Sunday, May 18, 2014

Eating Farm to Table in Lafayette

We were talking with a Lafayette resident the other day, and she explained that she will be leaving her job later this summer to both home school one of her children and to build her business making all natural artisan soaps. During this conversation, she described how Lafayette is becoming a “crunchy” city. I knew exactly what she meant and the words “crunchy granola” immediately came to mind. (Crunchy granola is a descriptor for “defining oneself by ecological awareness, liberal political views, and support or use of natural products and health foods..” [dictionary.reference.com]).

While local restaurants have always prided themselves on serving Louisiana fish and seafood, many now tout their local sourcing of dairy, meats, produce, etc. and many display lists of suppliers inside their restaurant. And “(i)t’s easy to offer farm-to-table cuisine in Lafayette, for the region is ripe with farms, bakeries and butcher shops and a long tradition of living off the land and environment. Not to mention Lafayette is home to some of the country’s finest chefs…” (mylafayettetravel.blogspot.com).

And so the next couple of days we will visit two of our favorite farm to table Lafayette restaurants starting with The Saint Street Inn.
“The Saint Street Inn…near the University of Louisiana at Lafayette campus was founded with farm-to-table in mind. Owners Mary Tutwiler and Nathan Stubbs frequent the city’s farmer’s markets to take advantage of fresh produce and organic products and their beef and smoked sausage comes from a Eunice slaughterhouse near Lafayette. Specialty meats such as andouille may be purchased from Johnson’s Boucanière in Lafayette and tasso from Best Stop in Scott. The Saint Street Inn also changes its menu to accommodate what’s available seasonally, serving up sandwiches, salads, pizza, burgers and entrées…” (mylafayettetravel.blogpot.com).

The first thing you need to know is that The Saint Street Inn is not the kind of place where you pop in for a quick bite. Food can be slow coming out of the kitchen. For distraction, you can admire the changing works of art that decorate the walls like this piece entitled “Storm I-49” by Baton Rouge artist Katherine Lemoyne.
Or you can make us of the small colored pencil to write or draw on the heavy white paper table cover.
Table centerpiece: A pencil in a glass jar and a flower arrangement

We both passed on the day’s specials—the roasted tomato, chickpea, and Swiss chard soup and the crawfish red curry. My selection was the Shroomwich sandwich on a ciabatta roll with local shiitake, crimini, and oyster mushrooms with Swiss cheese, arugula, and basil pesto.
First, the ciabatta roll (not made in-house but procured from Poupart’s Bakery) was exceptional—light and crisp. And the sandwich certainly didn’t lack for nice meaty mushrooms. I couldn’t really taste the pesto which may have been a good thing. Pesto can at times be overwhelming. The most dominant flavor in the sandwich came from the arugula. It’s a really good thing that I like arugula.

Chuck’s choice was the Black & Gold—a vegetarian black bean burger with arugula, tomato, sprouts, and spicy avocado spread.
And as was the case with my pesto, you couldn’t really taste the avocado spread. Since he is not the biggest avocado fan, this was just fine with him. The burger itself had good flavor and tasted lightly of cumin. But the texture was softer and mushier than we expected. I’ve taught him well--Chuck looked at me and asked if this needed some nuts or seeds. He hit it right on the head. And, like my sandwich, what you tasted more than anything was the arugula.

For dessert, our server enticed us to order the strawberry shortcake with house-made vanilla ice cream. Sounded good to us.
And so we waited. And we waited. And we waited. All the while the three (or maybe four) servers were bustling back and forth between the kitchen and the dining tables set on the front porch. Funny thing. They never seemed to be carrying any food. They just kept rushing back and forth.

No shortcake. Are they waiting for the strawberries to ripen? Chuck flags our server and asked about the delay. I suspect that she had forgotten. Five minutes passes. Then ten. The server comes to our table and says it will be only a few more minutes.

We told her to forget it.
Over the six years of our travels we have been in only one city that we really didn’t like and to which we have no desire to return. That city is Portland, OR. To us, it is a city that tries to hard. And while I have never seen the TV show Portlandia, this note, written by Willliam Yardley from the New York Times, is perfect. “The first episode of ‘Portlandia,’ a new television show that pokes at this Northwest confection’s urban preciousness, includes a scene in which a couple at a restaurant interrogates a waitress about the quality of the life lived by a chicken they hope to order. The couple soon learns that the bird was raised locally on sheep’s milk, soy and hazelnuts, and that it had a name, Colin.”

It is that all-artisan, all the time pretentiousness that we found so annoying. And you know something? You could set The Saints Street Inn in the middle of Portlandia and it would be right at home. This was our fourth visit over the years, and time has not been kind to the restaurant’s attitude. It is a place that is now trying too hard.

By itself, the food probably merits 4.0 Addies, but the service and attitude only rate 2.5 Addies. I’m not certain that I’ll want to return for a while.

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

4 comments:

adham said...



شركة تنظيف بالطائف شركة الهدي افضل شركة نقل عفش بالطائف كذلك هى افضل شركة رش مبيدات بالطائف
شركه الهدى
شركة رش بالطائف
خدمات الطائف
شركة تنظيف بالطائف
شركة تنظيف فلل بالطائف
نظافه عامه بالطائف
شركة تنظيف منازل بالطائف

adham said...



شركة تنظيف شقق بالطائف
نقل عفش بالطائف
بالطائف شفط بيارات
تسليك مجارى بالطائف
تنظيف خزنات بالطائف
رش مبيدات بالطائف
نقل عفش بخميس مشيط
شركة عزل اسطح بالطائف

adham said...



ان اردت نقل عفش منزلك بالدمام ابيات الشرقية من اهم شركات نقل العفش بالدمام والخبر والجبيل والقطيف والاحساء
شركة المتحدة
شركة نقل عفش بنجران
شركة نقل عفش بخميس مشيط
شركة نقل عفش بالطائف
شركة نقل عفش بمكة
شركة نقل عفش بينبع
شركة نقل عفش بابها

adham said...


شركة نقل عفش بالرياض
شركة نقل عفش بجدة
شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة
شركة نقل عفش ببريدة
شركة نقل عفش بالقصيم
شركة نقل عفش بتبوك