Monday, March 2, 2009

Manchego, Krispy Kreme and New Orleans

I've been playing with the idea of starting a food blog, since - let's be honest here - until baseball starts, food is the only recreational activity that truly interests me. Plus, I try new restaurants, recipes and techniques all the time, so I'll be detailing all of my successes and failures.

But first, a review of my weekend exploits. Ah, New Orleans, what a fabulous gastronomical experience you are. I had a grand time. I worry that I am becoming an old lady, because Becca and I barely "went out." We ATE OUT quite a bit, but we didn't do the whole drinking-until-dawn routine of our youth. Honestly, I think both of us were ok with that. We had some very good heart-to-hearts. Despite the fact that both of us still have no idea what to do about our differing little dramas, we ended our trip feeling satisfied in our heads, hearts and tummies.

Friday night we went to a place called Mimi's in the Marigny. Mimi's is right by Becca's apartment and was recently voted best bar by the Gambit Weekly, although my friend Andy says he's not quite sold. We chose a sampling from the Hot Tapas Menu , the pinnacle of which was the Mushroom Manchego Toast. This little square of cheesy goodness was piled high with shaved mushrooms, a soft, melty layer of salty manchego and just-solid-enough piece of toast. Manchego was one of our cheeses of choice in high school, so it was fitting that it still has the power to bring Becca and me together.

The next day we went to the home of the famous Purple Truck, Boucherie. The small plates, alone, are well worth a return visit. I have to admit, that Boucherie may have been my favorite meal of the weekend. We went in for lunch and enjoyed a couple bottles of Abita Amber, which was surprisingly good, considering I have only ever had their very sweet Purple Haze. We started off with the Collard Greens and Grit Fries as well as a plate of the French Fries with Garlic Butter & Parmesan Reggiano. So good. I have to say I preferred Becca's BBQ Shrimp Po'boy to my Pulled Pork Cake, which was a little ridiculously constructed as a leaning-tower-of-pork. But the real gem at this place (which I will be attempting soon) was a Krispy Kreme bread pudding. It doesn't take much to get me excited about a bread pudding, but the super sweet hint of donut glaze in every other bite was transporting. There is something about glazed donuts that makes me feel so carefree.

While I had intended to try the fried alligator appetizer at Cochon, Becca insisted that I try the Fried Rabbit Livers. I don't think I've ever had liver, regardless of who it belongs to, but this was very good. It had a funny consistency that felt kind of like goat cheese, which weirded me out when I realized it wasn't. But I powered through and enjoyed myself thoroughly.

In other food related news, I found what is rumored to be a very fun cooking school that offers recreational classes. They do demonstration and participation classes for pretty much everything under the sun. I am going to a demonstration class (read: cheaper) this weekend on "dessert tapas" where we'll be trying bite-size delectables. I am very excited. One of my co-workers says he has bought their classes as gifts for his wife and that they are: "fun, social and involve food, " which pretty much meets my essential requirements for any kind of event. Apparently, I am going to an authentic Scottish bar this weekend as well. Mini raspberry cheesecakes to lamb haggis. Stay tuned.

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