Monday at 1:30 - Drago’s in Metairie. Oh yeah, those charbroiled oysters are fantastic. Ordered half a dozen to be sure, ordered another half dozen after the first bite. Husband had shrimp fondue and shrimp etoufee. The etoufee was so-so, nothing to write home about. The fondue was delicious. I also had a crab cake that was very good. But next time, I’ll get 2 dozen of those charbroiled oysters and skip the rest. They also had a tossed salad smothered in crab that looked good. Our server told us the Drago’s at the Riverwalk is a partnership between Drago’s and the Hilton so they aren’t exactly the same but still good, just not quite as good. Also, their grill cannot be near as seasoned as the one in Metairie. That could make a difference just like the difference in making coffee in a new pot or a well worn pot. If they are half as good, they would still be fantastic. Drago’s charbroiled oysters are now my #2 favorite dish in NO. Loved our server, the service was very friendly. We got there pretty late and the place was still packed full. We had to drive around a bit to find a parking place. Glad we stopped in Lake Charles for some hot Nelson’s donuts on the way over.
Tuesday lunch - Crabby Jack’s. I had the fried green tomato/shrimp remoulade po-boy and my husband had the fried shrimp po-boy. Mine was much better, his shrimp were a little bit over salted. He loved his even being a little too salty and wants to add that to the list for next year. On my po-boy, the tomato was firm and tangy with the mild shrimp remoulade. I think the only thing I would change about mine was the shrimp, they were a little too bland. They needed a little bit more of a kick. I liked this but the small one was plenty. Skip the fries, they’re less than average. Don’t expect friendly staff here, they are just warm bodies writing orders. And the place smells funny. Also, it was very cold Tuesday morning and I swear it may have been colder inside Crabby Jack’s than outside in the wind. I kept my coat on the entire time and was still very cold.
Tuesday dinner –Restaurant August. I ordered one of the specialty drinks and I didn’t like it at all. It nowhere near tasted like the description on the menu. My husband had a bloody mary and said it was good, I think he ended up having 3 and I ordered tea. I had the gnocci, couldn’t wait to get this dish. I was sorely disappointed. It was very bland. The crab was tasteless, the gnocci was good but nothing more. I had the prime filet which was good but nothing more. The sweet sauce that is on it seemed to take away from the meat. The oxtail marmalade/smoked marrow tasted like sweet brisket. I didn’t like the two tastes together or maybe if they’d toned down the sweet a little it would have appealed to me more. The steak itself was not a good texture. I don’t know how to describe it but it was only average and that is being kind considering the price of it. My husband had some kind of curry shrimp bisque and that dish was outstanding – we both agreed. I could have eaten two bowls of it. He also had the elk steak which he liked. I tried it and to me, it was a little bland for wild meat but the texture was closer to a good steak than my steak was. We shared the napoleon of nougatine for dessert. It was okay. For a dinner that was $220, the only thing I thought was a little better than okay was the bisque. I was very disappointed in August and won’t return. I think I’m disappointed because I could have been eating more charbroiled oysters at Drago’s. The service at August was good but a little bit snooty. When I called for a reservation they said coat and tie was not required but highly recommended leaving me to believe the dress code would be tight. My husband wore a coat and tie and to our amazement people were being admitted in jeans and sneakers. What?
Wednesday breakfast - Croissant d'Or Patisserie. There was no parking so I got out and got us a bag of goodies to go. I got a sausage roll, a raspberry, a chocolate and an almond croissant. Husband said the sausage pastry was okay but he really loved the chocolate and raspberry. We shared the 3 sweet ones and they were all wonderful. We were going to Galatoire’s for lunch after 1 PM so I just wanted something to hold me over. This place was delicious. Very fresh and flaky croissant. I love French pastries done right and these were. There were many other items other than croissant. It’s a small place but very nice and a good selection.
