Friday, October 9, 2009

Chelsea's Cafe

Bite and Booze: Chelsea's Cafe in Baton Rouge, LA Chelsea's Cafe is one of Baton Rouge's favorite establishments, and for good reason.  The new version of Chelsea's opened after the original was closed down due to the demolition of the shopping center that it was in at the North Gates of LSU.  Now situated underneath the Perkins Road overpass, Chelsea's has brought new life to the food and entertainment scene in the area.  Chelsea's is known for their food, live music, good drinks, and relaxed atmosphere in a setting that is unique, original, and locally owned.  It is a place that is 100% Baton Rouge, and towards the top of places to go to for any visitor coming to town.

Today I found myself at Chelsea's for lunch.  I met the two lovely ladies from the Voodoo BBQ post, Natalie and Laura, as well as my brother Eric, CMac, and Corey.  The six of us got situated at a booth and ordered a couple of apps for us to munch on as we chatted about life, work, and our LSU Tigers.

Hummus at Chelsea's Cafe

Spinach and Artichoke Dip at Chelsea's Cafe

The hummus at Chelsea's Cafe continues to be some of my favorite hummus in town.  There are a plethora of Greek and Mediterranean restaurants around town that do an excellent hummus, but Chelsea's is really something special.  They take the crushed chick peas and oil and place it on a plate with fresh, ripe Roma tomatoes, a large wedge of fantastic feta cheese, and finish it off with some great Greek olives and garnish.  The hot pita bread that is served with hummus is also delicious and is another one of those perfect vehicles for delivering a quality dip to your mouth.

Our other appetizer was the spinach and artichoke dip.  Served with same pita bread as the hummus, this dip was equally as tasty.  Chelsea's uses large pieces of fresh artichoke in their dip, which sets it apart from some of the other SpinArt dips in town.  It has that great balance of spinach, artichoke, cream, and cheese which makes spinach and artichoke dip a wonderful dish.  My only complaint is that the pita bread, while just as good, does not accompany the spinach and artichoke dip like it does for the hummus.  I would prefer a different dipping and eating method such as a homemade crispy chip or toasted crouton.  I feel like a little crunch would go a long way in making this one of the better appetizers on the menu.

For my main lunch course I ordered one of my favorite sandwiches in town, the Fried Calamari and Parmesan Poboy.

         

The Calamari Poboy is simple and delightful.  It contains golden brown calamari and parmesan cheese served on a soft, chewy, buttery poboy bread.  It is served with french fries and a side of Chelsea's famous spicy tomato basil soup.  The poboy itself was great.  The calamari had the right proportion of chewiness and crunchiness and the bread was wonderfully baked.  The tomato basil soup was as good as always and certainly towards the top of my list of best soups in town, but you do have to like a little kick.  The french fries were average at best.  They were a little soggy, but still tasted fine with a little Heinz.

The trip to Chelsea's was a great way to spend my lunch break on a Friday afternoon.  We had a great group of friends, good conversation, delicious food, and all for an affordable price!  Chelsea's used to be one of my more frequented hang outs.  I'm not sure why that stopped because the food and the atmosphere are still as good as always.

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