It’s Restaurant Week in Baton Rouge and we decided to kick it off by going to Bistro Byronz on Government. It’s housed in what looks like a renovated house, so you can be sure that it’s pretty small but cozy inside. The vibe it gave me was that it could be a nice date night place for lunch or dinner. The Restaurant Week prix fixe (how do you pronounce that? It’s like I don’t even speak this language..) menu includes a reduced portion selection of apps, entrees, and desserts and I went with it Tuna App, Steak Frite Bleu, and the Mini Smores Bread Pudding. The Tuna App features seared tuna slices atop fried wonton skins. It’s drizzled with a sweet and salty (Asian) glaze that I think was a soy sauce and hoisin sauce reduction and sprinkled with some sesame seeds. And it’s garnished with pickled ginger and a creamy wasabi sauce, which had a very light wasabi taste that wasn’t overwhelming. 

My steak frite bleu was a flat iron steak, cooked to medium (though it came out cooked a bit more than that I think), and covered in bleu cheese crumbles. When I started I wondered, “She didn’t give me a steak knife… How am I going to cut this?” Instead of waiting for the waitress to come around I tried to use the butter knife that I had at the table. It worked. A good sign! Flat iron steak is definitely something I want to look into cooking. Slightly chewy, tougher than other more popular cuts of steak, but very flavorful. The frites were some of my favorite version of fries: super thin and almost like potato sticks. But there was something about them that didn’t make them spectacular though. Maybe it came from the moistness of the roasted vegetables, which was underwhelming and only slightly seasoned. Not awesome by themselves but contrasted with the strong flavor of bleu cheese. 

I didn’t enjoy the bread pudding all that much. The marshmallows were melted down but hardened next to the ice cream, making it difficult to cut and hard to chew. 

If I did it again, I’d recommend the half and half cheese chips and the mini cookie parfait. The cheese chips because the chips tasted home made, kettle style. The cookie parfait because it was a cookie and ice cream, and it tasted better than the bread pudding to me. 

The food was tasty and I’d go there again to try everything else though! 

An attempt at making ceviche. I used this recipe minus the bell peppers and I scaled down the recipe cause I only had a little over half a pound of tilapia. First off, I’m not sure I’d recommend tilapia again. I used it cause the guy at the fish market recommended it to me… though he had never tried it before (I think he suggested grouper, but he didn’t have any at the time). Lessons learned: use the number of tomatoes it calls for cause it makes it more salsa-y, quarter the onion and then slice thinly cause otherwise you wind up with really long pieces that you can see sticking out in the picture, don’t let it marinate for more than 4 hours cause I did it overnight and it was way too sour or maybe it was because I didn’t rinse it cause I’m a bad recipe follower… that means I’ll have to try again!, maybe mix in lemons too cause limes are really sour, I used under a pound of fish and scaled down the portions and still had a crap ton of food so make sure to use less next time especially since I’m still learning. Welp those are a lot of notes! I’ll have to figure out how to make it less sour next time! 

An attempt at making ceviche. I used this recipe minus the bell peppers and I scaled down the recipe cause I only had a little over half a pound of tilapia. First off, I’m not sure I’d recommend tilapia again. I used it cause the guy at the fish market recommended it to me… though he had never tried it before (I think he suggested grouper, but he didn’t have any at the time). Lessons learned: use the number of tomatoes it calls for cause it makes it more salsa-y, quarter the onion and then slice thinly cause otherwise you wind up with really long pieces that you can see sticking out in the picture, don’t let it marinate for more than 4 hours cause I did it overnight and it was way too sour or maybe it was because I didn’t rinse it cause I’m a bad recipe follower… that means I’ll have to try again!, maybe mix in lemons too cause limes are really sour, I used under a pound of fish and scaled down the portions and still had a crap ton of food so make sure to use less next time especially since I’m still learning. Welp those are a lot of notes! I’ll have to figure out how to make it less sour next time! 

My first impression of Mooyah’s was, “Looks like a Five Guys in there.” It really did. Right down to the hats on the cooks. But they didn’t have any peanuts. You choose your burger single patty, double patty, cheese, then you can pick from an extensive list of typical toppings. It’s not unlike other “gourmet” style fast food burger joints that have been springing up the past few years. I got it dressed the Mooyah way which had lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, grilled onions, some other stuff probably, and Mooyah sauce. What is Mooyah sauce you collectively ask? It was described as “sort of like Thousand Island, but much better.” How I interpreted it: Big Mac sauce. Not bad guys, but not totally unique either. I added some fried onion strings too. The burger patty was smashed and slightly crispy like Smashburger, the bread was nice and toasted on both open sides, and it was served on a metal tray (which is another thing I’ve noticed about expensive burgers) like at Company Burger. It was a good burger. Nothing eventful, but it holds its own. The sauce? Has those bits of relish in them that make the sauce seem familiar. The fries are supposedly made in house every day. And they were wholesome and crispy. I particularly enjoyed the bits and ends because they were especially crispy and soaked in oil. 

I also got a small, mint chocolate milkshake. It was a tough experience drinking this thing. I think it was still full of frozen chunks of 100% ice cream cause they kept getting stuck on the end of my straw. And towards the end the flakes of mint chocolate got stuck on the end of my straw. I think drank most of it by just tilting it into my mouth. Again, nothing eventful about this. I wish they used bubble tea style straws like Hopdoddy in Austin did. Pass on the mint chocolate and get something that doesn’t have extra things in it that could get stuck in your straw. Jim seemed to be having an easy time with his vanilla milkshake. 

Anyway, the service was great. Almost no mistakes in our order. They give you a weird receipt with the toppings you request itemized on it. So it sorta makes you look like a fatty. Also, I had to disregard the slight stereotyping that happened (do any of us practice karate…? Haha!). But beside that they took the order well and came around at our table to check up on us. 

Will I come back? Maybe.. But I think there are other places more worthy of my time (Burgersmith). There are also other burger places to try!

Mooyah on Urbanspoon

Recently I got to go to San Antonio to visit for a day. Right before hitting up the Alamo, we chose one the highest rated Mexican places on Urbanspoon and found Rosario’s Mexican Cafe Y Cantina. It did not disappoint. The restaurant looks like it can house a large number of patrons and has festive, colorful decorations. Many of our fellow diners looked Hispanic… which I took as a good sign. The salsa was green with hints of red. It was refreshing and light, and I couldn’t stop eating it with those fresh chips. We got a small ceviche as an app. It had a great mix of white fish, lime, red onion, cilantro, avocado, among other things. It reminded me that ceviche is a great option for fish consumption, and I’m going to have to try to make it! Then I got to try tongue (lingua or lengua?) for the first time. Without thinking about what it really is or what it looks like, tongue is a super tender,  yet slightly chewy meat. Quite delicious mouth texture-wise, but LOOKING at the texture of some of the pieces reminded me a bit too much of looking at my own tongue in the mirror. I tried not to think about it too much. Also pictured is a roasted jalapeno on an enchilada dish. It was the hottest jalapeno is ever eaten. I don’t know what crazy Mexican farmer grew that pepper, but it was slow stoppingly hot. Rosario’s was one of the best places on my trip!

I put chips into my sandwich and there were people who were shocked by this. I’ve had similar reactions to dipping fries in a milkshake. I thought I was normal!!!

I put chips into my sandwich and there were people who were shocked by this. I’ve had similar reactions to dipping fries in a milkshake. I thought I was normal!!!

Samples at Lake Charles’ Arts and Crabs Festival. Local vendors, including several places I’ve never heard of, cooked up their crab dishes, and local artists showcased their art and crafts. Local breweries also had their craft beers available. Most notable dishes for me was the crab and corn bisque from Street Breads. Favorite beer was the Pontchartrain Pilsner. Yum.

Samples at Lake Charles’ Arts and Crabs Festival. Local vendors, including several places I’ve never heard of, cooked up their crab dishes, and local artists showcased their art and crafts. Local breweries also had their craft beers available. Most notable dishes for me was the crab and corn bisque from Street Breads. Favorite beer was the Pontchartrain Pilsner. Yum.

mouthfools:

Mini King Cakes
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looks delicious

mouthfools:

Mini King Cakes

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shared via WordPress.com

looks delicious

Food wrapped in leaves.
I feel that foods that are wrapped in leaves and then cooked are popular among lots of cultures. It’s so tasty! 
In this case, it’s seasoned glutinous rice with braised pork inside. The rice tends to pick up hints of the leaf’s aroma. 
So that means foods with different types of leaves used as a wrap taste slightly different. Some are boiled, some are steamed. And this changes the way the rice is composed. Sometimes the rice is cooked beforehand, sometimes it’s raw before cooking. 
I know in other cuisines, rice isn’t the only thing that is wrapped in a leaf. So my question is: What other cultures do this? And what types of foods are wrapped in leaves??

Food wrapped in leaves.

I feel that foods that are wrapped in leaves and then cooked are popular among lots of cultures. It’s so tasty! 

In this case, it’s seasoned glutinous rice with braised pork inside. The rice tends to pick up hints of the leaf’s aroma. 

So that means foods with different types of leaves used as a wrap taste slightly different. Some are boiled, some are steamed. And this changes the way the rice is composed. Sometimes the rice is cooked beforehand, sometimes it’s raw before cooking. 

I know in other cuisines, rice isn’t the only thing that is wrapped in a leaf. So my question is: What other cultures do this? And what types of foods are wrapped in leaves??

Pizza Consegna, a delivery only pizza place, had a “Pop Up Restaurant” in the Hyatt of New Orleans yesterday. A pizza buffet style meal with pizza, salad, and dessert pizza! I had a really good time sampling everything they had. Pictured from the bottom to top are the quattro formaggi, pepperoni, bbq chicken, and pulled pork. They were all so great. I was a huge fan of the cheese pizza, and I never order cheese pizza. But the attention and care they put into designing it made it filling and flavorful. The pulled pork came in a close second. Smoky pork, a little on the dry side (from the baking process I imagine), but the taste won me over. BBQ chicken was really moist and popular with my friends. The most special thing on it was cilantro leaves, which really complimented the red onion and bbq sauce flavor. The pepperoni was a classic. Can’t go wrong with that. 
The crust really won me over. Thin crust, crispy goodness. I love flatish breads.
After tasting all of their pizzas, I’m definitely going to have to order this sometime. Their usual operation includes 18” thin crust pizzas for $11. Free delivery to limited areas around CBD. I love the message that these guys are sending: locally sourced, organic foods, delivery on electric bikes. Does that sound like something I would like… or what? I would love to support local businesses like this.

Pizza Consegna, a delivery only pizza place, had a “Pop Up Restaurant” in the Hyatt of New Orleans yesterday. A pizza buffet style meal with pizza, salad, and dessert pizza! I had a really good time sampling everything they had. Pictured from the bottom to top are the quattro formaggi, pepperoni, bbq chicken, and pulled pork. They were all so great. I was a huge fan of the cheese pizza, and I never order cheese pizza. But the attention and care they put into designing it made it filling and flavorful. The pulled pork came in a close second. Smoky pork, a little on the dry side (from the baking process I imagine), but the taste won me over. BBQ chicken was really moist and popular with my friends. The most special thing on it was cilantro leaves, which really complimented the red onion and bbq sauce flavor. The pepperoni was a classic. Can’t go wrong with that. 

The crust really won me over. Thin crust, crispy goodness. I love flatish breads.

After tasting all of their pizzas, I’m definitely going to have to order this sometime. Their usual operation includes 18” thin crust pizzas for $11. Free delivery to limited areas around CBD. I love the message that these guys are sending: locally sourced, organic foods, delivery on electric bikes. Does that sound like something I would like… or what? I would love to support local businesses like this.

Pizza Consegna (Hyatt New Orleans) on Urbanspoon

Manning’s Jambalaya with Braised Short Rib. Also had brussels sprouts w/ onions. I think the jambalaya had salted pork, instead of sausage, and chicken. It was full of Southern spices and packed solid heat. The braised short rib was cooked just long enough so it was full of flavor and fell apart with the tug of the fork. The brussels sprouts were crunchy and the onions were sweet and tasty.
The feeling I got from the restaurant was… weird. Sports bar TVs and noise mixed with elegant and fancy food. I guess if you order like the table next to us did— rare steaks and french fries —then it would have felt more fitting. It was difficult to have a conversation without yelling, which detracted from the experience. Service was fine and fast, though.
Anyway, thanks to Ms. Cindy for bringing me along! 

Manning’s Jambalaya with Braised Short Rib. Also had brussels sprouts w/ onions. I think the jambalaya had salted pork, instead of sausage, and chicken. It was full of Southern spices and packed solid heat. The braised short rib was cooked just long enough so it was full of flavor and fell apart with the tug of the fork. The brussels sprouts were crunchy and the onions were sweet and tasty.

The feeling I got from the restaurant was… weird. Sports bar TVs and noise mixed with elegant and fancy food. I guess if you order like the table next to us did— rare steaks and french fries —then it would have felt more fitting. It was difficult to have a conversation without yelling, which detracted from the experience. Service was fine and fast, though.

Anyway, thanks to Ms. Cindy for bringing me along! 

Manning's Restaurant on Urbanspoon