Monday, May 26, 2014

New Orleans Restaurant Reviews

Clementines were our appetizer!
Meals from the Heart Cafe
Ordered: Poached Egg and Crab Cake Passion, Cheese Grits, Vegan Power Smoothies.

Some great things about this place:

  • It's located in the French Market and there's plenty of seating either at their counter or in an area with lots of tables/chairs. Because the French Market seems to be a bit of a tourist destination, the crowd is buzzy.  This place, however, gets visits from lots of locals!
  • They give you clementines after you order
  • Everything can be made gluten-free
I had my first crab cake at Meals from the Heart Cafe and I would return again and again for that crab cake.  It was light.  It was tasty.  It came with a sauce/aioli that was finger-lickin' good.  The cheese grits were delicious, but I needed to add hot sauce to bring out the depth in flavor.  The Vegan Power shake was huge and extremely satisfying. Into one smoothies they pack fruit, walnuts, flaxseeds, almond milk, hemp milk, and possible some other vegan delicious things.  I could have just had the shake for breakfast, but when in NOLA...

My first gfree crabcake!

Vegan Power Smoothies
 Lunch @ The Joint
Ordered: BBQ Chicken, Brisket, and Ribs with Sides of Coleslaw and Baked Beans

Outside at The Joint

Cocktails! A Bourbon Lemonade and a Jalapeno Margarita

BBQ Selfie

Oh yeah.  Clockwise: Baked Beans, BBQ Chicken, Coleslaw, BBQ Brisket, Ribs
The baked beans were outrageous.  I usually thing of baked beans as hot, thick, saucy, and extremely filling (and usually very sweet).  These were nothing of the sort.  They oddly tasted healthy.  Very light with a tangyness that complimented the pile of meat.  The chicken was perfectly moist, but without getting a bite of the skin or throwing some BBQ sauce on the meat, it didn't have the BBQ taste one might expect.  I loved the brisket and the ribs.  Hard to pick between the two.  Ribs were messier to eat, brisket was the perfect vehicle for getting in more BBQ sauce. The coleslaw was very good, but nothing to write home about.  Next time I go to The Joint, I'll try the Pulled Pork and be sure to come with a much larger appetite.

GW Fins
Ordered: Smoked Sizzling Oysters, 'Scalibut' with Pea and Lobster Risotto

Smoked Sizzling Oysters

Tasty.

OK.  So these oysters....they're pretty amazing.  The oysters are removed from their shell and marinated in butter (and probably some other things, but mostly butter).  Then, the shell of the oysters are heated to 500 DEGREES and the oyster are places back on the shell and cooked.  The result: creamy, hearty, smooth, delicious oysters that you can chew and that really taste nothing like I think oysters taste like.  But they are really really good.  If you like lobster, I think you will like these.  

Another pretty amazing dish: scalibut.  Scallops + Halibut.  A piece of halibut is covered in thinkly sliced sea scallops that are then seared.  The result: crispy scallops surrounding a perfectly cooked and extremely flavorful piece of halibut.  Not to mention this is served over pea and lobster risotto.  Not a dish for the seafood faint of heart (or someone looking for a really light dinner), but it was expertly executed.  I am glad my mom and I split both these dished because it was plenty of food after a day of eating (see above).

Arnaud's Sunday Jazz Brunch
 

Mother's Day Mimosas
Order: Four Course Brunch Pre-Fixe -- Shrimp Arnaud (shrimp marinated in the eponymous Creole Remoulade), salad, Eggs Sardou, Flourless Chocolate Cake



If you like a little kick with your shrimp in the morning, go for the Shrimp Arnaud.  Slathered in the Creole Remoulade, these delicious little shrimp pair perfectly with a mimosa or a Bloody Mary.  



Happy Mommy!
The Eggs Sardou -- poached eggs over creamed spinach with artichoke hearts was so good I could have licked the plate.  Even with the creaminess of the spinach, the dish didn't feel heavy.  A great springtime brunch option.

And then there was the fudge. I mean, the flourless chocolate cake.  This was like someone dropped a block of sweet, smooth, luxurious fudge on a plate and said it was cake.  I was happy.  Thank god for the whipped cream because the richness of this cake was extreme.

Arnaud's Flourless Chocoloate Cake

I was happy with ever single dish ordered.  I don't think you can go wrong following this trail of eats.

Bon appétit!