Grab your tickets for The Taste benefiting the Mary Bird Perkins Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center

Check out all of Jay Ducote's products at the online store with free shipping on orders over $50!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Tin Roof's Rougarou Heads Out Today

Tin Roof Rougarou Imperial Black Ale
Last week I got my paws on a bottle of the brand new Tin Roof Rougarou Imperial Black Ale right as it came off the bottling line at the brewery. The screen printed 22oz bottle looks intimidating, and to some the beer inside might be as well. It is a black double India pale ale, or bdIPA. The beer is aggressively hopped with a rich roasted malt backbone. It pours dark and mysterious and then will light you up from the inside.

The Rougarou heads out of the brewery today as the Mockler Beverage trucks will pick it up and bring it back their warehouse. From there they'll divvy it up between retail accounts in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and the Northshore. BR bars that should have it on tap on Tuesday or Wednesday include The Cove, Pelican House, Bulldog, and both Chimes locations. Oddly enough, all of those spots were at the top of my recent post about the nine best places to drink craft beer in BR!

If you'd prefer to grab one of these amazing looking bottles to throw in your fridge (or drink it immediately after you drive home), they'll also be available on Tuesday or Wednesday at fine bottle shops like Calandro's Supermarket!

What's that? Tin Roof has bottles? Why yes, they do. They have this nifty three-bottle-at-a-time hand-fed contraption that fills up the 22oz bomber-sized bottles. So now you can expect some more of these in the future.

Tin Roof's Bottling Line
And don't worry... the Tin Roof Parade Ground Coffee Porter will be on its way in about a month, and it'll be in kegs and cans! I can't wait!

Friday, September 27, 2013

225: Into the Mix Episode 3 - Juban's Creole Restaurant

Serving up 30 years of fine Creole dining tradition, Juban's has been a mainstay in the Baton Rouge dining scene for three decades. I met new Executive Chef Joey Daigle at the bar then joined him in the kitchen to watch the production of their famous dish, the Hallelujah Crab. After getting hungry in the back of the house, I take a seat in the wine room where Chef Joey sends out a smorgasbord of delightful dishes which I wash down with a glass of Juban's honey bourbon!  


In case you missed them:
225: Into the Mix Episode 1 - Mason's Grill
225: Into the Mix Episode 2 - Magpie Cafe

225: Into the Mix is a project from 225 Magazine's Dine NewslettertommysTV, and Bite and Booze. I'd like to especially thank Manda Fine Meats and the Paretti Family of Dealerships for their sponsorship of the series that helped make everything happen.

Hosted by Jay Ducote
Produced by Jay Ducote and Tommy Talley
Director of Photography: Dan Jones
Editor: Josh Carley
Audio: Michael Lane
Graphics by Elbow|Room
Production Assistant: Dustin Davis

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Bite and Booze Radio Show: Chef Alex Hamman and Stephanie Sander


Chef Alex Hamman from the Louisiana Culinary Institute and Stephanie Sander from Stephsandy Consulting join me for this exciting episode of the Bite and Booze Radio Show. We talk about cooking biscuits, social media strategy, food writing, and much more. Enjoy!


The Bite and Booze Radio Show presented by Calandro's Supermarket airs on Saturdays at 5 PM on Talk 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge.  It is also available on iTunes.  The show's sponsors include Calandro's SupermarketVisit Baton RougeSlap Ya Mama Cajun SeasoningLouisiana Cookin' MagazineJuban's Restaurant, the Tin Roof Brewing Company, and the Louisiana Culinary Institute.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

anCnoc 12: Whisk(e)y Wednesday presented by Calandro's Supermarket

anCnoc 12 Year Scotch Whiskey
anCnoc 12 Year Scotch Whiskey
Whisk(e)y Wednesday returns to Scotland with the anCnoc 12 Year Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky. This lovely product presents light smoke and subtle sweetness on the nostrils of anyone lucky enough to catch a whiff. It made me think of a pear on a grill. Upon taste there is consistency as fruit sugars match with a puff of light smoke and leaves you enjoying a very sippable beverage. It is a baked apple surprise of wonderment. Slight notes of caramel and floral tones find the back of the tongue and the whisky leaves with a nice sweet finish similar to honeydew. The anCnoc also finishes with a lingering warmness and a nice balance between the smoke, sweet, and fruity flavors. All in all we were happy with this whisky and I'd certainly suggest it to anybody looking for a new Scotch to try!

