Nawlin's dreaming...

A group of us went one Saturday evening to Acadiana for a birthday celebration. In the interest of full disclosure, I must add that the birthday girl was a former employee of the company and we had mentioned as much in our reservation. I'm sure thankful we did! Because considering the price-point, the service was pretty lackluster despite our insider connection. I tell you, I'd hate to see the non-VIP treatment! Specifically, we had completely finished out appetizers and were still holding the menus on our laps by the time our main-course orders were taken! In addition we were not told until it was time to order our entrees that they were sold out of the shrimp, which was pretty big let-down for the birthday girl, who had her mouth quite set for the dish.
Crummy service aside, the food was pretty fantastic--though a Cajun would shudder at "traditional" dishes that hover in the $20-30 range.

The pre-dinner Pimms Cup cocktail put me in a forgiving mood though--and had me back on Marigny Street in New Orleans.

I was delighted to see that the hot, buttery biscuits were served with a small pot of cream cheese and pepper jelly--one of my faaaavorite treats in the world, and a nice homey touch. The apps were all well-executed--crisp and greaseless fried green tomatoes topped with firm shrimp in a slightly spicy remoulade, the duo of beef and crawfish turnovers were delightful (though no better than the Natchitoches meat pies you can get a Shreveport's annual Red River Revel for a $1), and the gumbo was made with a dark, complex roux, just that way I like it! The deviled eggs were tasty, but chintzy--I mean, seriously, $7 for three egg halves? It was not even enough to share at the table.

The grillades and grits were decadent--the jalapeño grits had just the right amount of spice and the savory gravy coating the thin-pounded veal slices was rich and amply-seasoned.
Word has it that the beef filet was well-cooked, but to my mind that’s a dish you can order anywhere—I know restaurants have to feature a high-end beef dish… but still…YAWN.

We had a selection of desserts, which were all pretty good, but none standout. The Bananas Foster crepes were good, but not awesome, and the chocolate bread pudding was just too dense... could not help thinking wistfully of the best dessert that ever passed my lips--the bread pudding soufflé with bourbon cream at Commander's Palace...oh mercy...that was deee-vine. This was no comparison. The mini-pralines and heavenly hash served with the check were a charming touch, but wasted entirely on us…we were stuffed to the gills by that time. Too bad.
I guess it goes to show that DC is a far cry from New Orleans, no matter how you slice the redfish. And baby, there's nothing like the real thing!

Laissez le bon temps rouler!



I'm about to haul myself down south for a little r & r and I'm pretty damn excited. I love adventure and last minute travel, I just don't do it enough. I'm actually traveling for the pure reason that I want to experience some place new and see what kind of trouble I can get into (or, stay out of). The past two weeks have been pretty mellow, but also really wonderful. I liberated myself from an employment situation that just wasn't a good match for me, I've been doing some organizing around my house, working on the backyard, hanging out with some new and old friends, reading and just taking it all in. I like the fact that this mini holiday is about adventure, not escapism because truly, there is nothing here that I don't like.

Well, OK, there are some things I wish I could change, such as the parking cop who tickets me if I don't move my car by 7:05am and the man who practically screamed at me for entering the express lane at the supermarket with more than 15 items. Everything else (I'm avoiding going into a political diatribe to spare the vitals' readership) is pretty much enjoyable, dealable and/or part of my DC life. I can't believe that I'm actually feeling a little down because I wish I could take all of my friends with me. Just stuff them into my Kelty bag and know that they'll do just fine in the freezing under-belly of the plane. As soon as I land, I'll set them free and we'll all party down on the beach, like one happy family. Of course, I realize everyone will need to thaw and maybe get a little hydration, but my friends are survivors and tough. I know, this is a slightly twisted travel fantasy.

Well my friends, I'll be thinking about you all while I sip some cocktails and stare at the unbelievably turquoise colored water and dip my toes in the sugar-like grains that compose the beach area.