Friday, May 15, 2015

Fat Falafel plus at 1000 Figs

While I realize I constantly tout the awesomeness of my Oak Street neighborhood, there are areas all over the city of which I would love to be a part. One such neighborhood is the Esplanade Ridge, especially that area right next to the Bayou St. John. The trees and houses are stunning; you're right near the bayou, City Park and the fairgrounds; and you have "around-the-corner" access to restaurants like Cafe Degas, Liuzza's by the Track and, a new addition, 1000 Figs.

Opened a little over 6 months ago, the folks from one of the city's favorite food trucks, The Fat Falafel, have planted their specialties into a brick and mortar along with a few other tasty tidbits. About a month after it opened, Lorin and I visited 100 Figs and enjoyed a fabulous sit-down lunch which always tops standing on the sidewalk, shoveling goodies in my face with a plastic fork. Does that make me a snob? Maybe. But I'm also a gimp with back problems who enjoys a comfortable seat and real silverware...so sue me.

The restaurant was smaller than I expected, but offered gorgeous, wood benches and tables, plus a high counter along the front window where guests can perch, savor lunch and watch the world go by. I wanted to try one of everything, but to start we ordered some crispy, flash-fried Brussels sprouts with red cabbage and salad greens drizzled with fresh lemon. We also scored a big bowl of hand-cut French fries served with a thick, creamy labneh or yogurt for dipping. I couldn't stop munching on the fries and long after we "finished" and were paying the check, I couldn't help sneaking forkfuls of the crispy sprouts.

For her entree, Lorin ordered a ginormous squid salad and I opted for their signature falafel in platter form. I got a taste of Lorin's calamari which was nice, but I was far more focused on the light, crunchy falafel that was served with a creamy hummus, salad greens and wedges of pita. Overall, it was a lovely lunch and while I realize French fries and falafel are ... well ... fried, I felt like I had enjoyed a healthy meal because it didn't weigh me down or make me groan from being over-sated. If you're looking for a delicious, "light" lunch, I highly recommend it. Oh, and don't forget to get a big glass of their Hibiscus Iced Tea!  

1000 Figs on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

House of the week: Shotgun on Flood Street

Depression has set in and I can't avoid it. Unless I suddenly write a bestselling novel, win the lotto or have a rich relative die and leave me a fat inheritance, there is no way in hell I'll ever be able to afford a house in New Orleans.

Regardless of this fact, I still have this awful habit of continued self-flagellation, scanning the real estate listings only to watch another dream house go to someone who (I imagine) will appreciate it far less that I would. Jerks. During my latest bout of torment, I happened upon another awesome house that will likely be sold to some cretin who will use it as a vacation home or some such nonsense. Gee, do I sound bitter?

While the irony of fawning over a house on Flood Street in the Holy Cross (Lower 9th Ward) is not lost on me, it still fails to dampen my ardor (har-har). Here we have a two bedroom, two bathroom single shotgun house replete with original hardwood floors, towering bead board ceilings, transoms, fireplace mantles, claw foot tub and a nice front porch that faces the levee. Bye, bye beauty! You're bound to disappear within days of my post, especially since you're listed at the low, low price of only $200,000. Unfortunately, it's still not low enough for me.  

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Lunch at The Munch Factory

Several months back when I was still entertaining the idea of actually purchasing a house in Gentilly, I met my realtor (and awesome new friend!) Zuheily for lunch at The Munch Factory. Cruising around the area, it seems to me that Gentilly still has a long way to go before it competes (in a culinary capacity) with other New Orleans neighborhoods, but there are certainly a few gems worth visiting.

Located on Elysian Fields Avenue, less than two blocks from the University of New Orleans campus, The Munch Factory is a fairly new eatery (opened in 2011) headed up by talented chef Jordan Ruiz. When Zuheily and I walked in for an early lunch that day back in November, I was expecting Creole comfort food with a twist and that's exactly what we got.

We started with Shrimp Remoulade served atop several slices of fried green tomato. The dish was as delicious as any "fine dining" plate of remoulade I've ever tasted. The shrimp popped and the tomatoes were crisp, tart and not the slightest bit greasy. I also had to sample a bowl of their soup of the day, which turned out to be a creamy potato leek topped with a little shredded cheddar and a few croutons.

For our entrees, Zuheily and I shared out an Ultimate Grilled Cheese and a Hot Sausage Patty Melt. Both sandwiches were pressed on Cuban bread, both were oozing cheese and both were served with their signature "Elysian Peels" which are essentially well-seasoned, baked potato skins. Though we gobbled as much as we could, we still ended up taking some home because the portions were incredibly generous.

Dessert is almost always a given on my lunch outings, so naturally, Zuheily and I shared a slice of Tres Leches cake. Though the flavor was nice, it was much drier than I expected which kind of bummed me out, but the rest of our lunch more than merited a return visit. Especially since I've heard so much about the herb chicken he serves at dinner ...

Munch Factory on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

House of the week: Condo on Napoleon Avenue

My boyfriend John won't even entertain the idea of buying a condo. When I find a cute half double or a cool apartment in an old home spilling over with character and history, John will completely write it off if there's a mere mention of the "c" word. But, I do believe that if this particular condo was anywhere near our price range, he'd swiftly change his mind.

Located inside a stunning building that long ago served as St. Elizabeth's, an orphanage in the 1860's (previously owned by famous author Anne Rice), this particular unit appears to be centered in what was, at one point, a chapel. We're talking 24-ft ceilings, awe-inspiring stained glass windows, 3 bedroom, 5 bathroom, 5,000 square feet of reverent wonder. I mean, just look at this place! There's a freaking theater upstairs! For the first time on this fantasy house-hunt of mine, I am at a loss for words. 

Who lives in places like this? Listed at a paltry $4,950,000, I'm sure it will never be me.