Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I Was About Twelve…

Update: The post-surgery evaluation went very well and the pathologist’s report said that the growth was not cancerous. The robotic surgery with a competent surgeon at the controls went very well—no pain, no discomfort after surgery, and I was walking quite easily the day after surgery.
Other news: we were involved in an accident—no injuries to anyone, but it will require about a month to repair the damage to the truck (a really long story). So for the next month or so, we will be posting entries on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The reasons for the abbreviated schedule are: 1) it is hot and humid in Cajun Country in the summer (three days ago, the heat index for Ville Platte, LA—about 20 miles from our campground in Duson—was 115 degrees), so extended time outside is unlikely, 2) we have visited this area for several extended stays in the past, so there are few new places that we have not visited, and 3) many of our stops at restaurants are at those which have become our favorites and the subjects of earlier entries.
So with that up-date completed, Kate resumes our writings with an entry about a recent restaurant stop.

I Was About Twelve…

when one morning my mother threw up her hands and declared “I’m not going to fight with you every morning.” What was the topic of our daily fight? Breakfast. Her insistence that I eat it and my equal insistence that I not.

Breakfast has never been my favorite meal of the day. And, if I am going to eat it, it has to occur at least an hour—if not more—after I have gotten up and only after a cup or two of coffee. And then it will probably only consist of a bowl of yogurt topped with some crunchy cereal (I hate soft foods) or a couple slices of toast with peanut butter—crunchy of course.

So I was intrigued when I read about a new restaurant—Brick & Spoon, in Lafayette, LA—that promised a unique take on familiar breakfast foods and whose menu I found equally intriguing.
As described at brickandspoonrestaurant.com: “We’re serving a complete, high-quality Southern experience for those who want accessible, affordable alfresco dining. Completely sophisticated and sensual yet totally casual, our menu features hearty breakfast and lunch fare paired with deliciously unique cocktails and built-to-order Bloody Marys….”

“New brunch spot Brick & Spoon hasn’t even been open in Lafayette for a month, but two more locations are set to open soon, one in Houston and another in Orange Beach, Ala. That’s because friends Ryan Trahan, 25, of Crowley, (LA) and Bryan Jewell, 30, of Rayne, (LA) want to quickly brand their breakfast-and-lunch restaurant. ‘We wanted to spread the Southern mojo,’ Jewell said. And with just a look at the menu and a taste of the food, it’s easy to understand why these young entrepreneurs are confident and why customers are willing to wait an hour or more for a table…” (Megan Wyatt theadvertiser.com).
“…The owners also designed the menu and they wanted it to be ‘as creative as possible,’ according to Trahan. ‘We want people to like what we do. We don’t want to be something that you can find anywhere. We want it to be unique to us.’
“…Along with brunch, comes those morning libations, and Brick & Spoon will have no shortage of those. The drink menu is full of infused Irish coffees, mimosa flights, and Big Spoon Bloody Marys with a choice of 50 different items to fill the concoction, including seafood, vegetables, cheeses, eggs and 10 to 12 different kinds of vodka, including some infusions with cucumber, bacon and others (Elizabeth Rose at theind.com).
The Bloody Mary has a base price of $10.00 for which you get your choice of vodka (one is a pickle vodka), five veggie “garnishes,” two meats and/or cheeses, and a choice of rim seasoning. Add-ons range from $.20 to $1.50 each. Depending on how elaborate one wants to be, the cost could increase dramatically.
I passed (this time) on the Bloody Mary, but we decided to share an order of Café Beignets served with fig marmalade. The order of four were good, but didn’t knock my socks off, and were no competition to those served at Café du Monde in New Orleans or the best we have found anywhere at the Coffee Depot in Scott, LA.
It was the list of brunch items that had gotten my attention and which offered a plethora of choices. Want eggs? Two choices are the Caribbean Scrambler (jerk seasoned chicken breast, onions, and grilled pineapple and topped with Monterrey cheese and mango salsa) and the Crab and Sweet Pepper Scrambler (sautéed crab meat, sweet peppers, corn, and house-made cheese sauce).

And their list of Eggs Benedict variations is one of the most creative I have seen and included: the Benedict Po-Boy with toasted French bread, grilled ham medallions, poached eggs, and traditional hollandaise; the Soft Shell Crab Benny with a cornmeal dusted soft shell crab, grilled ham, poached eggs, Creole hollandaise, and scallions; the Oyster Bed with cornmeal dusted oysters, tomato, pecan smoked bacon, and poached egg topped with rosemary hollandaise; and the Korean BBQ Beef with in house Korean BBQ sauce, red onion, mango salsa, poached eggs topped with traditional hollandaise.

I was really tempted by the Korean BBQ Benedict, but finally settled on the chorizo stuffed Breakfast Tacos. The menu described the shells as fried wontons, and although these did not meet my definition of a wonton, their use was sheer genius.
They were light and thin and so crisp that they tended to shatter when bitten into leaving a plate of wonton shards which I didn’t let go to waste. The chorizo wasn’t overly spiced which, at 10:00 a.m., can be a good thing. I would have deemed this dish spectacular if the cheese and lettuce garnish not have been so ice cold that they almost immediately lowered the temperature of the meat filling.

I was sure that Chuck was going to order the Stuffed French Toast Sliders stuffed with mascarpone and whipped cream cheese and topped with fresh berries, Fosters sauce (Is this similar to Bananas Foster sauce, I wonder.), whipped cream and powdered sugar. But then he surprised me and chose the Roasted Corn, Crab, & Sweet Pepper Crêpe.
An ethereally light and thin French crêpe was stuffed with lump crab, roasted corn, and sautéed sweet peppers and bathed in their house-made cheese sauce that contained more than just a hint of Cajun/Creole-like seasoning. As I have said on numerous occasions, corn and crab are one of the culinary world’s most perfect combinations, and the heat in the cheese sauce was the ideal offset.

Brick & Spoon’s menu doesn’t have either of the two standard breakfast potatoes—home fries or hash browns. Instead, many of the dishes—including our two—come with ‘Pomme Frites’ (French fries). You can get these either plain (my choice) or dressed with truffle oil and parmesan cheese (Chuck’s choice). What a mistake I made! The truffle and salty cheese taste of Chuck’s elevated the humble fry to potato nirvana. Make no mistake. This is not a mistake I will make again should be have the opportunity to return.
There were a couple of missteps—especially my ice cold cheese and lettuce—but we still are looking forward to a second visit and award Brick & Spoon 4.5 Addies.

To review the role of Adler and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.

No comments: