Friday, January 30, 2015

Overdue lunch at Willie Mae's Scotch House

A few months back, I made my first visit (with my good friend Dani) to Willie Mae's Scotch House. I know, you're thinking "What the heck took you so long?" Well? I really don't have any excuse. Suffice it to say, I finally made it.

Dani and I got there a bit early in the lunch hour, so instead of waiting in a long line (which was wrapped around the block when we finished), we were able to walk right in. Both of us were starving, but we knew what we wanted and ordered right away.

Since everyone and their brother's uncle has been telling me to try "America's Best Fried Chicken" at Willie Mae's, my choice seemed rather obvious. After a short wait (which seemed like forever because we both were so hungry), our dishes arrived. I got three pieces of chicken, a breast, thigh and wing. I feel like the last person on Earth to eat at Willie Mae's, but if you've never been, you should go knowing that they serve a wet-batter fried chicken that is greasy, spicy and oh-so munchable in that to-hell-with-my-arteries kind of way. You will feel full, need to wash your hands and face afterwards, and likely swallow a few antacids just to survive the rest of the day. But, don't get me wrong, it's definitely worth the agony.

Dani went an alternate route and ordered fried catfish with a side of mac & cheese and cooked peas. The fish was quite good, fried in a spiced-cornmeal batter and not a bit greasy. The creamy, Velveeta-tasting macaroni seemed like the perfect side, while the peas, unfortunately, needed a lot of help. They were definitely canned peas, which is so very old-school New Orleans. We also had a couple of cornbread muffins that we edible. I only wish they were hot when they hit the table.

We also got a slice of Strawberry Cheesecake to share which was good, but likely not made in-house. Do I sound spoiled? Snobbish? Well, it's highly likely I've just gotten so used to restaurants emphasizing "house-made" and "farm-to-table" that I expect everyone to follow suit. Doesn't matter really, because the chicken is where it's at and since Willie Mae's just moved into a second location mere block from my apartment, I can guarantee I'll be back for more.

Willie Mae's Scotch House on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

House of the week: Fixer-upper on Banks Street

I always feel a little forlorn when I see a classic New Orleans home in a sad state of repair. Peeling paint, trailing ivy tearing up the siding, rusting wrought-iron ... all signs that either the homeowner couldn't afford to maintain the property or just didn't care. Sometimes, like with this particular house, the environs are dotted with unfortunately-ugly retail establishments and empty lots. It's depressing.

Recently listed, this house on Banks Street is not located in the best area. It's really close to busy Broad Street in a neighborhood that has seen better days, but the house is quite beautiful no matter how dilapidated it has become. There's excellent architectural details around the door, floor-to-ceiling windows, and sweet front porch. I bet the ceiling is at least 12 feet high and (hopefully) there are original hardwood floors inside. I really hope someone finds the time and the money to fix up this old beauty. I also hope they don't renovate out all of it's charm. It's listed at $180,000 for almost 2,000 square feet. Here's hoping there's someone out there who will love it as much as it deserves...

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.