anCnoc 12 Year Scotch Whisky

Average Score 78.33


Whisk(e)y Wednesday is a blog post series on Bite and Booze sponsored by Calandro's Supermarket. Calandro's has one of Baton Rouge's best selections of bourbon, Scotch, Irish, and other whisk(e)ys as well as wine and craft beer. This WW feature was scored by Jay DucoteEric Ducote, and Jeremy Spikes. Scores are marked for Nose, Taste, Finish, and Balance and Complexity using our own proprietary scoring system. Marks are then added and averaged, leaving us with a final score out of a 100 point scale. Our scale should be looked at on the full range of 0-100 rather than an academic range where 70 is passing and anything less is failing. A 50 should be considered a very mediocre whisk(e)y while anything below 20 is absolute horse piss and anything above 90 is rather extraordinary.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Bite and Booze Radio Show: CAUW Jambalaya Jam and Triumph Kitchen

This week the Bite and Booze Radio Show presented by Calandro's Supermarket featured some charitable acts that are sure to please your palate. Kendall Hebert joined me from the Capital Area United Way to discuss the 2013 Jambalaya Jam that is coming up on October 10th.  You can find tickets at CAUW.org/Jam.  Abby Cook from Dow also came in studio to support the Jam.  Also, Chef Chris Wadsworth from Triumph Kitchen came in studio to tell us about how his new cooking school for at-risk and underprivileged youth. Thanks for listening and helping share this very exciting episode of the show!





The Bite and Booze Radio Show presented by Calandro's Supermarket airs on Saturdays at 5 PM on Talk 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge.  It is also available on iTunes.  The show's sponsors include Calandro's SupermarketVisit Baton RougeSlap Ya Mama Cajun SeasoningLouisiana Cookin' MagazineJuban's Restaurant, the Tin Roof Brewing Company, and the Louisiana Culinary Institute.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Ranking Baton Rouge's Nine Best Places to Drink Craft Beer

Louisiana Craft Brewers' Tap Handles
Louisiana Craft Brewers' Tap Handles
In honor of the first Louisiana Craft Brewers' Week, I assembled a team of craft beer drinkers and experts to create a list of Baton Rouge's best places to drink craft beer. I asked each participant to rank their top six spots (bars or restaurants) and then compiled the list and tallied the scores. In total, nine venues received votes and they all appear on the list in order of total points.

The team includes:

Jay Ducote, Bite and Booze
Brenton Day, The Ale Runner
Wayne Odom, Bayou Beer
Blake Winchell, Brasseurs a la Maison
Eric Ducote, BR Beer Scene

9. Burgersmith

Louisiana beers and burgers. That's the main thing about Burgersmith. They only have local beers. That's cool.

8. The Londoner

This English pub and grub joint on, appropriately, Sherwood Forest Blvd., is good for more than just a little footie in the wee hours of the morning. Their beer selection is a nice assortment of British Isles imports and American craft, and they also do beer dinners every now and then.

7. Radio Bar

The Radio Bar on Government Street is exactly the kind of neighborhood bar that Mid City needed and they do a pretty decent job with their beer list as well. Between the tap lineup and an eclectic bottle list, Radio Bar will have a beer for everyone.

6. Slinky's

For years Pamela Sandoz has had one of the best kept beer secrets in town. Hopefully she doesn't mind me getting that word out a little bit. Behind the bar of the Chimes Street dive are a couple coolers with an impressive collection of various bottled beer. There isn't a wall of taps or keg room to be found, but Slinky's makes the list because of the bottle assortment that makes beer drinkers happy. She also does monthly beer tastings that are a whole lot of fun.

5. Red Zeppelin

With over 30 taps and great daily specials, this unassuming pizza joint on Perkins has clearly caught on with the the local beer drinking scene. With $3 for any pint on Tuesday and Wednesday, it can be hard to stay away! Holding release parties for beers like Saint Arnold and NOLA beers certainly helps too.

4. The Chimes

The only selection with multiple locations in Baton Rouge, the Chimes came in strong with a spot in the top four places to drink craft beer in Baton Rouge. Those 19.7oz imperial pints are certainly appreciated! The original Chimes at the North Gates of LSU is where many people including myself first learned to appreciate craft beer. In fact, I have my name on the wall twice for going Around the World at the Chimes, though that model was more based on big imports rather than true craft beer. Word around the campfire is that they will be transitioning soon from Around the World to a sort of Around America craft beer promotion. I can't wait!


3. Pelican House

A new addition to the Baton Rouge beer landscape, the Pelican House has shot up the list with their impressive lineup of 136 beer taps with no main label Bud, Miller, or Coors to be found. For the vast majority of people, a stop at the Pelican House will bring about beers never tried before, and possibly even never heard of before. The completely remodeled building boasts a bright interior with natural light, local art, drop down TVs, and plenty of space for large gathering. And there's a conference table in the back where you can look important. Trust me, it works.

2. The Cove

The Cove has long boasted one of the largest alcohol collections on the Gulf Coast and is absolutely worth paying a visit just to see Tom's collection. For a while, all the booze at the Cove came in bottles, even the beer. The bottle list is still just as strong, but Tom's addition of the tap room has cemented the Cove among the top beer bars in the city. With a different set of taps than any other bar in the city, the Cove will always have something different that you can't find anywhere else.

1. The Bulldog

Narrowly taking the top spot from our panel (the top three were really all very close) is the Bulldog. I do believe that the Bulldog offers the best overall beer-drinking atmosphere with character, grub, and selection. With around 80 taps featuring a lot of locally brewed beer, Baton Rouge's Bulldog location is the equal if not superior to the New Orleans locations. Throw in the outdoor area, dog friendliness, comfortable seating, and of course, again, the beer, and it is easy to see why the Bulldog sits atop the standings.


What are you thoughts? Can you think of somewhere that didn't make the list? Do you agree or disagree with this order? Let me know in the comments below or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. And please share the post to get more people in on the conversation!

Friday, September 20, 2013

225: Into the Mix Episode 2 - Magpie Cafe

Seasonal, local, and organic aren't just buzzwords at Magpie Cafe on Highland Road, they are the real deal. In this second episode of our new web series 225: Into the Mix (Miss the first episode at Mason's Grill?), I head to Magpie to sit down with owner James Jacobs and chat about coffee, espresso, and more. Enjoy!


225: Into the Mix is a project from 225 Magazine's Dine NewslettertommysTV, and Bite and Booze. I'd like to especially thank Manda Fine Meats and the Paretti Family of Dealerships for their sponsorship of the series that helped make everything happen.

Hosted by Jay Ducote
Produced by Jay Ducote and Tommy Talley
Director of Photography: Dan Jones
Editor: Josh Carley
Audio: Michael Lane
Graphics by Elbow|Room
Production Assistant: Dustin Davis

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Connemara Cask Strength: Whisk(e)y Wednesday presented by Calandro's Supermarket

Connemara Cask Strength Irish Whiskey
Connemara Cask Strength Irish Whiskey
After serving as the Wildman of County Longford for a stint in 2006, my travels eventually brought me to Clifden, Ireland, near the lands of Connemara. On the west coast of the Emerald Isle I learned how to sail, met many other adventurers, and got some glimpses of the surrounding peat bogs. Connemara National Park lies just north of Clifden which all sits between Galway and Westport. The Connemara Cask Strength Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey is more akin to a Scotch than traditional Irish elixirs. With peat smoked barley, this cask strength version is a variation of the regular Connemara Irish Whiskey that has been reviewed before on Bite and Booze. The cask strength version actually didn't fare quite so well in our scoring. The smoke is evident on the nose as the fires of Clifden billow out of the bottle. The taste is like eating burnt chicken from the inside out so the first part is normal but perhaps a little dry but the tail end tastes of charred leather and dried tobacco. The smoke is aggressive and masks all other flavors. It'll warm you up, and certainly has a place by a campfire while smoking a cigar on a cold evening, but other than that the lack of balance will get to you.

Connemara Cask Strength Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Average Score 62.67


Whisk(e)y Wednesday is a blog post series on Bite and Booze sponsored by Calandro's Supermarket. Calandro's has one of Baton Rouge's best selections of bourbon, Scotch, Irish, and other whisk(e)ys as well as wine and craft beer. This WW feature was scored by Jay DucoteEric Ducote, and Jeremy Spikes. Scores are marked for Nose, Taste, Finish, and Balance and Complexity using our own proprietary scoring system. Marks are then added and averaged, leaving us with a final score out of a 100 point scale. Our scale should be looked at on the full range of 0-100 rather than an academic range where 70 is passing and anything less is failing. A 50 should be considered a very mediocre whisk(e)y while anything below 20 is absolute horse piss and anything above 90 is rather extraordinary.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Martinique Bistro is a Gem in the Big Easy

Smoked Salmon Starter at Martinique Bistro
Smoked Salmon Starter at Martinique Bistro
Every now and then I have a culinary experience at a restaurant which blows me away. With so many options in New Orleans for world-class cuisine, I've been equally impressed and disappointed over the course of time. It takes a unique combination of tradition and innovation to truly impress me these days. Not to say that I don't like almost everything that I get to eat. I most certainly consider myself to be a food and beverage enthusiast rather than a critic, but I mean to really impress me, it takes something special. To stand out to the point that I'll tell my closest friends that they have to eat somewhere. To meet a chef that reminds me about why the term culinary arts truly is an art, and why a master of kitchen magic is every bit an artist as someone whose medium is canvas or lyrics. Martinique Bistro on Magazine Street in New Orleans had that kind of impact on me. Sitting five blocks away from Audubon Park, it is a quaint gem with an outdoor seating area that is sure to bustle in the fall and an inside dining room small enough to shake everyone's hand from the center table. I got a spot with Aimee Abernathy next to a window overlooking Magazine. Chef Eric Labouchere greeted our table and told us to enjoy the ride as he prepared to unleash a flurry of his finest creations on the summer menu at us.

Double Thyme at Martinique Bistro
Double Thyme at Martinique Bistro
Manager Jennifer Sherrod started me off with a Double Thyme to go with a couple starters before our main courses started flowing. The Double Thyme blended High West Double Rye whiskey, Meletti Amaro, Rothman and Winter Apricot, Lilet Blanc, and thyme. I do love a good, well balanced whiskey cocktail, and the Double Thyme worked perfectly to whet my appetite and prepare me for the ensuing gorge.

Chilled Watermelon Gazpacho with Cucumber-Lime Granita
Our meal began with the smoked salmon, a reimagined crostini dish on housemade brioche with vidalia onion, hard boiled Louisiana quail egg, flying fish roe, and caper aioli. The visually stunning dish put together expected flavors with a modern focus to create a couple fantastic bites of scrumptious salmon. At the same time chef sent out a cup of chilled watermelon gazpacho with Louisiana blue crab and a scoop of cucumber-lime granita. The cold appetizer beautifully blended the fruit flavors and it all worked well with the crab at the bottom. During a hot New Orleans summer, this is a go-to dish for a refreshing starter!

A trio of chickpea crepes were garnished with chili oil and topped separately with field pea hummus, heirloom squash ratatouille, and feta.
Socca
Our tasting menu kicked in with the Socca. A trio of chickpea crepes were garnished with chili oil and topped separately with field pea hummus, heirloom squash ratatouille, and feta. The creative pancakes were delicious savory bites that served as vessels for multiple mediterranean flavors. Next up came a fish dish featuring loup de mer or European seabass. The sauteed fish sat atop butter poached chanterelles and some tender greens. The mushrooms and fish played off each other in the red wine and butter sauce. The taste danced on my tongue as I took bite after bite. It truly is one of the best, more refined seafood dishes that I've had in awhile. It had nothing too complex. Nothing molecular happened to any element of the dish. It simply featured great products, simply prepared, seasoned wonderfully, and combined on plate to make a beautiful arrangement of complementary flavors. I want to cook like that.  

Loup de Mer with Beurre Rouge and Butter Poached Chanterelles
Loup de Mer with Beurre Rouge and Butter Poached Chanterelles
The meat course excited me from the moment I sat down in Martinique Bistro and laid my eyes on the menu. A boneless new zealand lamb loin with cucumber and sweet onion pickles, israeli couscous, meyer lemon-watercress aioli, and tomato-sherry vinegar demi-glace awaited my taste buds. Anybody that reads enough Bite and Booze knows that I detest pickles. They are my arch-nemesis of food. But here, I almost, sorta, maybe looked forward to them. I certainly admired the choices that went into the flavor combination on the dish. There was a lot happening on one plate and I didn't want anything to overpower the lamb, but that didn't happen. The medium rare lamb loin took on the medley of gastronomy and came out a winner because of it. The dish had a certain tang to it for sure due to the vinegar in the pickles and demi as well as the lemon in the aioli and the garnishing tomatoes. Still, it worked. Every bite of lamb and couscous with accoutrement felt like middle eastern flavored fireworks exploding on my tongue. Bravo, chef. Bravo.

Boneless New Zealand Lamb at Martinique Bistro
Boneless New Zealand Lamb at Martinique Bistro
Of course, with this much goodness, there had to be dessert. I wouldn't dare ruin an epic meal like this without giving it the proper ending that it deserves. Chef sent out a couple sorbets and a couple ice creams to kick off the sweet tooth rally. I don't actually remember what they all were, but I do recall that the ice cream on the far right below is a chanterelle mushroom ice cream. If that doesn't sound good to you, well, you'd be wrong. The earthiness of the mushrooms made love to the rich creaminess and sugar in the ice cream to create a truly unique and amazing dessert. Chef Labouchere had one last trick up his sleeve. He presented Aimee and I with a blueberry cornmeal tart complete with blueberry curd and lavender chantilly. Another splendid dish, this dessert hit right on the money balancing the natural sweetness from the berries with the nearly savory cornmeal crust.


Blueberry Cornmeal Tart
Blueberry Cornmeal Tart
My experience at Martinique Bistro came to an end but I know for sure that I'll be back. This uptown eatery impressed me immensely. I know they'll have a fall seasonal menu coming out soon, so your chances to try any of these dishes may be limited to only the next couple weeks. I'll have to make sure I get back there once the new menu is out. I can't wait to see what Chef Labouchere comes up with next.

Martinique Bistro on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 13, 2013

225: Into the Mix Episode 1 - Mason's Grill

Yesterday a brand new web series called 225: Into the Mix launched to great reviews. I say that because the reviews are truly great, not just because the video is about me going out to find the best bite and booze that Baton Rouge has to offer! Episode one takes me to Mason's Grill on Jefferson Highway to get in the kitchen with Chef Jason Darensbourg and create three of their signature burgers. I also chat with Kristin Alfandre about their famous Bloody Mason's. Watch, and enjoy. A new episode will come out each week!


225: Into the Mix is a project from 225 Magazine's Dine Newsletter, tommysTV, and Bite and Booze. I'd like to especially thank Manda Fine Meats and the Paretti Family of Dealerships for their sponsorship of the series that helped make everything happen.

Hosted by Jay Ducote
Produced by Jay Ducote and Tommy Talley
Director of Photography: Dan Jones
Editor: Josh Carley
Audio: Michael Lane
Graphics by Elbow|Room
Production Assistant: Dustin Davis

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tullamore Dew Single Malt 10 Year: Whisk(e)y Wednesday presented by Calandro's Supermarket

Tullamore Dew Single Malt 10 Year Irish Whiskey
Tullamore Dew Single Malt 10 Yr
If I haven't said it enough on the Whisk(e)y Wednesday series, I love Irish Whiskey. Perhaps it is because I spent the majority of the summer of 2006 roaming around the Emerald Isle as the Wildman of County Longford, but still, I love the Irish uisge beatha, or transated from Gaelic for you, "water of life." This Tullamore Dew Single Malt 10 Year Irish Whiskey is a little different than most Irish. The whiskey comes from one batch of malt rather than a true blend of different distillates. On the nose I detected a candy apple sweetness and noticeable cask wood. I described it as "Tears of Angels," while Eric detected some mineral and floral notes and Jeremy said the aroma gave off a sweet softness. On the tongue the Tullamore Dew does a nice riverdance with smooth and easy flavors followed by a touch of buttered popcorn for the viewer. It finishes even easier. Maybe even too nice. The whiskey is kind of one note throughout with a tinge of sweetness but no spice or other complexities. While smooth and inoffensive with an excellent balance on the palate, it left me wanting a little more. Still the Tullamore Dew Single Malt 10 is most certainly a nice addition to any whiskey collection, especially for one who appreciates Irish whiskey as much as I do. With a score in the low 70s, it certainly passed our test!

