Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday 5: Abby Perkins of Windfield Farm Bakery and Cajun Cane Kettle Corn

Abby Perkins has been satisfying your hankering for salty-sweet corn kernels with her Cajun Cane Kettle Corn at the Lafayette Farmers and Artisans Market at the Horse Farm (among other places) for a few years now. Her newest venture,Windfield Farm Bakery, promises to be just as sweet and delicious. Get to know Abby in this week's Friday 5.

1. Neighborhood Hangout - Lets set the scene. You wake up well rested from a fun night on the town, starving with only one place that will fill that gaping hole in your stomach, numb that hangover and quench the need for more live music. That’s right, Im talking about Artmosphere Bistro's Bottomless Mimosa Brunch. With their new menu rolling out new and improved items every week, it’s become a weekly ritual for me. Side note: Kids are welcome and they enjoy it as much as the big kids do!

2. Introducing Out of Towner's to Lafayette - When I have friends and family come in town to visit there is only one obvious choice to delight their curious pallets and that’s Bread & Circus Provisions. Manny Augello has such a grasp on Lafayette's diversifying culinary needs. With a menu that is always changing and expanding its sure to impress even the pickiest of Out of Towners. No one knows the art of choppin' up some pig like this man. I mean, he's made me fall in love with parts of the swine I never thought possible! Side note: HOGS HEAD CHEESE! *BOOM*

3. Specialty Cocktails - Without question my favorite place to cocktails is Pamplona Tapas Bar. You can tell with every sip of their creative cocktails, that passion and a true knowledge of what it takes to make a some of the Lafayette's best cocktails. Don’t forget your bacon wrapped stuffed dates to go with that drink y'all!

4. Eating on the Cheap - Three words tight wads, Jefferson Street Pub! I appreciate all of the vegans and vegetarians out there, but girl loves her nothing more than a HUGE rare Hamburger and an ice cold canebrake from JSP. Their burgers have everything going for them. From the ideally sweet and rich buns and abundance of topping choices, to the perfectly seasoned and cooked paddy its by far my favorite burger in Lafayette. There is only one thing that makes this burger better and that’s the price. Thursday evenings at JSP has become by favorite spot. Not into burgers y'all? Try Wednesday $2 Taco night!

5. Family Dining - Some might say that I'm a little bias but Lafayette Farmers and Artisans Market is my favorite place to take my kids. It has some of Lafayette's most talented chefs at your finger tips. Between the food trucks and the vendors you have an abundance of choices that is sure to please everyone in your family. Great food choices combined with 100 acres of land to let your little balls of insane amounts of energy get dirty, climb trees and explore, it's my favorite place in Lafayette across the board.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Friday 5: Anne Falgout of Anne Can Cook

Anne Falgout serves as President of the705. Oh! She's also a Community Blogger/Citizen Member of the Editorial Board at The Daily Advertiser. When she's not doing that, she acts as Co-Chair of Lafayette Junior Leadership. She wears many hats (and the occassional apron) all while running her Facebook page, Anne Can Cook.

1. Guilty pleasure- Well, my favorite thing in the world is brunch. It’s the only socially-acceptable time where someone can put alcohol in their fruit or vegetable juice and call it “normal.” Add to that the use of eggs and I’m sold! Bread & Circus has answered all of my prayers by serving brunch on Saturday morning, one of a few places in town that do. Manny and his team always put together the most delightfully-bizarre combinations that appeal to both my gastro and cerebral appetites. And I’m not alone! It’s not uncommon for me to dine alongside some of Lafayette’s most renowned chefs who love to dine here after a busy Friday night. Try a Bounut (boudin donut), Forgotten Breakfast (hogshead cheese and grits), PCP Fries (potatoes and pastrami) or…you know what? Just order everything and top it off with a Bloody Mary, everything – including the cracklin’ on top – is made in house. YUM! (And that cute little dishwasher in the back is my daughter Emma, eat everything so she doesn’t have to work so hard.)

