Great @ChefCDB feature...

1 Oct 2012

It's a conversation with Chris DeBarr and author Jamey Hatley. Love this thought from CDB:

Defending holy ground: That’s, to me, the simplest description of “terroir.” Forget all the fancy French business about wine. It means “holy ground,” and I’m going to defend that land with my last breath. I know the magic that this land can produce, and that’s why Faulkner just has one little county, and that’s why Borges just does the back slums of Buenos Aires. I think that, in a sense, farming’s like words. Working your little forty acres, mining what your experiences are, and understanding how those work, that’s where you get the strength.

Go read, it's good. Serendipity NOW OPEN at American Can in Mid City.

Big Band Music at @WWIIMuseum's "Stage Door Canteen"

29 Sep 2012

My kiddo is a trombone player, and enjoys a wide range of music. To celebrate his finishing up five years in his high school band, we went out to the Stage Door Canteen at the National World War II Museum to see their big band show, and have brunch.

A solo harpist played during the brunch seating. The Stage Door Canteen serves brunch from 11:30 until 12:45, then they clear away the food, dim the lights, and the show begins.

Food for the Stage Door Canteen is from The American Sector restaurant, which is just down the hall. The American Sector is a John Besh restaurant under the direction of Chef Todd Pusinelli. I had Grillades and Grits, along with Crawfish Egg Sardou in a Jar. The egg was delicious, with the hot Eggs Sardou base in the jar, then the egg itself slid in so it poaches right in the jar. In addition to these goodies, the buffet includes classic breakfast stuff (bacon, eggs, sausage), and lunch food such a roast beef and ham carving station, as well as one of the best duck gumbos I've ever had.

Mrs. Yatpundit and I split the bread pudding, and kiddo had some of the apple crumble for dessert. Also included on the buffet is the strawberry crumble dessert they do over at Borgne, the seafood restaurant at the Hyatt Hotel. Everyone gets one glass of champagne or a mimosa with the buffet, and they'll gladly sell you more. Coffee, juices, and soft drinks are all part of the buffet.

After brunch is broken down, the show begins! The current show done by the 17-piece Victory Big Band is based on Glenn Miller's classic "In The Mood." The band featured two female singers as well as a wonderful selection of 30s and 40s swing music. Truly enjoyable!

Birthday Celebration at @AntoinesNOLA!

26 Sep 2012

Antoine's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

My kiddo turned eighteen this summer! Since we let his older brother pick the restaurant for his eighteenth, we let kiddo do the same. I wasn't surprised at all when he made the same choice as his brother, Restaurant Antoine, on Rue St. Louis in the French Quarter.

Antoine's has had a soft spot in my heart since my high school days. Back then, I had a pen-pal (as in real pen-and-paper-and-ink pen-pal) from Germany. She was able to visit us in the summer between my junior and senior years. She had a cookbook at home that had a photo of a waiter at a New Orleans restaurant making Cafe Brulot, so my momma suggested I take her to Antoine's, since they created/invented Cafe Brulot. We went, had a wonderful meal, and I fell in love with the restaurant. It turned out that Antoine's was my late father-in-law's favorite restaurant as well, so that pretty much cemented its place for our family.

#bubbles! We started the meal with a bottle of prosecco, to toast the birthday boy. We munched on souffle' potatoes while perusing the menu.

a "2-2-2" of oysters...(clockwise from left) Rockefeller, Thermidor, and Bienville. The classic Oysters Rockefeller from the creators does not contain spinach! The Thermidor with bacon and tomato sauce, and the Bienville, with their baked/puffed-up white wine sauce. I like getting a couple of each of the oysters so we can share around.

Mrs. YatPundit doesn't do oysters, so she had Shrimp Remoulade. Antoine's remoulade is different from Arnaud's and Galatoire's. It's hard for me to say that any of the three are less than the others. They're all tasty, just enough differences that it's far from a "standard."

Gumbo! after the oysters, kiddo and I both had a cup of seafood gumbo. Of all the places in town that do gumbo, this is one of my favorites. I get it all the time when we stop at the Hermes Bar for drinks.

Poulet sauce Rochambeau - my favorite Antoine's entree. a thin slice of bread, then ham, and the "Rochambeau" sauce, which is a brown sugar and butter creation, Then slices of grilled chicken breast, topped with Bernaise sauce.

Kiddo had Poulet aux champignons, which he dug into too fast for me to get a proper photo. It's a chicken breast grilled with garlic and mushrooms. He orders this everytime we've taken him to Antoine's. He's not a big mushroom-eater, so I get to swipe those from his plate for me.

Filet de Boeuf sauce Marchand de Vin. People don't think of Antoine's as a steak place, but between this steak and the Chateaubriand for two, it's truly one of the best steak places in town. The menu lists the filet as "Nature," then you choose a sauce (if any). Mrs. YatPundit's favorite is the Marchand de Vin, made of beef stock, red wine, diced green onions, ham, and butter. Exquisite!

And what better way to celebrate a birthday than with Baked Alaska!

So much heritage and tradition associated with Antoine's, I can't do justice to all of it here, and especially with the mediocre photos that are all family allows me to take on special occasions (I'm banned from using the flash, for instance). We'll do a few more articles on Antoine's to make up for it. :-)

Dinner at @ChefCDB's Serendipity

25 Sep 2012

Serendipity on Urbanspoon

Serendipity on Facebook

We had dinner at Serendipity during Chef Chris DeBarr's "soft open" week before last. Mrs. YatPundit hates when I take a lot of pics when I'm out with her, so this is just a quick preview, rather than a full review.

Wine! This is a Portugeuse red. Mid-range price, and tasty.

Cheese! Chef is known for his selection of cheeses. I didn't remember the names, but the one on the left was hard, and like Manchego. The soft cheese in the middle was a "stinky" that had a great consistency and flavor. The one on the right was an aged Gouda. All winners!

Mrs. YatPundit had the "Cochon de Lait-Lei" pork, and I had the most magical "Lamb Baklava." No pics, which is how I stay married. I'll go back in the next week or two and do the place right, but I wanted to get some comments up now.

Steak at @FaultlineBrew!

11 Sep 2012

Faultline Brewing Company on Urbanspoon

Back to the brewpub! I really enjoy Faultline Brewing Company in Sunnyvale. Here's the beer menu at the bar, and that's a Stout.

I don't order steak regularly when I travel. There's usually stuff on a restaurant's menu that's far more interesting. With hockey and soccer on, and a stout in front of me, though, Faultline's bone-in ribeye called out to me. It was cooked just how I like it, a perfect medium-rare.

Dessert was the Belgian Tripel--a good version of this style. High alcoholic content and a great taste.

No way I was driving after that Tripel, but that wasn't a problem. There's a lovely walkway that links the various office buildings with Faultline and my hotel!

Pay what you want...

9 Sep 2012

Panera Bread, an established chain who have recently come to #themetrys, is testing an interesting concept in Chicago:

But recently, the sandwich and coffee giant Panera decided to get into the business with Panera Cares, a nonprofit version of the national chain. The company takes existing stores and donates the entire setup t the foundation. The money the store makes pays for the operations. Any additional profits go to local charities.

Makes and a bagel, $5.50, tell them keep the change. A lot of folks do that already at the local 'bux. Put them in upscale areas where you folks have the means to pay, and it should be a good deal. Looks like Panera's sorted out what to do when people who do have means come in looking for freebies:

Ron Shaich, the chairman of Panera and a co-founder of the chain, says that if “we see people are gaming the system, we’re going to say, ‘Why don’t you come in and volunteer?’ ”

And if you really do need the meal, then do a will-work-for-food. Put a few of these in the 'burbs and help folks.

The @PopeyesChicken biscuit as poetic device...

9 Sep 2012

Deadspin's Albert Burneko:

That's not quite right, though, because even Popeye's biscuits, perfect and heavenly as they are, don't quite fulfill the experience of eating Popeye's biscuits. Not by themselves, anyway. No, there's a proven best practice for eating them, and we're probably all familiar with it. It begins when you load up your plate with all the various other components of your fried chicken feast: a couple of pieces of chicken, a glob of mashed potatoes, a scoop of red beans and rice and/or coleslaw, a biscuit or two. Immediately these components begin to acquaint themselves with their little puck-shaped neighbor on the plate, like overdrunk dudes at a lousy bar rushing to crowd around the one cute single girl there,

There's no happier sight when getting off a redeye from Silly Valley to Atlanta at 5am than the Popeyes on "B" concourse at ATL. Sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit, please.

Or just the wonders of a 2-piece with cole slaw.


Windsor, UK, Dining - Nandos

7 Jul 2012

10 Thames St
Windsor SL4 1PL
01753 856993

My first week of this June trip to Europe started with a class in Slough, UK. That meant flying into London Heathrow Airport, and staying in either Slough or Windsor. I opted for Windsor (at the Sir Christopher Wren). After spending the afternoon walking around the castle and Royal Windsor, I wanted something quick and tasty. Nandos fits that bill nicely.

The Nandos in Windsor is on Thames Road, directly across from Windsor Castle, and two blocks' walk from my hotel. Easy access, and fortunately it wasn't raining.

I got the "1/2 Peri Peri Chicken with 1 'Fino' side" for £9.85. I chose the mashed sweet potatoes for my "fino" side (you can get one 'fino' or two regular sides with the dinner mains.) I just had a Coke Zero for a drink.

This was my third trip to a Nandos. The first was last year in Slough, then one by King's Cross in London, now Windsor. Each trip was a good meal.