Thursday, June 30, 2011

We hit 10,000!!!!

After just over 6 months of blogging, the Hungry Heretic has now received over 10,000 hits!!!! When I first started this blog I had no clue how well it would do. To be honest, I really only started it as a means of getting other writing jobs. Having a duel degree in Dance and African Studies doesn't do a lot for your writing resume, so naturally easily accessible writing samples seemed like a great idea! Apparently I was correct! All my hard work and over-eating finally payed off. Aside from hitting ten thousand hits this morning, I also had my first article published for Offbeat Magazine's food blog this afternoon. And lucky for me, my taco truck focused article entitled "Loco Por Tacos" is the perfect way to introduce the new food theme of the week: TACOS! Unlike Po Boy Week, Taco week is not going to be a competition. Rather, this week is going to focus on easy taco recipes you can do at home that has absolutely nothing to do with any disgusting taco seasoning or ground beef!!!!!!
To check out my article and read about Taceaux Loceaux's phenomenal menu you can click on any of the links above or search this link: Enjoy!

Taceaux Loceaux on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Drago's, "Home of the Original Charbroiled Oysters" has been a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. However, I never had the privilege of slurping down one of these buttery bivalves until just a few weeks ago. With locations in both Fat City and the CBD, Drago's is a very convenient restaurant for locals, especially if you're planning to make a night of it. The Fat City location is conveniently close to the movie theater, and of course the Poydras Drago's is just down the street from a plethora of downtown bars and the Quarter. One such bar is LePhare, a lovely CBD watering-hole on Gravier that offers free Salsa lessons every Tuesday night at 8. Between dancing and the movies I of course chose to get my groove on.
But first, the meal! We started off this wonderful evening with crispy fried squid. This was a very scrumptious appetizer, but nothing compared to the oysters!
As you can probably tell from the picture below, these local oysters are absolutely loaded with butter, parmesan and herbs. The butter is really a bit out of control, but soooooo delicious. I'm really more of a raw oysters kind of girl, but these were mighty tasty, especially when you dip the bread in the leftover butter! Plus, they still taste great in the summer, even when they're out of season.
The only down side was the pieces of burnt shell that sometimes find their way into your bite. It's never fun to grind your teeth on a sand like consistency, but you figure out how to avoid the pieces of shell pretty quickly. Not the best place to go if you're on a diet, but great in moderation.

Drago's Seafood Restaurant (Hilton New Orleans Riverside) on Urbanspoon

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Commander's Palace

I moved!!!!!!! I am finally away from the University area and in the heart of the Garden District... not too far from none other than Commander's Palace.
And what better way to celebrate my move into adulthood than a gourmet meal from a fancy restaurant? Especially when they have 25 cent martinis!!!!
I'm not kidding, Monday through Friday, this classic New Orleans restaurant serves Martinis for just 25 cents during lunch hours. Along with their delicious mind-blowingly cheap refreshments, they also serve 2-course meals starting as low as $16.
With prices that affordable Eric and I couldn't resist! Above is a scrumptious appetizer recommended to us by our waiter because we mentioned we loved spicy food. These succulent shrimp were literally smothered in a sweet and tangy hot sauce and served with pickled onions and okra over a sauce reminiscent of Italian dressing. This was definitely our most photogenic dish of the day.
However, the Soup 1-1-1 was absolutely the most fun! I love trying just a little bit of everything so these tiny tea cups filled with Turtle Soup, Gumbo, and the Soup du Jour (a roasted Creole Tomato Soup) was just perfect for me.
For our entrees Eric went with a lightly battered and fried soft shell crab tossed with so many greens and local tomatoes it almost looks like a salad! This dish was super fresh and summery, definitely a well fried crab.
I went with a heavier (I think more delicious) dish made up of slow cooked pulled pork and a deep fried crawfish boudin ball. When I say heavy, I mean it! I could barely eat half of this, but it was sooooooo good!!!!! Even the corn salad underneath the boudin was incredible.
With all that delicious food left over and desert still on its' way, I had to ask to wrap up my lovely entree. Lucky for me my waiter made me a little friend to take home! Between the Martinis and the tin foil crab, I was pretty giddy at this point in the meal, and it only go better!
Bread pudding soufflé with warm whiskey cream, enough said. Food Coma! But the good kind, where your taste buds are still lingering on that last bite and your mind is drifting back and remembering how good the first one was.
Really a phenomenal, affordable lunch. I never thought of Commander's as a place that I could afford and enjoy with out the presence of my parents, but their more relaxed Lunch atmosphere is really welcoming and just right. I highly recommend it. Great for celebrating whatever happy occasion you have in store, and it won't brake the piggy bank!