2. Eating on the Cheap- Athena Greek & Lebanese Express in the Citgo station on Kaliste Saloom is my go-to place for deliciously inexpensive food. My favorite thing is to go in on a Thursday or Friday evening and grab the Sample Plate for Two. It’s packed with gyro meat and chicken, Grecian dip, hummus, grape leaves, kibby, and salad. I eat off of it the entire weekend and still usually have some left over. Coming in right under $20 bucks it may seem too pricey for “eating on the cheap”, but it’ll easily feed a family of four or a couple of really hungry adults. Either way, it’s a steal!

3. Neighborhood Hangout- Before it was in its new location, La Pagua was our hidden neighborhood treasure. Nestled behind the Baskin & Robbins on Johnston Street, this little family-owned restaurant was the only place in town to find authentic street tacos and chilaquiles (think soggy nachos, but much better haha). Now, they’ve moved to Time Plaza, but you’ll still find the neighborhood folk (basically everyone that lives between Camellia and Ambassador Caffery) packing the place and enjoying the amazing margaritas or sizzling fajitas. Don’t expect to find a ton of melted-cheese-laden Tex-Mex dishes here, the menu is instead accented with fresh Mexican entrees, spicy sauces, raw onion and cilantro.

4. Family Dining- Kids love to dine out, but the options can be pretty limited. Pricey menus and “funny textures” sometimes prevent families from enjoying a night out on the town. But one thing always saves the day, pizza. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Pizza?! Come on Anne.” But hear me out! Tons of places around town are offering kid-friendly pizza options WITH a big variety of other dishes for mom and dad, too. Alesi’s, Deano’s, and Pizza Artista are some of our favorites, but Ruffino’s also does a fun make-your-own-pizza special for kids and La Pizzeria offers a patio on which the hooligans can dispose of their energy – don’t judge me. Added bonus? All these places serve alcohol.

5. Late Night Hangout- Legend’s Annex not only has a killer patio, perfect for post-DTA gathering, but it also boasts a tasty menu. While the battle of the burger will always rage on in Lafayette, no one can argue that the variety and consistency of Legend’s burgers makes them a serious contender for the title. If you don’t want beef give the chicken quesadilla a try. And I’ve yet to find better seared tuna than the one you get inside of a Legend’s wrap…seriously. The quality and taste of this bar food rivals many traditional restaurants, and did I mention their margaritas? Phew!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Friday 5: Megan Wyatt

You may recognize her as the Entertainment Reporter from The Daily Advertiser. What you may not know is that this week's Friday 5 industry insider is also the Queen of Grub City. Get to know fellow food writer Meagn Wyatt.

1. Hole in the Wall- D&D Donuts and Kolaches. Located at the edge of the UL campus inside of the Chevron gas station at the corner of University and Pinhook, you'd never guess that this spot has the most incredible sausage and cheese kolaches. I stumbled across D&D a few years ago when almost every other kolache spot in town was closed for the July 4th weekend, and I'm glad I did. D&D is also a spinoff of Meche's Donut King, so you'll find that the doughnuts are quite familiar.

2. Best Boudin- My favorite road trip spot is T-Boy's Slaughterhouse, which has locations in Mamou and Eunice. My favorite Lafayette Parish spot is Nunu's Fresh Market in Youngsville. What I like about both places is the spice level (pretty hot but not overwhelming), the meat-to-rice-to-liver ratio, the presence of green onion and the lack of gristle. Boudin is a favorite Saturday lunch for sure!

3. Guilty Pleasure- Pizza Hut's stuffed crust pizza topped with pepperoni and jalapeños. There's just something about that crust and the weird tasting cheese inside of it that transports me back to the slumber party nights of my childhood. Do I feel guilty eating this chain restaurant's overpriced, unhealthy pizza? You betcha. It's a guilty pleasure for a reason!

4. Date Night- My fiancé and I don't have a single go-to spot. We both love trying new restaurants, so we can almost always be found dining at a local restaurant on the weekends. If I had to pick a date-night spot that has everything from the food and cocktails to the service and ambiance down to a science though, it would be Pamplona Tapas Bar. Dimly lit and intimate, this downtown spot offers everything from escargot and sweetbreads to ribeye and gouda mac. I've never left disappointed!

