Craft Beer, Fine Wine, Artisan Spirits, and Mouthgasmic Food.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Vietnamese Food in New Orleans

During my stint in New Orleans, I took researching Vietnamese food seriously.  I tried many establishments, several times before I made up my mind - and there were many who did not make the list.  Here's the results of my research.
  • Best Overall Dishes: Hoa Hong 9 Roses 1100 Stephens St  Gretna, LA 70053
    (504) 366-7665
    •  The dishes here are amazing.  I've had the Vietnamese Crepe, bird's nest dish, and grilled pork dishes that were out of the water.
    • My favorite dish is the grilled pork with rice cake.  Get it. 
  • Second Best Dishes: Tan Dinh  1705 Lafayette St  Gretna, LA 70053
    (504) 361-8008
    • The coconut rice cakes that come with make of the main courses are quite delicious.
    • The chicken wings and quail were really delicious as well, however, the way they were served was really awkward and uncomfortable to eat. 
      • I have hard time understanding how to eat the quail in a steamed bun.  Many tiny bones don't really make it easy to eat. 
    • The service here is not very good at all.  Expect poor service and you won't be disappointed. 
  • Best Banh Mi: Dong Phuong Oriental Bakery and Restaurant 14207 Chef Menteur Hwy  New Orleans, LA 70129  (504) 254-0296
    • This isn't necessarily my favorite style of banh mi, but it is very, very, very delicious.  The bread was perfect.  The mayo was amazing.  Oh yes...... it is only a 15 minute drive away from downtown. 
  • Second Best Banh Mi:  Tan Dinh  1705 Lafayette St  Gretna, LA 70053
    (504) 361-8008
    • The banh mi here are tasty.  I'd eat them. 
  • Best Pastries: Dong Phuong Oriental Bakery and Restaurant 14207 Chef Menteur Hwy  New Orleans, LA 70129  (504) 254-0296
    • The pastries here are amazing.  I have not had Vietnamese pastries like this before. 
    • Get one of each pastry at least. I said at least.  They are amazing.  Did I mention that?
    • Meat pies.  Meat pies.  MEAT PIES!
    • I think the bakery was way better than the restaurant.

The quail at Tan Dinh were very tasty, but weird to eat.  How do you put a little bird with bones in a sandwich?

These chicken wings (available as an appetizer or as a mean) at Tan Dinh were very tasty and wonderfully crispy.  However, it was kind of weird to eat finger food with rice cakes. 

This is my favorite dish at Hoa Hong 9 Roses .  It is the grilled pork with rice cake. 

Dong Phuong Oriental Bakery had some rad cakes.  How's this for a dragon cake?

Aww..... a basket of flowers for me?

A close up the meat pies at Dong Phuong Oriental Bakery.  The bread is simply amazing. 

Here's a cross-section of one of the meat pies.  I dream of these pastries. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Three #Food, #Drink, and #Beer Kickstarters to Watch

Kickstarters aren't new, but they are somewhat new in food.  Last year, Salt and Time ran a Kickstarter to build out their brick and mortar store.  If you've been there, you're probably thanking all of those backers who made it possible.

Here's three other Kickstarters that you might want to consider.

1. Do you like to cook with beer?  How about drinking beer while cooking?  Regardless of which you like to do, here's a great book for you.  Lucy Sanders is a well-respected contributor to the craft beer community.  Her latest book, Dinner in the Beer Garden, is a must for all those aficionados out there.  Her other books: Grilling with Beer, Cooking with Beer, and The Best of American Beer and Food are available on Amazon.

Go ahead, click on the Kickstarter, and get yourself the latest addition to Lucy's line up of books.  Get some other cool things too, like a conversation with Lucy!

Sample recipe layout and design by Libby VanderPloeg

2. Genki-Su: Japanese Tart Tonic drinking vinegar is pretty tasty.  Takako was nice enough to send some sample bottles to me, and I was pleased.  Unfortunately, I missed posting this before their Kickstarter ended, but I'm posting anyways.  I can't make any claims about the health benefits as I've only had a few servings, but I can tell you that the flavors are pretty awesome. 
Don't be put off by the word vinegar.  You mix them with club soda, juice, or some other liquid in a 1:6 or 7.  The final product (when mixed with club soda) is like an exotic soda.  My favorite is the yuzu.  Also, I am posting this because after the Kickstarter is finished, they are planning to distribute in Whole Foods in Texas, Washington, Oregon, and California.  There will always be opportunities to purchase it later. 

3. Locapour is the brainchild of Mike Langford You might know him from NomX3.  I've known Mike for a long time now, and our passion for beer hasn't faded.  I can't say enough nice things about the beer community.  The people are just awesome, simply awesome.  I support anyone and everyone who showcases are local craft brewers.  I must also mention the Beer Diaries, another video series about beer, here as well.   More videos, more beer, more friends.  :o)  Your contribution to his Kickstarter will support future episodes.
Here's a sample video: