Friday, January 23, 2015

Wolfing Waffles on Maple

“You should eat a waffle! You can't be sad if you eat a waffle!”  -Lauren Myracle

I wasn't sad, but I wanted a waffle, specifically a waffle from the groovy (pun intended), Waffles on Maple located on Maple Street (duh) featuring a distinctive waffle facade. A new friend and I met at the small wafflery (is that a word?) for lunch a few months back and quickly got happy.

Due to my every-widening ass, I'm not a huge fan of the restaurant's interior. It's a tiny place taken up mostly by the kitchen/counter and the only seats require one to perch upon a small stool while wolfing your waffle. If you've got posterior problems like mine, I highly suggest waiting for a warm day and sitting at one of the tables outside on the sidewalk.

Zuheily (my friend) and I ordered at the counter and perched on a stool to await our simple, yet fabulous fare. I mean, how hard is it to make a waffle? I've made tons at home on a Williams Sonoma Waffle Iron I bought for a relative long, long ago (she didn't want it ... go figure?). I've whipped up everything from Belgian to Chocolate Chip and topped them with honey, whipped cream, maple syrup and ice cream, but these ... these were waffles of a different color.

I ordered one of their daily specials, a cornbread waffle topped with a jalapeno-grit cake and smothered in melted cheddar cheese and sour cream. Talk about a carb attack! It was intensely filling and pretty tasty, though I'm not positive I'd order it again. It's more likely I'd order on the sweet side next time, likely something similar to Zuheily's dish, a Strawberry Shortcake waffle covered in a hot, strawberry sauce with huge chunks of strawberries and whipped cream cheese. Next time...

Waffles on Maple on Urbanspoon

Thursday, January 22, 2015

House of the week: Greek revival cottage on Moss Street

If you're going to dream, might as well dream big, right? Or perhaps in this case, dream small. Before I confuse myself, and you, let me explain. While browsing my weekly torture (read: real estate) sites, I discovered this reclusive, little cottage in Mid-City.

Currently owned by famous artist Mario Villa, this three bedroom, two bath Greek revival cottage is another one of those "Oh don't I wish" type of homes. Little more than 1800 square feet, this Greek revival home is over two centuries old and is located smack on the Bayou St. John. Here, take a glimpse on Google maps what the view is like from the front door. The cottage features high ceilings, marble mantles, a double parlor, elaborate mouldings, columned front porch, floor to ceiling windows, hardwood floors, transoms, French doors, surprisingly modern bathrooms, textured walls and an overgrown "secret garden" in the back.

You have to look past all of the artistic "clutter" in this creative abode. It might not seem like it's worth $1,300,000, but if I had the money, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Insight at Asuka Sushi & Hibachi

A lot of folk claim there is one type of food that they know they could eat every day for the rest of their life. For me, that food was sushi. Since my first taste of salmon nigiri in a tiny, Japanese restaurant off 19th Avenue in San Francisco almost 20 years ago, I was hooked. My friends and I used to hit up Fuji Sukiyaki in San Mateo where we would literally gorge ourselves on the special rolls -- from a simple Crunchy Roll to a Dragon Roll and everything in between. (*Note: Remind me to tell you about the time my friend Wilson was dared into eating a huge wad of wasabi.)

When I came to New Orleans and met John, I took him out for his first taste of sushi and he loved it as much, if not more, than I did. It got to the point where if we ever went out for lunch or dinner, more often than not, we'd end up at a sushi joint.

A few months back, John and I realized that it had been months since we indulged in our favorite food, so we went out to try one of the newest Japanese restaurants in our area, Asuka Sushi & Hibachi.  You know that weird triangle between Short Street and Fern on Earhart Blvd., the one with a jeep that looks like it crash-landed into a fake palm tree? That's where you'll find Asuka, right in front of the Daiquiri Island Sports Bar. 

When we arrived, the restaurant was empty and kind of dark, but a server quickly came out from the kitchen and offered us a seat at one of the booths. We browsed the menu, ordered several items and sipped iced green tea while we waited.

Since we only ordered rolls and nigiri, everything came out at once. We got a Crazy Roll with tempura shrimp, spicy tuna, avocado and masago (roe) in a soybean wrap and topped with eel sauce, and a Louisiana Roll (the whole thing was battered and fried) with tempura shrimp, snow crab, crawfish, avocado, masago and cream cheese topped with their own "special sauce." We also got a Crunchy Roll, a Tuna Avocado Roll and Tuna Tataki Nigiri.

Now don't get me wrong, all of the rolls were delicious and for people who love the big, extravagant, Westernized rolls, they were perfect. But, when it came down to it, John and I enjoyed the Tuna Tataki the most, just simple, seared tuna with green onion and ponzu sauce. Perhaps it was because our palates had developed since our last sushi extravaganza, but the big showy rolls no longer held any fascination for us. In fact, they all started to taste the same. 

In our subsequent sushi adventures, we've stuck to simple rolls (like tuna and avocado), nigiri and sashimi, enjoying them as much as we did the elaborate rolls. Why mess with a good thing? We have Asuka to thank for that revelation.

Asuka Sushi & Hibachi on Urbanspoon

Thursday, January 15, 2015

House of the week: Victorian on Congress Street

Because I simply can't help myself, I was browsing available real estate listings again. Regardless of my apparent lack of income, I still can't rip the hope from my heart that one day, before I die, I will enjoy a gorgeous, New Orleans home of my own.

This week's bout of self-flagellation let me to discover a drool-worthy property in Bywater. This 120-year-old Victorian Italianate was once a double, which I certainly wouldn't have objected to, but has been converted to a single. Luckily, quite a few of the classic details are intact like wainscoting, old fireplace mantles, floor-to-ceiling windows, pocket doors, heart pine hardwood floors and transoms. Not to mention some note-worthy details like a couple clawfoot tubs and a screened-in back porch.

As if all that were not enough, the house is less than three blocks from places like Elizabeth's, Pizza Delicious, Satsuma Cafe, Oxalis, Markey Park and the new Crescent Park. Wouldn't you buy this three bedroom, two bath, 1900 square foot dream listed for $389,000? I would ...