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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