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Eat – NOT at the former Quarter Scene

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Eat, the current occupant of the space long known as the Quarter Scene Restaurant, was a chance destination last week. We had been meaning to try it, six months after an uninspired brunch. We used to eat at Quarter Scene once a month or so, particularly for breakfast, but our first visit had not inspired confidence. But you never know, things might have improved!

Sorry, they didn’t. It was a Friday lunch, with the back half of the restaurant closed off and only five tables. It still took us an hour and 15 minutes to get through our meal. Fast food it was not.

We waited five minutes for the waiter to come and take our orders for water and iced tea, another five minute for their delivery, and then we had to beg for menus. I ordered the plat de jour, a meatloaf, but with a salad instead of the macaroni and cheese and baked beans sides. My companion ordered the fish sandwich (it’s Friday in New Orleans).

We waited interminably trying to figure out how a fried fish sandwich and the meatloaf off the steam table could take so long.

Finally the fish sandwich arrived, baked instead of fried. Not worth eating, but less writing home about. The meatloaf? Not bad, but the mac and beans still made their appearance.
On the whole a 2 out of 10.

As for the decor? Perhaps South Beach needs another tired restaurant with semi-modern green and white decor. But you can’t eat decor, and the old Quarter Scene had a certain charm.

My real beef is the lack of breakfast. This restaurant has been a staple of breakfast in the French Quarter for years. It was the best food of the day, not cheap, but not expensive, and the Quarter Scene had developed a loyal following of locals and tourists. Why give up this solid business?

Base line: 2/10 for food, 2/10 for service.

The bill, including tip, ran about $22 for two for lunch.

Mr. B’s – The Gumbo’s Back

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

It had been an least two years since any of us had been to Mr. B’s. So we decided to celebrate two birthdays with lunch at Mr. B’s. Two Gumbos were on the menu, a chicken and andouille and the classic Mr. B’s seafood gumbo. We decided that the seafood gumbo is the touchstone of New Orleans gumbos. Elegant, tasty, and sensuous. Worth the visit.

We loved the food. Duck, pork, and steak. Best of that old Brennan charm. But where’s the rabbit that was often a feature on the old Mr. B’s?

Service was a trifle spotty by Mr. B’s standards, but better than most any where else. Desserts were not compelling. Someone described the molten chocolate cake (moulleux au chocolat) as more of a chocolate cup cake.

Total about $25 per person for lunch, not including the champagne splurge. Of note is the martini special pricing at lunch. Too bad they don’t sell them as six packs…

The restaurant was packed with happy returnees. Reservations (remember those things?) a good idea…

Cafe Minh – Those skinny eggplants are indeed fabulous!

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

Those skinny eggplants are indeed fabulous!

Do you like eggplant? How about scallops? How about gently roasted Japanese eggplant, so sweet that you eat it with the skin. It’s the base for three enormous scallops. Someone in the kitchen at Cafe Minh knows how to brown the scallops perfectly to bring up the flavor. A heavenly dish, not cheap at about $12 but worth every penny.

Summer rolls with peanut sauce. The perfect beginning.

About $45 with tip for two. Not a cheap lunch, but a relaxing moment in the very modern interior.

Accessible by streetcar just one block off Canal and Claiborne.

Former chef at Lemon Grass.

Lil Dizzy’s gains ground on Esplanade.

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

Lil Dizzy’s has finally managed to find a service staff to match the food.

Wednesday breakfast after Jazz Fest we descended as a group of five. One order of waffle, one shrimp omelet, one eggs with fried catfish and two orders of liver and eggs.

In the past I’ve ordered the shrimp grillades and grits. That’s shrimp with a sauce over grits and it’s heavenly.

The waffle was crisp and tasty, the omelet got two thumbs up, the catfish got a maybe and the liver got a heads up.

But the nice report is that this restaurant has finally found some servers who can provide good service. Our visits before have found the servers charming, but unable to remember to bring the coffee, or the orange juice, or whatever else, with endless arguments echoing from the kitchen area.

This trip was very different. Efficient, solicitous service.

Try the shrimp….

Playing Hookey at Acme

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

Everyone else was at Jazz Fest enjoying Crawfish Monica.

We slipped into Acme with a wait of only about ten minutes. We hope you enjoyed the fest, but we got to sit at the bar, drink beer and tatter a friendship. The question under discussion? Not the war in Iraq, but which is better, the fried oyster poboy or the combo oyster/catfish poboy.

How do they balance the oysters and bread so perfectly?

What does everyone else have too much bread?

It’s enough to make golf on TV almost bearable….

Cafe Adelaide wows us with its service!

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

Cafe Adelaide wows us with its service.

At last, the service matches the food.

Cafe Adelaide has been a long time favorite for its food, but its service has been erratic. Things were always worked out, but not with the customary Brennan aplomb.

How good was the service? One of our party wanted to adopt our waiter as her 14th grand child…..

And the food was wonderful. Short ribs done in a modern fashion that would make my grandmother happy, and wonderful fish. The best cheesecake in town.

Another post about the food, but the service is finally in place.

Angeli’s Pizza Aspires

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

Angeli’s Pizza Aspires.

So what’s with the new table tops? What happened to the old, rickety but very authentic pizza joint tables.

Angeli’s Special is our favorite. White sauce, garlic, artichokes, chicken. Ethereal. Look no further.

Not your frathouse pizza.

Good beer, funky movies on the wall, and sometimes music (hope the new table tops don’t mean that white table cloths are coming!).

About $12 for a small pizza on the Friday night before Jazz Fest. The service has moved up from good to excellent. Do you suppose it’s the new table tops?

On Decatur. Open at almost all hours.