Commander's Palace on Urbanspoon

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ancora Pizzeria and Salumeria

Freret keeps getting better and better! Minus the recent disproportionate crime streak, the food scene is booming! First Dat Dog now Ancora, I'm overwhelmed with joy! As its' name denotes, Ancora Pizzeria & Salumeria serves up authentic napoletana pizza made in their very own wood-fired oven as well as house cured meats. I was lucky enough to be invited to their grande opening a few weeks ago and I've been dying to go back ever since. The fantastic meal started off with a bang with their Affetatti Misti, Italian for cured meat plate. This smorgasbord of salumi, panchetta, hogshead cheese, wild boar and delectable mustard berry chutney blew my mind. It was among the best salumi I have ever had.
Next came the appetizers. The market salad came with crisp green beans, tangy pickled onions and incredible home baked croutons. Apologies for the slightly blurry pictures, I was trying to do it incognito as to not embarrass anyone at my table.
Above is a very interesting version of stuffed tomatoes. These tomatoes were stuffed with a generous amount of cheese and anchovies, giving it a salty flavor that went well with the more mild bruschetta with summer squash.
Finally the pizza!
This wood fire oven, imported from Italy does wonders for Ancora's pies. The crust is crisp and crunchy with just the perfect amount of blackened crust on the bottom, scrumptious!
With little room in my stomach left to even breathe I still managed to try their out of this world dessert. Yes that is a giant ball of mascarpone cheese drizzled with honey and served with homemade raisin bread, and yes I was in heaven. This was definitely one of the best desserts I have had all year. Outstanding. And so fresh! I'm getting hungry writing about it!!!
Add some biscotti and gourmet coffee and WHOA, you have yourself a damn good meal.
Ancora Pizzeria & Salumeria is definitely an up and coming restaurant that you don't want to miss before it gets too crowded! Check it out!
Ancora Pizzeria & Salumeria on Urbanspoon

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gambino's Bakery

For people born and raised in New Orleans, Gambino's is a local institution. A great place to get all the local favorites including doberge cake, petite fours, and king cake.For the readers who are a bit lost at this point, let me explain what all these foreign terms mean. Starting off with the cutest of the bunch, petite fours are available around the country and the globe at many bakeries and tea rooms, but they seem to be a staple of the pastry world in this city. These tiny little bite sized cakes are jammed packed with sugar and usually have a hint of almond, giving them a wedding cake flavor.
King Cake is the most famous of the three previously mentioned desserts. It is a cake traditionally eaten during Carnival season and tastes something along the lines of a more bread like Cinnabun. Doberge is a layered cake, with pudding stuffed in between each layer of cake. This New Orleans classic dessert ordinarily comes in chocolate or lemon, but Gamino's also makes a similar square with red velvet cake. They also serve up brownie squares such as the caramel and chocolate loaded brownie pictured below.
Aside from traditional New Orleans deserts Gambino's also specializes in birthday and wedding cakes that are both gorgeous and said to be delicious.I have yet to try one of these gorgeously iced cakes, but there is definitely something to be said for their wonderful reputation.
If you're in Metairie craving something sweet you definitely should check it out!

Gambino's Bakery on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tomato Fest!

With all the craziness of Po Boy week I never got around to writing about my favorite festival of the year: The Creole Tomato, Zydeco Music Festival! Among the many wonderful aspects of this free festival are the incredible live performances by local Cajun Zydeco bands and incredible food! The vendors have everything from tacos to po boys and oysters, but the real attraction are the tomatoes of course!
Every year Covey Rise Farms (a local farm from Covington) supplies enormous, beautiful local creole and heirloom tomatoes. They sell them by the pound, along with gorgeous eggplants, onions, and many other crops, as well as cut in a superb tomato salad.
This fresh salad was the real show stopper at the festival. Between the incredible flavor of the vine ripened tomatoes, cucumbers, and greens and the aromatic blend of basil, shallots, balsamic, salt and pepper- oh my lord, have mercy. I have never tasted something that screamed summer more than this mouth watering salad. It was so good that Eric and I tried to recreate the magic with our own caprese salad for dinner that night.
Our version used one of their plump and juicy red tomatoes, as well as one of Eric's home grown creole tomatoes, and my homegrown basil and thai basil. We added fresh mozzarella, which you can find at any Whole Foods, as well as Olive Oil, Balsamic, Salt, and Pepper. It was really phenomenal, but possibly not as delicious as our main course.This lovely photograph displays our home-fried thinly sliced eggplant, topped with Marinara and parmesan, all sitting on top of a bed of squid ink pasta and fresh mozzarella. I am not one for eggplant but this was really spectacular, and very easy to make. After a long day of learning how to Cajun dance, this was just what I needed; local, fresh, and delicious, just the way I like it!

Monday, June 20, 2011

We Fancy Now

I finally got a job! Two in fact! Crazy right?!?! So after my first day at work at the more intense of the two I am in serious need of some good ol' fashioned relaxation. And what better way to do that than a nice and crisp glass of ice cold beer? Ordinarily I would want to celebrate this momentous day with a fancy shmancy beer or cocktail, but today I'm sticking to an old school tall boy of Bud Light. Not just any cheap beer, Bud Light Lime. Although it is quite the laughing stock of serious beer drinkers at the moment, I am a devoted fan. As a lime lover this already sour flavored beer is quite refreshing with extra squeeze and wedge of lime.
This isn't exactly my first choice, but it does the trick! I thought of this beer cocktail shortly after Mackenzie's older sister Megan came to visit. While in town Megan had a creative stroke of genius and created a quite tasty (or at least more drinkable) beer cocktail called "the fancy," made up of PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon) and a squeeze of lemon. It is still a little rough around the edges, but you'd be surprised by how well the lemon covers the cheap beer flavor. So of course, my version of "the lime fancy" followed shortly after. Now I just have to find a good citrus to pair with Schlitz and we're set! Let me know what your favorite beer cocktail is and we'll put it to the test!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Top 10 Po Boys in New Orleans

The results are in, here's our list of our favorite (and least favorite) po boys in New Orleans. Check it out below and let us know what you think. 

1. Parasol's - Roast Beef Po Boy 

This is by far the best roast beef po boy in the city. The meat is amazingly tender, the gravy is thick and savory, and they use garlic bread instead of plain french bread, which adds a nice flavor and crunch to a po boy that would otherwise be quite soggy.
Parasol's Bar & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

2. Domilise's -Fried Oyster Po Boy

This is the only place you should get a fried oyster po boy. Once you try it, nothing else will compare. Domilises Po-Boy & Bar on Urbanspoon

3. Dong Phuong - Banh Mi (Vietnamese Po Boy)

Everything on the menu is amazing, but I reccomend the No. 1 "French Cold Cut" Banh Mi. This is absolutely worth the drive to the East.
Dong Phuong Oriental Restaurant & Bakery on Urbanspoon

4. Parkway- Surf and Turf Po Boy

The Surf and Turf po boy is one of my absolute favorites in the city. It combines three of my favorite things, fried shrimp, roast beef, and a TON of gravy!
Parkway Bakery & Tavern on Urbanspoon

5. Guy's - Fried Shrimp Po Boy

There are tons of spots around the city that serve up a great fried shrimp po boy, but Guy's is consistently delicious, and affordably priced for the quality ingredients used.
 Guy's Po-Boys on Urbanspoon

6. Crabby Jack's - Fried Green Tomato & Shrimp Remoulade Po Boy

This po boy is an amazing combo of boiled shrimp and fried green tomatoes smothered in delicious remoulade sauce. 
Crabby Jack's on Urbanspoon

7. Crabby Jack's -Cochon de Lait Po Boy

Crabby Jack's cochon de lait po boy is also amazing, but I've found that's delicious anywhere you get it.
Crabby Jack's on Urbanspoon

8. Ninja - Soft Shell Crab Po Boy

Ninja only makes this po boy a few times a year for festivals but it is fantastic! I have never had a better soft shell crab po boy. The tempura batter and spicy mayo add a nice Japanese twist to this Louisiana classic.
Ninja Restaurant & Sushi Bar on Urbanspoon

9. Louisiana Discount Market - Hot Sausage Po Boy

If you've never had a Hot Sausage Po Boy you are missing out. Louisiana Discount Market serves up a giant version of this spicy, greasy delicacy for only $4. Beware: this will cause some serious heart burn.
 Gene's Po-Boys on Urbanspoon

10. Mahony's "Peace-Maker" Po Boy 

The "Peace-Maker" is one of the stranger po boys on the market, combining fried chicken liver and coleslaw, but it's delicious if you love chicken livers as much as I do. 
 Mahony's Po-Boy Shop on Urbanspoon

Biggest Loser: Mother's "Ferdi Special"

This thing is just plain nasty. It starts off with honey baked ham and roast beef, and then is piled high with debris, and a very watery gravy. The sandwich would have been okay if it hadn't been so incredibly soggy, but it still would not have been good. By far the worst po boy I've ever had.
Mother's Restaurant on Urbanspoon