Friday, December 26, 2014

House of the week: Victorian on N. Dupre Street

I can't think of a better time to dream, and dream big. Tis the season for me to wish on a star, cross my fingers and toes, and keep throwing spilled salt over my shoulder because who knows? Santa may still want to treat me to something truly fabulous.

So Santa, if you're still listening, I really, really want this eye-popping stunner located on N. Dupre Street. Over a century old, this unique Victorian will most definitely make me swoon, what with three bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, floor-to-ceiling windows, transoms, exposed brick fireplaces, French doors, crown moulding, clawfoot tub, and a two bedroom/one bathroom guest house to boot!

This Mid-City beauty is listed at a mere $649,000 ... oh please Santa! Pretty please? I know I've been a good girl this year!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Toast: Breakfast will never be the same again ...

Everyone has heard me rave in many different mediums about the wonders to be had at Tartine run by chef/owner Cara Benson. Well, this magical, magnanimous, Mom and baker extraordinaire has done it again with Toast, a mouth-watering breakfast experience she opened about six months ago.

To be perfectly fair, I've already raved about Toast, too ... just not here on my lil old blog. Now seems the optimal time to rectify that. I've been to Toast on many occasions since the first, an experience I'm about to relate, but just know, there is nothing on this menu that won't make you swoon, and if it doesn't well ... more for me!

About a month after it opened in June 2014, John and I headed Uptown to Laurel Street to have a meal that was so delightful, Toast has become the stuff of dreams to us, a place we think of every time we think of breakfast.

Though it was still dreadfully hot, we opted to sit outside since it seemed the only way we'd be sure to get a table. We both ordered a cup of coffee (yes it was French Truck, thank you very much) and tried hard not to order everything on the menu.

John chose one of the "toasts," with cream cheese, smoked salmon, scrambled eggs and capers atop a thick, toasted slice of Benson's brilliant, house-baked brioche. What can I say? It was astoundingly simple, yet exquisitely delicious. Everything was just right, from the amount of cream cheese to the fluffy scrambled eggs.

While I loved John's toast, we both couldn't help oohing and aahing over my dish, a huge slice of ham and Gruyere quiche. Cross my heart and hope to die, this was the best quiche I ever had the pleasure of inhaling. Easily three inches high, it had a gorgeous golden crust and the filling was so light and creamy, it was almost like delving into a delicate souffle. Don't doubt that I've enjoyed her daily quiches many times since.

John and I also shared a side of thick-sliced bacon and, something I never thought to see on a breakfast menu, a plate of ratatouille -- a mouth-watering, stewed vegetable dish that only added to the meal's overall wonder. I can't wait to go back again ... and again ... and again ...

Toast on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Product Review: iCoffee

In general, I am not a fan of the single-serve, Keurig-type coffee makers. I had a lot of experience using one when I used to schlep it out in a more corporate environment and I discovered that I would likely never purchase one for myself. 

That being said, when a representative at iCoffee contacted me, asking if I'd be willing to try out their version, I felt the need to give it a go. Usually, I buy concentrate from New Orleans Cool Brew, but from time to time, I will spoil myself with a fresh pound of French Truck. Only problem was that my French press shattered in a million pieces after a devastating drying incident (I so LOVED my French press!) and my last coffee maker recently kicked the bucket.  

To get on with it, I have to say that overall, iCoffee is pretty damn cool, especially in comparison to other Keurig-type coffee makers. Here is a list of pros and cons so that you can make your own decision about the iCoffee, starting with cons because everyone likes a happy ending! Don't you?


1. It's humongous! Living in a tiny, one bedroom apartment in New Orleans means I do NOT have a ton of counter space and this puppy is a foot deep and almost a foot wide. If you have a lot of space, then by all means, use it! But for me, the iCoffee's home is currently in my parlor because I have no room for it in the kitchen.

2. The cord is too short. I might have been able to fit this monster next to my microwave if the cord would have reached, but no go. It's approximately 28 inches long, but unfortunately, that was still not enough.


1. You can use your own coffee! With their reusable iCup, you can grind your own coffee for this machine, a feature I didn't see available on the first wave of Keurig machines several years ago.

2. You can select how big (or small) you want your cup of coffee to be. iCoffee has this "Dial-A-Brew" feature that allows you to choose from 4 to 12 ounces. Since I like to drink a big cup of cafe au lait (made with CDM, of course), I'll bust out my 12 ounce mug, fill half with hot, whole milk and set the iCoffee for 6.5 ounces and voila! This feature really impressed my boyfriend who deals with a not-so-versatile Keurig machine at work.

All in all, I think if I had a normal kitchen, I wouldn't have the above two "cons" to contend with. Plus, at anywhere from $20 to $60 less than a Keurig at Bed, Bath & Beyond, it seems well worth it. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

MMMeat! McClure's Barbecue

This is not a blog where I describe several courses, going into great detail on each morsel that entered my mouth, well, at least not exactly. This is a blog where I tell you how you should go to McClure's Barbecue on the corner of Magazine Street and Bordeaux with a friend and order "All Meat & All Sides" and be sure you are hungry .... very hungry.

With your stomachs grumbling audibly, Owner Neil McClure, or one of his attentive employees, will set before you a virtual trough of goodies which will most likely include juicy pork ribs almost falling off the bone, a heavenly-smoked portion of chicken (breast and thigh), pulled pork, crispy brisket and a plump sausage. This carnivore's heaven isn't quite complete if you don't try one (or five) of over 15 different kinds of BBQ sauce that are lined up against the wall like spice-laden sentinels.

As if that were not enough, you'll also get Pork & Pork & Beans, a creamy scoop of Four-Cheese Mac, a pile of BBQ Jambalaya, Creole Potato Salad, Molasses-Stewed Collard Greens and a large hunk of Roasted Corn & Jalapeno Cornbread.

John and I enjoyed this feast with relish and, believe it or not, managed to polish off every single bite. We will most assuredly be back...

McClure's Barbecue on Urbanspoon