Wednesday lunch - Galatoire’s. We arrived about 1:30 and there were still about 20 people waiting to be seated, maybe more. We were seated right away because there were a few tables for 2 being cleaned. Our waiter was Dorris. I googled him and he’s worked there 37 years. Very nice man and very good service. I ate the following – oysters rockefeller, soufflé potatoes and crabmeat Yvonne. My husband had shrimp remoulade, avocado and crabmeat salad, and shrimp marguery. We shared the pot du crème. Everything was delicious. The room was full of Christmas cheer and they sang Happy Birthday to me and several other birthday people there. How they knew it was my birthday I’ll never know. My birthday was actually the Saturday prior. My husband swears he didn’t say anything and it isn’t like him to mention it to anyone so I believe him. They gave us complimentary caramel custard with a lit candle in it. We were there until after 3:30. As we were leaving the crowd seemed to be dying down just a bit but there were still people waiting to be seated.
Thursday lunch - Mr. B’s. Husband ordered bloody mary, I ordered belini. The belini wasn’t what I expected and was more like a glass of sparkling wine but the bloody mary was good so we finished that round and ordered two bloody marys. The second bloody marys were way too seasoned for me so I just ordered a tea and he finished both the drinks. We shared the fried oyster appetizer which was very good. I had the bbq shrimp (of course) and he had the steak paillard. The steak was delicious, way way way better than the one I had at August. The bbq shrimp – waiting for the shrimp to cool enough to peel, I took my first bite of the bread and sauce. I think I love it more than I ever have. It was like heaven to my taste buds. I was thinking they could just take the shrimp away and give me another bowl of sauce. There were only 6 shrimp in the bowl, I thought I remember about 9 or more in previous years. But who cares, there was plenty of sauce. This remains my favorite dish in NO. Two of our waiters were very good, the third seemed to stand in the middle of the room and look around then disappear without removing empty plates, without filling tea, etc. We had much better service last year but it wasn’t bad this year. It was just comical to watch the third wheel saunter around and never do anything. We got satin green ribbons with a jingle bell attached. The ribbon had “Mr. B’s” on it. Nice touch for very little $$ and effort. I liked that. We shared the profiteroles for dessert and they were very good.
Thursday dinner – Boucherie. We order the boudin balls for an appetizer. I ordered another order of boudin balls and fried potatoes for my meal. Husband order the brisket. The boudin balls are a little different than the last time I had them, still good but not as good. They use some of the brisket in them and less liver. I like the liver more. Their fries are wonderful and I sprinkle them with their peppery vinegar. They are delicious. The brisket was good but probably wouldn’t get it again. I make it at home just as good.
Friday lunch – Cochon. I had the wood-fired oyster roast, the deviled crab and the oyster-bacon sandwich. He had the fried green tomatoes with shrimp remoulade and the smoked brisket with horseradish potato salad. We shared the pineapple upside down cake. The oysters were okay but compared to Drago’s and Galatoire’s oysters, well, there was no comparison. I had a mouth full of shell slivers about 4 times with the 5 oysters. They were good but there is just so much better out there. The deviled crab was hot and had a good taste but the crab was overpowered. There was plenty of it but you just didn’t get much of a crab taste. The sandwich was delicious. Husband’s shrimp remoulade was very good, the shrimp were large and cooked perfect. His brisket was okay, again, I can do as well if not better. The potato salad was good and wasn’t overpowered with horseradish. The cake was good as well. Again, I was wishing I was sitting in Drago’s eating those charbroiled oysters or having another order of bbq shrimp at Mr. B’s.
So, Croissant d’Or, Drago’s and Galatoires will remain on our must-eat list with Mr. B’s for next trip. Boucherie falls off the list, August and Cochon don’t make it. Husband says Crabby Jack’s makes the list, I say I’m not sure. I do want to try the duck po-boy.
It was a wonderful trip overall. I’m happy to be home but can’t wait to get some more bbq shrimp and charbroiled oysters!! The scale says I gained 2.5 pounds in the 5 days. I’m not at all surprised.
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