St. Their hamburgers are out of this world and priced just right. You can probably eat two if you have a healthy appetite. Don’t expect French fries though – they’ve never had them and probably never will – have a bag of Zapp’s chips instead. A great lunch spot on the corner of Pinhook and Kaliste Saloom is Edie's. They are well known for their affordable lunches, fried chicken and best of all - the biscuits. I have to say, they are some of the best I have ever had. For office workers, a typical box of donuts on a Friday morning would be replaced by a box of biscuits from Edie's. Another thing they are well known for is their waitstaff, comprised entirely of good looking sorority girls from UL. An attorney friend of mine likes to call it "The Cajun Hooters," but I'll let you judge for yourself. Downtown are some great places for lunch. I always suggest T-Coon’s, especially on the days they serve the rabbit. Always a good selection for lunch and the service is usually fantastic. You get your food cafeteria style, so you get to pick from the selections of the day. To boot, the service is always smiling and perky (and attractive). Last but not least is Dwyer’s Cafe on Jefferson Street downtown. They have the most unbelievable plate lunches and a fantastic breakfast. I don’t even need to make a recommendation, just eat whatever they are serving; it will be good and hearty. Hope this helps, Kevin
  16. HA! You're not gonna believe this, but the first thing I noticed in that picture was that you were using a Mac! I have received a little traffic from the article. I'm surprised at how many hits that have come directly from the "internet" version of the article. Anyway, I thought it was a great article. To be fair, I did give Todd a hard time on the TF board about just moving into the area. I just haven't seen him in person yet to rag on him about it. Kevin Notes from a New Orleans Foodie
  17. Good places for takeout Uptown (I'm always looking for new ones!): Juan's on Magazine for tacos or burritos August Moon for Chinese Superior Grill for queso dip or enchiladas Reginelli's for pizza, salads or sandwiches Italian Pie for pizza and salads Trolly Stop for Burgers (don't laugh) Sugar Magnolia for Salads and Burgers (no more burgers during dinner) I'm sure there are others that I am leaving off. Anyone ever get takeout from Mona's on Magazine? I used to go to Beirut Cafe before they closed and turned into Nacho Mamma's. Kevin P.S. JavaJoe, the TF board is about to be switched to new software. It'll be similar to this software... really cool stuff. I know some of the guys over at NewOrleans.com, they are working on it as we speak.
  18. FistFullaRoux, I think we are going to have to agree to disagree on this one. The subject at hand is New Orleans BBQ shrimp, a dish that originated in New Orleans and contains NO BBBQ sauce. Period. There is no discussion on that. That's just the way it is. I'm not sure if you've ever lived in New Orleans (excuse my ignorance), but those dishes are not shrimp scampi, they are New Orleans BBQ shrimp. The recipe you describe is that of grilled shrimp. Looks like a good recipe. Cooking something on a grill is generally called grilling. Slapping BBQ sauce on food cooked on a grill doesn't necessarily make it BBQ. There is a difference between BBQ and grilled food. BBQ is food cooked slowly with indirect heat. Food that is cooked over direct heat is grilled. Hope this helps to clear up the misconception.... I have a couple of good grilled shrimp recipes, perhaps we should start a "grilled shrimp" thread. Kevin www.uptownkevin.net
  19. Mindy, What a coincidence! I made some BBQ this weekend too. I saw this post last week but finally had the time to register for the site. Below is my complete recipe, should be on the website by this afternoon. Uptown Kevin's Culinary Adventures New Orleans BBQ Shrimp BBQ Shrimp is a classic New Orleans staple. Quite a misnomer, as anyone who puts BBQ sauce on or near this dish should be sent packing. This is super easy to prepare, and my version REQUIRES Abita Amber beer, one of the best I have found for cooking. Ingredients Software 1 lb. Shrimp (heads still on) 2 Sticks Butter ½ Large White Onion 4 Cloves Garlic (Peeled and Smashed) Olive Oil Worcestershire Sauce 1 Bottle Abita Amber Beer (Do Not Substitute) Juice of one lemon Garlic powder Coarse Kosher Salt Fresh Ground Black Pepper Cayenne Pepper CajunLand Crab/Shrimp Boil (Powdered) Hardware 2 Quart Saucepan Large Pyrex baking dish Prep (5 minutes) Dice Onion Smash Garlic Clean shrimp and lay them in one layer the baking dish, sprinkle with kosher salt Cook (15 minutes) 1. In the saucepan, sauté onion until translucent, then add garlic (yes, in chunks), then the two sticks of butter. 2. When butter has liquefied, add each seasoning while stirring – garlic powder, salt, pepper, cayenne, crab boil and Worcestershire sauce. 3. Add the olive oil, stir, and then add about half of a bottle of beer (6-8 oz.). 4. Keep stirring; drink the rest of the beer. 5. When the foam from the beer subsides, pour the sauce over the shrimp in the baking dish. 6. Place under the broiler for about 10 minutes, stir, then another 5 minutes, or until shrimp are pink and cooked. 7. Remove from broiler and let rest for at least ten minutes. 8. Serve in a bowl with lots of sauce and pieces of po-boy bread for dipping.
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