5 Reasons to use REAL Absinthe in your Sazerac

30 Jul 2014

The "Toulouse Red Sazerac"

So many bars and restaurants in New Orleans use "absinthe substitutes" when making the "official cocktail of New Orleans," the Sazerac. Using a substitute is, by definition, using something other than the original. It's time to stop, and here's five reasons why:

1. It's historically accurate. - from the 1850s, when the Sazerac as we know it now, was created, until 1912, absinthe was used to coat the chilled glass, then the rest of the contents poured into the glass. Absinthe was banned in the United States in 1912, forcing bars to use "substitutes."

2. You won't lose your mind. One of the criticisms levelled at absinthe distillers by temperance activists at the turn of the 19th-20th centuries, was the notion that absinthe's green coloring was the result of adding copper salts to the drink. These salts would improve the green tint. While there are cases of shady distillers and sellers "improving" the color of their absinthes, this was not a common practice. It's certainly not happening now--go tour Atelier Vie's distillery in Mid City any weekend they're open to the public for tours and bottle sales, and they'll explain how their product is made.

3. It's not expensive. The Sazerac recipe calls for absinthe to "coat" the glass. Use a pourer on your bottle and let a few drops hit the glass, then rotate the glass to spread it around. That's not even half a shot, so you can afford to use the good stuff.

4. It's more potent. Absinthe substitutes are usually, 90-100 proof (45%-50% alcohol by volume, or ABV). Atelier Vie's Toulouse Red is 136 proof, (68% ABV). When you drink Sazerac with a substitute, you're not getting the same kick you would from Antoine Peychaud's original.

5. It tastes better. The real thing is so much more flavorful. That's why local bars such as 12 Mile Limit and Winston's Pub have crafted cocktails around Toulouse Red and Toulouse Green.

So, next time you're in a bar downtown or in the French Quarter, ask your bartender how they make their Sazerac. If they don't say they use absinthe, request it, and travel back to the 19th Century!

"20 Days of Charity" (for @RMHCNewOrleans) at Remoulade by @ArnaudsNOLA

17 Jul 2014

Arnaud's Remoulade on Urbanspoon


We went out to Arnaud's Remoulade last night, to help out Ronald McDonald House's night in the restaurant's "20 Days of Charity." Remoulade is owned by Arnaud's, the classic, old-line, Creole-French restaurant, located on Bienville Street, around the corner. Arnaud's opened up Remoulade, their "casual side" facing Bourbon, which was just brilliant.

Erstas! Clockwise, starting with the red one at the top: Suzette, Bienville, Ohan, Rockefeller, Kathryn. It's great to get such class New Orleans food without having to do the full "fancy restaurant" experience.

Turtle Soup, another taste of local goodness. Mrs. YatCuisine had the "Taste of Louisiana," which starts with turtle soup, then a Natchitoches meat pie and some crawfish etouffee.

"Bourbon Street Blues Burger" - this was tasty! The bleu cheese was good, and a bit of Remoulade's Creole Mustard hit the spot.

Remoulade has cocktails, several Abita Brewery beers on tap, lots of bottled beer, and wine by the glass. If you ask, they'll get you the full wine list from Arnaud's. I asked, and chose this nice Italian red.

We finished dinner by splitting a creme brulee, and I had a coffee. Lovely evening for a great cause!

New Orleans Food & Spirits in Bucktown

12 Jul 2014

New Orleans Food & Spirits on Urbanspoon


We've been to New Orleans Food & Spirits before, and decided a Sunday afternoon might be a fun time for a return trip. It was!

Abita Amber draft. Great start.

Tasty seafood gumbo. You can tell the server was a bit jittery, as she brought the soup to the table in her hand, rather than on a tray. Remember that, aspiring servers. The gumbo was good, not the best I've ever had, but the roux was thick, not lumpy, and the seasoning level was proper.

Mrs. YatCuisine's Shrimp Remoulade Salad, with the dressing on the side. Grilled shrimp, not too spicy, but not bland, either. Tomato was fresh, and the remoulade, well, it was OK. The earth didn't move. I don't want to convey the impression it was bad, because bad remoulade makes you want to run like Godzilla's down the street. It was OK.

Half a muff. Proper. Delicious. Can't go wrong with good bread and good ingredients. This was so good, I quickly forgot how indifferent I was to wife's salad.

Cheesecake for dessert!

In summary, we'll be back again. The food is good and consistent, albeit not platonic.




Individual King Cakes

13 Feb 2014

I saw these at Zuppardo's out in #themetrys. I had no idea who/what "Caluda's" is, but the grocery store's barcode system gave me a clue. The price sticker listed the item as coming from "Dianne Randazzo's." When I double-checked the address of Caluda's, it was indeed the same Elmwood location. I'm guessing Dianne Randazzo either sold out, or changed the name of the business.

As you can see by the icing, it's a Randazzo-style cake. As such, it's OK. Is a slice of a larger king cake better? Yes. Also, there's no baby in these individual cakes, and they're $5 apiece.

All those negatives aside, they're cute.

Oslo Dining - New Delhi in Oslo Sentrum

12 Feb 2014

New Delhi

Address:Øvre Slottsgate 10, 0157 Oslo, Norway
Phone:+47 22 33 63 72

website tripadvisor yelp

If you walk down Karl John's Gate, just past the Parliament building in downtown Oslo (an easy walk from my regular hotel), there's shopping and dining. New Delhi is one of two Indian restaurants on Øvre Slottsgate, and one of my go-to places.



This is Handi Gosht, with rice and garlic naan. I've also enjoyed their Rogan Josh, Mutton Shahi Korma and Chicken Shahi Korma. New Delhi calls their super-hot curries "Madras-Vindaloo," and both the Lamb and Chicken are tasty. I usually get samosasas a starter here. The Onion Bhaji is good, as are the soups. To drink, beer, of course.

New Delhi bills themselves as "Punjabi," and this is good, representative Northern Indian food.

Drinks and starters at @IrishHouseNOLA

30 Jan 2014

The Irish House on Urbanspoon

Had drinks and picked at starters with the lovely and talented Laura Bergerol last week at Irish House. Always a fun time!


These are "Cornmeal Crusted Barbequed Oysters with firecracker coleslaw" - the coleslaw isn't so "firecracker," but who cares? The oysters are wonderful.

"Irish cheese platter Trio of cheese with toasted soda bread, cornichons and berry compote." This lovely combination of cheeses didn't stick around long.

"Truffled Chicken, Wild Mushroom, Smoked Gouda and Cilantro Tart drizzled with truffle oil." This is cheesey and wicked. The chicken, 'shrooms, and cheese come together. It's comfort food you just can't make easily at home.

Naturally, no trip to Irish House NOLA would be complete without multiple pints of Murphys!

While this wasn't a full meal, it's worth reporting on Irish House. Chef Matt describes his place as a "Gastropub," and that's quite accurate. Whether you treat Irish House as a restaurant, or as a pub, either way you get wonderful food and drinks.


Beer Notes: Perfect Tin

24 Jan 2014

Perfect Tin is an American-style amber ale from Tin Roof Brewery in Baton Rouge. It's a nice amber, not as heavy as the ubiquitous Abita. Perfect Tin's got a malt flavor, with just a hint of something--chocolate on my palate.

I first had Perfect Tin on tap at Walk On's in Baton Rouge, when we helped move kiddo in for the fall semester at LSU this year. Zuppardo's sells it, so it's part of my regular rotation now.