Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wag's on the Levee

Bite and Booze: Wag's on the Levee in Baton Rouge, LA
Today I ate lunch with Darrell Broussard, former LSU Student Body President and one heck of a guy, at Wag's on the Levee on Third Street in downtown Baton Rouge.  I've been there several times since I started my new job.  One of my offices is right around the corner so it is pretty easy to walk in for a quick lunch.  Wag's is good food but it needs some work.  The walls are barren, the tables and chairs are too ordinary, and the restaurant as whole has a real lack of character.  If that starts to come around, then business should pick up because the food is good.  Their menu features rotating tradition southern and soul food like fried chicken, stuffed bellpeppers, crawfish etoufee, and red beans and rice.  Today's special was smothered pork chops served over rice with a good brown gravy.  In fact, there is a country song about good brown gravy, so you know when it is right, it is some kind of tasty!

I had a side of green beans and macaroni and cheese (made with spaghetti noodles) with the pork chop. The chop itself was a little small, but the portions of food overall were plenty for a lunch. The meat was tender and moist and a perfect companion to the rice and gravy. The beans were cooked with ham and very tasty and the the macaroni and cheese was typical but good. The lunch specials only run $7.95, so its a pretty good bargain for a full plate of home-cooked-style grub. I've been to Wag's several times now and I'm sure I'll be back again.  It would not be on my list of eateries to visit downtown to eat at until it improves the ambiance of the restaurant itself, but if you are already downtown its worth giving a try, especially if you are in the mood for some southern classics!

UPDATE 1/12/2010:

I ate at Wag's again recently and was a little let down by the quality of food.  I ordered the special of the day, the smothered chicken, and it lacked flavor and came out rather dry.  The meal was edible at best, and I left full but not very satisfied.  The green beans and mashed potates were easily replicable by anyone with a can opener.  The cornbread had a sweet taste to it and was sadly the highlight of the plate.  Maybe it was an off day and an over-done dish, but I certainly wasn't happy this time around.  I guess I still couldn't argue with the price though!

Smothered Chicken over Rice with Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, and Cornbread

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Jimmy John's

Bite and Booze: Jimmy John's in Baton Rouge, LA I had my first Jimmy John's sandwich today and it was pretty darn good.  Jimmy John's is brand new to Baton Rouge.  My friend Kyle Wilkinson, who I've known since early college days, opened it up in the Perkins Road Overpass area.  The sandwich shop has a great atmosphere and is in a perfect location.  My first treat was a #11 Country Club.  It was a fairly standard turkey and ham sandwich with provolone cheese, lettuce, and tomato.  As always, I subbed the mayo for dijon mustard.  I'm not totally against mayo anymore, but it doesn't add anything for me unless the sandwich is completely dry.  That was not the case here!  I got them to add some oil, vinegar, and oregano as freebies to the thinly sliced meat on a fantastic, fresh baked, 8" loaf of french bread.  All in all the sandwich was a success... and for $6, it is hard to argue with the price.  Thanks to Kyle for bringing Jimmy John's to town and good luck with your business endeavor!  If anyone reading this is in Baton Rouge, make sure to go check it out!  They even deliver!

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Bite and Booze: Credit and Props I need to give credit where credit is due.  Thanks to John Suter for giving me this idea.  Thanks to Chetan Puranik for being encouraging and making me think that doing my own blog is a good idea.  Thanks to Tyler and Katie Hotzel for getting married last weekend and providing a weekend filled with great food, beer, wine, bourbon, and dear old friends.  Thanks to my Mom for giving birth to me and being, to a degree, my food and drink mentor.  Thanks to Eusebio Gongora for being the true foodie in my life and inspiring many great dishes and dining experiences, and always doing it with drink in hand.  I'm sure there are more, but that looks good for now.  Stay tuned fans...

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First Post

Bite and Booze: First Post Top o' the morning friendly readers.  Well, actually it is late at night.  This being the first post, I thought I should give a little explanation about what I'm doing here.  The purpose of this blog is to chronicle the many adventures that I have with food and drink.  It will hopefully serve at least two purposes.  First, it will be an excellent way for me to keep up with, and remember, all the meals and beverages that I consume over time.  This will be good for recommending places to eat, thinking about what to cook, and recalling good times spent with good friends around a table or bar.  Secondly, it is meant to be a source for the readers to use to get ideas of their own.  Looking for a review on a restaurant?  Maybe I've been there... and I'll at least tell you what I thought about what I ate.  Most of the culinary and indulgent experiences will come from home, which is Baton Rouge, La.  However, I am a man of travel.  I have been to over 40 of the 50 states, Canada, Mexico, Ireland, Portugal, Belgium, Germany, and The Netherlands, with hopefully many, many more locations all around the world to come.  I hope you enjoy the blog.  Come hungry, start off with a drink to whet your palate, and when you wake up the next day and try to wipe something off your face, don't be surprised if it is the floor!

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