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Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday Night, Nola Part2

So we had just had a lovely experience at Rio Mar. We were on our way to La Boca, the Argentinian restaurant around the corner. On the way, we passed the corner place that used to be a coffee shop - some witty name. Damnit, I can't remember the name. Anyway, it was turned into a restaurant. It's now the Creole Skillet. Just catercorner to Mulate's.

Here's the link to the menu if you want to check it out:


I recommend the lobster springrolls. I remember how John Folse used to talk about them in our Cajun and Creole Cuisine Class. How his great grandaddy used to go down the bayou and catch them rascally lobsters and they'd pinch him and he'd pinch back...

Anyway, I think there were two seated tables in there.

So on to La Boca. We noticed how Rock n Sake was like a rave party. Quite different atmosphere from it's neighbor on the corner.

Then we were at La Boca. We walked in, and right away the chef saw The Food Pimp and came out to say hi. The maitre d' seemed a little put out. So it was pretty busy, we decided to sit at the bar. There just happened to be 2 open spots on the end. So we sat down.

The maitre d' came around to the other side of the bar and he said, well everyone else seems to know you, so I should meet you too. So he said his name. I can't remember it. Let's call him Armand. It was something like that. They had told us about this guy. He used to work at Andrea's. If you don't know about Andrea's then the reference is lost to you. Anyway, he's one of those Heil Hitler-y very orderly, very proper, by the book kind of maitre d's. Which is funny if you know Chef Big Love and Serioussarcastic Marathoner.

Anyway, the bartender asked us what we wanted to drink. The house specialty was a piso sour. It's like a margarita with brandy and egg white(for a frothy texture). It was good, but it was pretty sour. I think in my old age, I can't handle the acidity like I used to. I think I used to drink fresh lime juice and vodka. Anyway, it was a good drink nonetheless. And it was garnished with, I think it was nutmeg.

So the FP had told the chef to feed us, but we had already eaten a few dishes before, so not too much. He said, no problem. Keep in mind that he's a kinda big guy.

So the first course came out right away. I liked his style. Right to the point. So he gave us a kobe corned beef. With a little baby arugula salad. Very tasty.
So the picture is a little fucked up, because I only remembered to take the picture after we both had eaten a slice. It was nice and fatty tender. The corning spice was there, but not over the top. Very well done.

The next course was very exciting. The chef's wife, who bartends at Rio Mar, told us to get the gnocchi. So we got the gnocchi. Even though we didn't ask for it.

It was like a carbonara. I won't say that it was in case I'm wrong. Then someone will call me on it and say, "Well technically a carbonara should be with linguine" or some bullshit like that. One time I wrote something about corned beef being unhealthy, and someone practically bitched me out for that. In fact, a lot of people do a google search "Is corned beef unhealthy". So I guess that's up for discussion, but not in this blog. If you just did the google search and got to this page, my apologies for misleading you. Anyway peas, pancetta, parmesan, carbonara. It was delicious. Very nicely done gnocchi. Creamy, meaty, pillowy, peay, cheesy. I think that's all the points one wants to hit when one makes this dish. Just a really really good dish. It really reminded me of home. Not the kind of thing I eat anymore. I barely got my portion down though. Very rich and heavy. I only ate it all because it was in front of me. I think I'll have to start eat- training before I go to Nola next time.

Then came the main attraction. MEAT! Oh wait, we had already had meat in the two previous courses. Well, it was a meat and pasta kind of place after all...

So we got a plate of meat! Really. It was flank steak, grilled sweetbreads, grilled skirt steak, and then slow roasted skirt steak with the casing. Then we also got grilled asparagus and the garlic parsley fries. The fries were what the other bartender at Rio Mar had recommended.

Starting with the fries. They were delicious. Really well fried, and just enough of everything on them. But, boy, that was a big cone of fries. They were packed in there too. I knew we wouldn't even come close to killing those suckers.

The asparagus. I'm not a big fan, it's an okay vegetable. It's pretty on the plate. A bit overexposed. Like Angelina Jolie. She's the asparagus of the celebrity world, asparagus is the Angelina Jolie of the food world. I know I didn't have to explain that out, I just wanted to see how the comparison looked on the computer screen. It's fine. I'm not laughing out loud. But I don't really laugh out loud when I write this shit. Hopefully you laugh out loud when you read some of it. Hopefully your mouth waters too. I wish I had the power and influence to drive people to obsessively eat. That would be a pretty cool evil superpower. Then the Food Pimp's evil power would be to make people laugh right after I made them eat, and food would explode out of their noses. We would make a great evil duo!

