Jay D's will be back on store shelves in time for Football Season!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Month of Salads #7: Pronto Truck

The Pronto Truck's Baja Shrimp Cob Salad
The Pronto Truck's Baja Shrimp Cob Salad
Gourmet Girls Fine Catering has recently spawned the Pronto Truck. A drop of bright yellow sunlight at the base of the Perkins Road Overpass is the new "it girl" on the grab and go lunch scene. Gourmet Girls started the Pronto Truck because people kept trying to go to their storefront for lunch. After the demand began to grow they decided to cook items on a changing lunch menu in the Gourmet Girls kitchen, pack them up, and sell them through the Pronto Truck window. I went on Taco Tuesday and had their pulled chicken tacos. They were quite tasty once put together, but I imagine they would have been even better had they been assembled to order. Having that said, I had been seeing pictures of their good looking salads for days on Instagram and had to pop over and give one of them a try as well. The Baja Shrimp Cobb Salad contained every bit of crispness and deliciousness that I would expect from Gourmet Girls. Lovely boiled shrimp over mixed greens with cucumber, carrots, and tomatoes with a salsa ranch dressing provided a fresh bite on a seriously warm day. I look forward to trying the other salads they come up with.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Sazerac: Whisk(e)y Wednesday presented by Lock & Key Whiskey Bar

Lock & Key's Sazerac
The Sazerac is a cocktail of historic lore. The fact that it was created in New Orleans is undisputed, but the legends of apothecaries, pharmacists, and bartenders that contributed to the cocktail are vastly differing. One thing we do know is that the Sazerac started with a base of Cognac, Sugar, Peychaud's Bitters, a lemon peel, and of course a glass lined with Absinthe. Throughout the course of history due to a devastated grape crop in France and the craft wine industry successfully lobbying to outlaw absinthe, the cocktail transitioned from cognac and absinthe to rye whiskey and Herbsaint. Herbsaint, of course, is almost an anagram for absinthe, and highlights many of the same herbs as the Green Fairy minus the wormwood, the herb which was claimed to be hallucinogenic.

The Lock & Key Whiskey Bar features a more new world Sazerac on their featured cocktail list as well as on their happy hour menu ($5) from 4:30-7 PM M-F. The Sazerac-Sazerac ($10 regularly) begins with Sazerac brand rye whiskey and continues with the aforementioned bitters, and Herbsaint. You'll definitely get a taste of a fine Louisiana cocktail here!

Also of note, tonight at Lock & Key is their monthly Women & Whiskey Event. The free educational whiskey lesson is from 6:30-8:30 tonight. Anybody is welcome!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Black Magic Beers: Brew Dogs Works Voodoo into the Louisiana Craft Beer Scene

Martin Dickie (left) and James Watt (right) on a balcony in New Orleans, Louisiana
Martin Dickie (left) and James Watt (right) on a balcony in New Orleans, Louisiana

If you've never heard of Brew Dogs, now is the perfect time to do your homework. James Watt and Martin Dickie are the owners of Brew Dog brewery in Scotland, a rising star amongst the brewing constellation in the United Kingdom. Their show on the Esquire Network follows the pair as they visit brewing cities in America and concoct inspired beers along the way.

So why am I telling you about Brew Dogs? If you were listening in to the Bite and Booze radio show a while back, you could have heard NOLA Brewing's owner, Kirk Coco telling us about how these crazy guys were while brewing on an airboat in the middle of the bayou. James and Martin came down to New Orleans to see what Louisiana craft beer had going on and while they were here, brewed entirely on an airboat composed of flavors like mayhaw and the "resurrection plant", Rose of Jericho. During their stay, they participated in a friendly competition against Bayou Teche Brewing to test their skills pairing craft beers with the local cuisine.

Tune in August 20th at 9/8c on the Esquire Network to see how these Scots fair in the swamp!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Month of Salads #6: MJ's Café

The peach and blueberry salad at MJ's Café
The peach and blueberry salad at MJ's Café
MJ's has been one of my favorite hidden gems in Baton Rouge for several years now. Despite my carnivorous ways, popping in to MJ's for a freshly made soup, vegetarian sandwich, or a locally constructed salad really hits the spot for me at lunch time. Maureen Joyce, the owner, has always made it a point to serve the freshest and most local ingredients she can get her hands on. While she has a regular menu, I tend to stick to the rotating soups and salads of the day. This particular salad was made with fresh Louisiana peaches and blueberries atop a bed of mixed greens, fresh feta cheese, and roasted Louisiana pecans. The flavors worked so well that once Blair finished Instagramming and eating her cup of pinto bean soup, she took one bite of the salad and proceeded to praise the merits of the fresh flavors and diverse textures until her bowl contained no more. If you're ever in the mood for something amazingly delicious and local, stop in and let Maureen set you up!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Month of Salads #5: The Salad Shop

The Salad Shop
My Creation at The Salad Shop
After listening to one too many sad attempts made by Blair to change the lyrics to 50 Cent's "Candy Shop" to something about salad, I finally made it in to The Salad Shop for lunch. They have eight signature salads for the indecisive, but the coolest thing about The Salad Shop is their "build your own salad feature." While you can find this model at a few other places in town, The Salad Shop has four different types of lettuce, 52 toppings, and 16 dressings to choose from (you can even turn your salad into a wrap). It's like the mad scientist lab of salads! I mixed some romaine and arugula together and added in edamame, sliced almonds, feta cheese, red onions, sun-dried tomatoes, bacon, and avocado and had it tossed in Hanley's Sensation Salad Dressing! They throw it all in a bowl, chop it to bits, and boom! Whether you're on the go or have a minute to sit down and relax, The Salad Shop is a great place to veg out.