Tullamore Dew Single Malt 10 Year Irish Whiskey

Average Score 71.33


Whisk(e)y Wednesday is a blog post series on Bite and Booze sponsored by Calandro's Supermarket. Calandro's has one of Baton Rouge's best selections of bourbon, Scotch, Irish, and other whisk(e)ys as well as wine and craft beer. This WW feature was scored by Jay DucoteEric Ducote, and Jeremy Spikes. Scores are marked for Nose, Taste, Finish, and Balance and Complexity using our own proprietary scoring system. Marks are then added and averaged, leaving us with a final score out of a 100 point scale. Our scale should be looked at on the full range of 0-100 rather than an academic range where 70 is passing and anything less is failing. A 50 should be considered a very mediocre whisk(e)y while anything below 20 is absolute horse piss and anything above 90 is rather extraordinary.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Damn! Toups' Meatery Impresses.

Jay takes a shot of Jameson out of a beef bone at Toups' Meatery
You know you're at a uniquely fantastic restaurant when you are requested to take a shot of Irish whiskey using a sawed in half bone out of which you just consumed the marrow. It turns out, the marrow bone works quite well as a whiskey luge and the flavors picked up from the remains of roasted goodness enrich the water of life quite well. Michele took a shot too as we dined at Toups' Meatery, a mid-city New Orleans restaurant that has quickly shot up the charts of not-to-miss dining locations in the Big Easy.

The bone marrow dish, as if the rich marrow followed by a shot of Jameson weren't enough, came topped with escargot and served with chicken liver mousse. We followed that up with some mussels in a white wine chili broth that tasted absolutely incredible. French bread is made for mopping up sauces like this. I also couldn't go to Toups' without indulging in their housemade cracklins. The morsels of pork skin, fat, and muscle are fried twice until they crack in the hot grease. There's nothing wrong with that!

Michele prepares herself for a shot of Jameson with bone marrow remains

Bone marrow with escargot

Mussels, white wine chili broth, grilled bread

Cracklins

We weren't finished at Toups' Meatery just yet. With a bottle of Horrow Show from the Vending Machine Winery to split, Michele and I continued our feast on more meat. We were dining at Toups' Meatery, after all. This is no place for vegans or vegetarians, nor is it a place for a standard cut of meat. You must have at least a slightly adventurous mind and palate to truly appreciate Toups', which is probably why I loved it so much. The Toups' Meatery Board came loaded with a chef's selection of house cured meats. We got more chicken liver mousse, hogs head cheese, sausage, rillons, and a smorgasbord of accoutrements. They were all delicious. Our final course came in the form of duck and pork belly, two of my favorite meats on earth. The confit duck leg and fatty pork belly were accompanied by more sausage and some potatoes and a balsamic duck jus. 

The Menu at Toups' rotates and changes fairly regularly, so while some of the options that I tried may not be available all the time, you can rest assured that whatever new dishes are on the menu, they'll be as unique and fantastic as mine. This is definitely a restaurant in New Orleans that I could see myself going back to over and over again!

Horror Show from the Vending Machine Winery

Meatery Board, selection of house-made fresh and cured meats and condiments


Duck, pork belly, weisswurst, petite potatoes, balsamic duck jus

Toups' Meatery on Urbanspoon

Thursday, September 5, 2013

EatLafayette: 1895 Cajun Cuisine & Pub

EatLafayette's summer-long promotion of their one-of-a-kind locally owned restaurants recently came to an end, but not before I could check out a couple stops along the way. With over 70 participating restaurants, it is easy to see why the EatLafayette campaign has been so successful. Julie Calzone and Madison Barras helped set up some meals for me around the Hub City. One of my goals for 2013 was to get myself to both Lafayette and New Orleans more, so I jumped at the opportunity to check out a few restaurants at which I had yet to dined. The first on the list sits at 1895 W. Pinhook and is aptly named 1895 Cajun Cuisine & Pub. Address them by name! It opened at the beginning of 2013 so they haven't even hit their one year mark yet, but it seems like the restaurant is well on track to be around for a while. With plate lunches galore and a nice seafood offering, 1895 provides a nice local option in a busy shopping center. Now for a rundown of my feasting frenzy:

Cajun Crab Cake: full of lump crab meat and deliciously seared to create a nice crunch!