Okay. The Angelina Jolie of the food world. There were a lot on the plate. Enough for like 4 hungry people. They were nicely cooked. Still vibrant green, but a nice bite. These were the medium sized ones. Not pencil thin (like Angelina Jolie) just right. They were pretty delicious, as far as Angelina Jolies go. I mean as far as asparagus goes.

On to the meat! The Meat! THE MEAT! It was good. We were tired and went home.

Ha ha! Just kidding. If you are an avid reader, you probably knew this trick from when I used it before in a previous blog entry.

Starting with the grilled sweetbreads. That's on the left under the lemon. We were both very intrigued by the idea of grilling. Neither of us, in our vast culinary experience had ever heard of grilling sweetbreads. They had nice grill marks. We both took a bite. Very strong, gamey. Then the center was firm, meaty gamey. A very different flavor and texture profile than when they are sauteed or fried. I think maybe grilled sweetbreads would be good for Sunday afternoon football. Grill up some sweetbreads and watch the Saints. Yeeeeeeeeaaaaahhh (read in a deep gutteral masculine voice)

So next lets talk about flank steak, baby... That's at twelve o'clock in the picture. So flank steak. Beautifully cooked. Dark char on the outside, nice a pink like a baby on the inside. If I ate baby, that's how I might want him or her to look like. What more can I say. It was delicious. We tried the different sauces - the green chimichurri, the mustard, the red pepper. The green was the best of course. The other two were good too though. It's just that the green went better with the flank. I slathered it on my steak. It was easy to cut through with my incisors. It was meaty tasting. Beefy. It was what was for dinner. Yum.

Okay, skirt steak grilled. At six o'clock. Similar to the flank. Char on outside, pink like a baby on the inside. Chew chew, yum yum, smack smack. Beef greases on my face. Dark taste. Voluptuous. Just look at it all hanging out there at the bottom of the plate. It's kind of obscene. It could be the centerfold in some carnivore's carnal lust rag. Some like the more ladylike cuts, like tenderloin. I can appreciated a nice piece of filet mignon, yeah, but it doesn't really get me greased up like skirt steak does. Now boys, if the FP and I for some reason don't work out, now you know the secret...don't abuse it.

So on to the you know what. The slow roasted skirt at three o'clock. Gaddamn son! That was some nice skirt! I wanted to put my head down and lick that skirt all over. So the casing was crunchy! You know, like slow roasted pig fat. Crunchy! I love crunchy! It's a shame that my teeth with fall out prematurely because I haven't been to a dentist in ages (go Democratic presidential candidate - go universal healthcare!). Then the flesh. Ooh...I just tore into that piece of skirt with such zeal. I felt like jumping on the bar on all fours and howling. I didn't. I just wiped my lips daintly and said, "My that was a very tasty dish. Perfectly executed." Okay, I didn't do that either. My reaction was somewhere between the two, but closer to the first scenario. The only bad thing was, that I was getting very full.

I barely managed to finish a piece of each type of meat. The chef had cut everything into 4 slices for us. We left about half on the plate. I felt so bad. I hated myself.

I couldn't fully consume what I fully desired. Oh sorrow, to be of larger constitution. Oh woe, my irony lies within my lining. That curved balloon-shaped organ - my incentive, yet also my deterent. Oh why? Why? Oh lord? Why hath thee givest me such viril manly appetite, and paired it such with such petite blushing maiden's digestive system. Yet still, I bear forth such manly disposal. Such wretched stench and vapour do escape forthwith. Why oh lord have you cursed me? You mock me. Do you sit in observance and make mirth of my affliction? You cruel trickster. Woe is me! That you may have pity on a humble servant.

(Okay. I read this aloud to check for grammatical errors - there were none - and I did laugh out loud.)

So getting back to 2008. La Boca. Meat. MEEEEAAAAAAAAATTTTT! We had some. We had to tell them to tell the chef that we were cashed out. We saw his face when the bartender told him. He looked pissed. Okay, maybe just disappointed. We had only gotten through 3 dishes. And we hadn't even eaten all of it. Pussies! I admit. We had a poor showing. So they completely took care of us in every way. Very nice people. Very nice atmosphere. It's the same layout as Taqueria, but they redecorated it to be upscale. It's very nice. If I lived there, I would go to La Boca more often. But I don't so I have only this memory for at least a year.

So we went back to Rio Mar and we thanked them for everything. I kissed Chef Big Love on one of his chins. Then we were back in the Titan and headed uptown. Oh yeah.

Lilette. If you don't know Lilette, it's Lilette. It's a very nice, proper bistro type uptown place. Very simple nice decor. It's got nice clean food, great ingredients. Great proprietor and chef - except he's an asshole. He knows how good he is, and he isn't afraid to let you know that he knows. He's hot shit on a silver platter. Really stinky.

We walked in, it was kinda late, not too busy. There were a lot of waitstaff just congregating in the middle of the dining room. We were looking for the king of couches. We didn't see him, so we took a seat at the bar. We ordered drinks. The FP got a vodka soda or something. I got an Alberto - I think. It was an A Italian name (no, not Alfredo). It was like a weird mojito. It had vodka, mint, lime and it was topped off with champagne. Not the best drink all night, but it had stiff competition.

So we asked the bartender if the king of couches was there. The bartender said that he wasn't feeling well, so he had left early. Or he just got married recently and wanted to go home early. So that was a bummer. That was the main reason we went there.

So then the Food Pimp asked if John Harris was there. No nickname for that bastard. He couldn't have a more fitting name, then John Harris. He is not just an evil superhero - he is a supervillain! He is great! Quite a character. I've never worked for him, so I just find everyone's hatred of him amusing. Anyway, the Food Pimp likes him. He likes how spiteful the guy is of his staff.

So the bartender said he'd see if he was busy. The bartender came back later and said, "well, he's kinda sick, he just came back from New York. He's eating right now." So we were like, okay, whatever. Get us a poached pear and goat cheese dessert.

So the guy brought us out the dessert later, and he said, "Sorry, John can't come out right now. He's got this allergy thing (he motioned to his nose) and he doesn't want the customers to see him." We were like, okay, let us eat this pear thing.

So for those of you that don't know, this is like a landmark dessert, when it first went on the menu like however many years ago that was when Lilette opened. It's got a poached pear,sweeted goat cheese quenelles and pistachios. It's very simple, yet just really a nice dessert. The pear that night, the FP pointed out, was a little hard. It could have been poached a little longer. The goat cheese was nice though, it was sweet, like cream cheese, and the pistachios were crunchy. That might not seem like a big deal, crunchy pistachios, but sometimes they get stale and one gets a salad or something with stale pistachios. That sucks. These were not crunchy of course. This was John Harris' restaurant.

So we got the bill. The bartender said, John's sorry, he's got that congestion, that allergy thing, so he's sorry he can't see you. He remembers you though, and he's buying your dessert. So hmm... either talk to John Harris or get our dessert comped. Hmmmm... which one would you pick. Vote now. Send your text to 44455. Text 1 for Seeing John Harris, Text 2 for dessert comped! (Must be 18 or older to play, or ask parent's permission. $1 per text, vote as many times as you like)

So we left. I was thouroughly ready to be done with food. Even though almost everything was fabulous. But I was ready to head on down to Molly's in the old pickup.

So we got to the quarter. We went to the Court of Two Sisters Bourbon Street bar to see Mozzfan69. He was "working" so he gave us some drinks, and we shot the shit for a while. He was talking about his new goth girlfriend that he met up in New York when his band was recording their album. See, that's how he would say it, make sure you knew he was recording. Good for him though, yay for the Public.

So then we went to Molly's to meet Hipster Cowboy and Big Gay Notgay. They both showed up almost the same time we did. We bellied up. Then after a while, Hipster Cowboy decided we should move to Mimi's. So we walked up the street. We went directly upstairs, of course.

We had previously left Container Girl and the King of Couches voicemails saying where we were and for them to meet us. So a while later, who came up the stairs, but the King of Couches. He saw us, and we jumped him. He was in a hurry though, he had to tell Container Girl to park the car. So a few minutes later, they walk up. We jump Container Girl, but she was not having it. She was pissed. She thought that we were sneaking into town and not telling them. But basically it was miscommunication and stuff. Eventually she got over it enough to drink and talk to us. So we all hung out till too late. That is what just seems to happen in Nola, you know, with no curfew and all...

So we made plans to hang out the next night, and we said our goodbyes. We went back to Dr. Authority on Everything's house and crashed out. I barely stirred when the alarm clocks went off the next morning.

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