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Report - KPaul's, Drago's, Mother's, JoeyK's

Tha Groovin' Gourmet | Dec 7, 200309:24 AM

Our recent trip over Bayou Classic weekend was all too brief, but we still got in some good eatin'! Here's the scoop(s):

Friday night - Drago's in Metairie. After driving all day we checked into our hotel which luckily is just a few minutes from the restaurant, one of our faves anywhere. We started off with the usual, a dozen charbroiled oysters and they rocked mightily as of the best hot oyster preparations we know of. I had a small plate - fried shrimp on tomatoes with bordelaise sauce - and it totally hit the spot. The missus had a caesar salad with fried oysters and it too was first class...the oysters perfectly prepared, the dressing with some nice garlicky bite.

Saturday lunch - JoeyK's on Magazine. Another one of our usual stops. The giant frosty goblets of Abita Amber are always a welcome sight. The missus enjoyed her poboy of 1/2 shrimp and 1/2 oyster and I totally devoured a bowl of corn crab bisque and a fried shrimp remoulade salad...the crustaceans were perfectly crisp and their remoulade is heavy on the mustard and cayenne.

Saturday dinner - KPaul's. Needless to say we were eagerly awaiting this meal, and while it didn't disappoint, it didn't totally knock our socks off either. We had requested upstairs seating, but were told that they had closed off that area...Bayou Classic weekend is one of their slowest, and they are considering closing for the weekend next year.

We were seated downstairs with a nice view of the kitchen. Waiter was very personable and professional, bus staff was not on top of things compared to other places offering the same fine (or even not so fine) dining experience.

I started with the leek and shiitake champagne cheese soup concoction and totally loved it. Very rich, with 4 different cheeses and the addition of sun dried tomatoes. It reminded me of an upgraded and elegant beer cheese soup. The missus started with the fried green tomatoes with shrimp in wild diane sauce. This was an excellent dish...each of the ingredients was allowed to stand on its own, making for a very powerful sum of the parts. Wonderfully sauteed shrimp in a spicy brown sauce and the tomatoes were perfect...nice tang and nice cornmeal crunch.

My entree selection, the Veal Palmetto, kicked butt. A very healthy cutlet was served up on a bed of andouille and mirlitons, topped with fried oysters and tasso hollandaise. It was sided with au gratin mashers and some nicely sauteed green beans and carrots. Totally of the best veal dishes I have ever enjoyed. The missus was not as thrilled with her entree, the blackened pork chop, recommended by the waiter as a house specialty. The chop was a bit dry, with no discernible blackened flavor. Still a decent dish, just not up to expectations. The stuffed baked potato on the other hand was a real winner...

As advised here we ordered Coconut Cake ahead of time.
While it was really good, it was much better the next day, so our recommendation is to get other desserts to eat there and take home a slice or two of the cake. My dessert was way good...the praline creme brulee. Still nowhere close to the best in the universe (at La Frite in Sherman Oaks), but this version did capture my number 2 spot, which is no small feat. It's super sweet, with a praline on the bottom of the ramekin, but the custard had nice texture, excellent flavor and a nice thick burnt sugar cap.

Overall I enjoyed the meal more than the lovely Denise...her entree was not up to snuff, she thought
both desserts were too sweet, and we were glad with our choice.

But both of us commented that the experience didn't come anywhere close to Brigtsen's, so we'll be dining with Frank many more times before we consider heading to KPaul's again.

Sunday lunch - Mother's. We checked into our in-town hotel which is just a couple of blocks from the restaurant. Walked right over and hit the tail end of the lunch crowd. Called the bro-in-law once we were in the restaurant so he could join us.

Knowing that we'd be back in the morning to get breakfast and Ferdi's to go, I opted for the meatball sub this time. It was quite good...large meatballs with nice flavor and texture, excellent tomato sauce which perked up nicely with a few dashes of Mother's homemade pepper sauce. The missus had another 1/2 oyster 1/2 shrimp poboy and as usual was not disappointed. One of the keys to their poboys is they use cabbage not lettuce..holds up much better with the hot ingredients and condiments.

Monday morning - Mother's round 2. We arrived about 7:30 and waltzed straight in to order. We both had Mae's omelet, which has ham (including blackened outside bits), mushrooms and green onions. I had swiss cheese with mine and we ordered a side of debris gravy to put on our grits. Kicking butt and taking names, as expected. In addition to Ferdi's to go, we scored 5 bags of ham trimmings, totaling 11 or 12 pounds, for 2 bucks (they gave us one bag free). We had just enough room in the ice chest to get our bounty home, along with 3 packages of tasso.

All in all an excellent Chowhound kinda visit...but we're already looking forward to our next stay, and our return to Brigtsen's.

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