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A weekend in N'awlins

Tha Groovin' Gourmet | Dec 19, 200208:43 AM

Driving all day from Austin, we made it into the N'awlins area in time for dinner at Drago's, a short drive from our hotel in
Metairie. This place is on the all-time fave list, if nothing else for their charcoal broiled
oysters, a wonderfully unique dish. They have some of the best oysters in the city, and they broil them until they open up, then finish them with butter, garlic, parmesan and parsley in a
salamander...scrumptious, with excellent bread to soak up the sauce.

We also had some excellent shrimp and corn soup and we split a Bayou Duck, a hollowed out French bread loaf filled with a rich saucy mix of duck, shrimp and crabmeat. Awesome. In my quest to find a rendition that tops that of La Frite in Sherman Oaks, CA, I ordered the creme brulee. It had a nice gingery
taste, but a rather grainy texture. Pretty yummy, but nowhere close to the standard by which all others are judged.

Saturday lunch was at legendary Mother's. The Ferdie is one of my all-time fave sandwiches, and
the red beans and rice were kickbutt too. We also got an order of debris (roast beef shreds in
gravy) and grits to share and there were plenty of leftovers for my brother-in-law to take with him.

Saturday dinner was at the venerable Brigtsen's. This was our third meal here in 3 visits, and
while we will probably not return for awhile, it will take quite a place to make as big an
impression. We shared the house salad, a fave dish with pickled red onion, spiced pecans and cane vinaigrette. We also split a shrimp remoulade appetizer enhanced with hard boiled egg and of my fave renditions. My wife had a rabbit in phyllo dish that was almost too rich. I had the gulf fish of the day (sheepshead) crusted with crabmeat and served with bearnaise. Frank Brigtsen's touch with seafood is right up there with Kinkead's in Washington DC, our favorite seafood restaurant.

Sunday brunch brought an excellent new find recommended by the brother-in-law, Sugar Magnolia
on Magazine. Really groovy place, with a standout Bloody Mary served with the equivalent of a nice relish tray in the drink. All the food was really good, with the cheese grits being a standout
dish. I had an omellete with ham, brie and stewed apples...killer combination. My side of andouille
sausage rocked as well. The Mrs had a more than passable catfish poboy and more than a few bites of my cheese grits.

Sunday night found us at another new (to us) place, Martinique, also on Magazine. A lovely French
bistro, with some excellent cooking going on. I had a mussel appetizer with a broth of bleu cheese, bacon and garlic that was extraordinary. Kudos also for my pork loin entree with Madeira sauce, dried cherries and shiitakes, an unusual but delicious combination. The wife thoroughly enjoyed jumbo stuffed quail and my brother-in-law had a different take on coq-au-vin, this version with apricots.

Before leaving town on Monday we had a chance for one more meal at Drago's...another dozen charcoal broiled oysters, a bowl of the shrimp corn soup and a couple of shrimp poboys, hers fried and mine barbecue. YUMMY!

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