Atchafalaya Bites: cornmeal dusted catfish nuggets with tartar sauce

Crawfish Etoufee: a bed of rice smothered in a home-cooking mixture of Cajun trinity and crawfish tails

Mahi Mahi Tacos: fish tacos with mango salsa, poppy seed coleslaw, and chipotle sour cream
Plate Lunch: pork roast and gravy over rice, just like Maw Maw makes it! Never underestimate Lafayette's plate lunches

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Corn Grits: looks like a mess in my picture, but this was one of my favorite dishes!

White Chocolate Bread Pudding: what's not to love?

1895 Cajun Cuisine & Pub on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Elijah Craig 12: Whisk(e)y Wednesday presented by Calandro's Supermarket

Elijah Craig 12 Bourbon
This is a bourbon worth having in the collection. The newest addition to the Whisk(e)y Wednesday leaderboard on the right side of the screen, the Elijah Craig 12 has impressed the judges. No, it didn't quite break 80, but please remember how difficult it is to score that high on our scale. We don't just hand out scores in the 90s here. We make whisk(e)ys earn it, and few do. A 78 is actually quite a good score, and Elijah Craig ought to be proud of that. On the nose I smelled all the elements of a Snickers ice cream bar. Vanilla, chocolate, nuttiness, caramel... it was all there. On the tongue the whiskey presented a little spice around the edges with a thin amount of oaky char in the middle. The whiskey went back like a breeze on the beach, fleeting, with a lingering kick. I found the whiskey to have a great balance of sweetness, spiciness, and smoothness that is difficult to achieve. While not super complex, the balance absolutely worked for the Elijah Craig 12. As I said, if you are looking for a solid workhorse bourbon to add to your collection, you won't be upset with this bottle.

Elijah Craig 12 Yr Bourbon

Average Score 78


Whisk(e)y Wednesday is a blog post series on Bite and Booze sponsored by Calandro's Supermarket. Calandro's has one of Baton Rouge's best selections of bourbon, Scotch, Irish, and other whisk(e)ys as well as wine and craft beer. This WW feature was scored by Jay DucoteEric Ducote, and Jeremy Spikes. Scores are marked for Nose, Taste, Finish, and Balance and Complexity using our own proprietary scoring system. Marks are then added and averaged, leaving us with a final score out of a 100 point scale. Our scale should be looked at on the full range of 0-100 rather than an academic range where 70 is passing and anything less is failing. A 50 should be considered a very mediocre whisk(e)y while anything below 20 is absolute horse piss and anything above 90 is rather extraordinary.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Evolution of Creole Cuisine hits the James Beard House in October

The Dickie Brennan family of restaurants will take on Manhattan on October 3rd as they present a meal titled "The Evolution of Creole Cuisine" at the historic James Beard House. Multiple New Orleans chefs and personalities will ascend to the Big Apple to put together this feast for the ages. This certainly looks like a meal that will make Louisiana proud. I just wish I could be there!

On September 11th Dickie Brennan & Company will be presenting an exclusive dinner menu highlighting the resources of our region and celebrating the art Creole cuisine. This special menu is a preview to the actual James Beard Dinner in New York City. Limited seats are still available for the preview dinner at Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse and be purchased by calling 504.522.2467.




The chefs and personalities that are putting on the dinner include:

Host Dickie Brennan
Bourbon House, Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse, Palace Café, and Tableau, New Orleans

Brandon Muetzel
Palace Café, New Orleans

Darin Nesbit
Bourbon House, New Orleans

Alfred Singleton
Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse, New Orleans

Ben Thibodeaux
Tableau, New Orleans

Pastry Chef Stephanie Bernard
Tableau, New Orleans

Beverage Director Barry Himel
Tableau, New Orleans