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Restaurants & Bars 8

In New Orleans this past weekend

Amanda | Oct 31, 200511:24 AM

I was in New Orleans this past weekend to look our new home over. Late last week I got a sudden call to come to the city to look at the place and our resistance broke down in the face of this opportunity, so we bought an unflooded three-bedroom double uptown, three blocks from our old apartment. The price hurts.

Now for the chow.

I ate lunch twice at the Flaming Torch on Octavia at Magazine, the food was pretty good and not overly expensive. I had the shrimp and artichoke heart pasta
for lunch Friday and then for lunch Saturday I had the Chicken Breast Filet in a Wild Mushroom Ragout. I pigged out with their Creme Brulee for dessert on both visits.

The chicken beats the pasta, hands down.

I had the French Onion soup for a starter on both visits. The soup's fair.

When I arrived at mid-day Thursday I went straight to RioMar for lunch. NO TAPAS AT LUNCH! I had the cuban roast pork (shoulder) with black beans and rice and a token fried plantain, the meal was very good.

Frank tired of hearing me recount my luncheon triumphs and so we went to RioMar for dinner Saturday, our only meal together this weekend because Frank's been very busy.

I had the assorted tapas plate to start and finished with the Zarazeula de Mariscos.

Frank had the three ceviche combination (I don't care for ceviche), the house salad with Hearts of Palm and ordered the chunk of roast pig - cuban style and very crispy. I begged nicely and received a few tidbits of pork from my beloved. meanwhile he had gone to the serving sation and liberated a soup spoon and helped himself.

The pork was fantastic and Frank praised both the salad and the ceviche combo.

Of course, he ordered the flan and an espresso for dessert and I managed a spoonful or two of flan when he was distracted.

We washed the meal down with a Riberio de Duero. Very robust and with overtones of soem kind of blackfruit.

After about two hours of cruising, we tried Cafe Du Monde for begniets but they close early. We then drove around the city - out Esplanade, North Carrollton, Canal, and made short loops (Frank's truck has a spotlight) on Jeff Davis and Broad, going a block or so either side of Canal. Those areas are completely deserted and there's not a light anywhere for blocks and blocks. It's eerie.

Sorry about digression and back to food.

Flaming Torch remains a solid restaurant, not a spectacular place, but one worthy of repeat visits. And of course, they're open for dinner. Most places in the city are not open for dinner, and I'm guessing that will be the norm until after New Year's.

Based on our dinner, I honestly think the food at RioMar is better than before Katrina. I strongly recommend the roast pig.

Seafood is apparently not as easy to get and is not coming from local sources as the local fishing industries are all still shut down - boats wrecked and there's too much debris in the water anyway. More things should be available in larger quantities as tme wears on.

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