5. Favorite Dessert- There are so many amazing dessert options at local restaurants, and so often those options are rotated out before I get a chance to taste them. The one dessert that always comes to mind when I'm thinking of a consistent menu item is the cream cheese ice cream at Antoni's Italian Cafe. This quaint Oil Center restaurant serves up this rich-yet-balanced ice cream with a tart raspberry sauce and an airy cookie wafer. My mom and I will occasionally drop by Antoni's just for the ice cream!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Friday 5: Katie Culbert of Runaway Dish

Runaway Dish has been documenting South Louisiana foodways and supporting the local culinary community since 2013. In this week's Friday 5, we get to know one of the people responsible for its success, Katie Culbert.

1. Introducing Acadiana to Out of Towners - ABBEVILLE OYSTERS & CAJUN CLAWS.
A trip to Abbeville is my favorite food field trip. One, because Abbeville has THREE oyster bars. And two, because it has Cajun Claws. A dozen oysters and a cocktail at Black’s, Dupuy’s, or Shuck’s (all fab in their own right). Then on to Cajun Claws for the fried shrimp appetizer in the bar or at the table and of course boiled crawfish. I like mine extra spicy with onions, and I always encourage everyone at the table to go for extra spicy. I mean do you want to have an outer body experience or what? Extra spicy or not, your out of town guests will die and go to crawfish heaven. I still do every time.

2. Date (Night) Morning - SATURDAY FARMERS MARKETS
My husband Denny and I spend a few hours every Saturday morning at both the Hub City Farmer’s Market and the Farmer’s Market at the Horse Farm. We get everything. Vegetables, kombucha, sausage, lamb, eggs, bread, pecan oil, and a coffee or fresh juice for the road. Shopping for the freshest and purest and most delicious food you can possibly get with the one you love is pretty HOTT in my opinion.

3. Late Night Hangout - BROWN’S
I never thought I could love a pork steak sandwich as much as I love Brown’s pork steak sandwich. Next time you find yourself hanging around the Blue Moon or Feed N Seed for a Soul Creole show or Lost Bayou Ramblers show, chances are Brown will be there manning his massive pit he drives in on a flatbed from Cottonport. At 2am, there is absolutely nothing better. And I swear that’s not the gin talking.

4. Favorite Dessert - SOCIAL SOUTHERN TABLE & BAR
One of the most ambitious and off the chain food things happening in Lafayette right now is pastry chef Brittany Waters’ dessert menu at Social. Just go. She changes the menu monthly. Monthly! So you will have to go next month too. And the month after that. And then it will just be habit. Yes, make dessert at Social a habit.

My face would turn into the emoji with the squinty eyes, smile, and rosy cheeks when I would think of Whole Wheatery Eatery’s chicken salad sandwich or tuna salad sandwich or pimento cheese sandwich. I knew that each sandwich was made with love. The way they added that thin layer of sprouts. The way they cut it in half. The neatly wrapped foil package they'd give you. It was the sweetest little sandwich ever. RIP Whole Wheatery Eatery. You are missed.

Friday 5 Road Trip NOLA: Chef Alon Shaya

It's not every week we get to introduce you to a James Beard Winner. Take a well deserved trip to The Crescent City and meet 2015 James Beard Best Chef: South, Alon Shaya. Blending the flavors of his homeland of Tel Aviv and drawing from Italian influences from his childhood home in Philadelphia, Chef Alon is turning NOLA on end with his interpretations of classics and new favorites at his two restaurants, Domenica and Pizza Domenica.

1. Special Occasions - When it's time to celebrate, hire a driver and head out to Mosca's Italian Restaurant. That place invented creole Italian dining. They serve some crazy amazing shrimp cooked with their heads on in butter, rosemary and black pepper. My favorite combo there is the Oysters Mosca put on top of the Spaghetti Bordelaise. Turn up the juke box, get loud with some friends, drink Chianti and eat some meatballs. Nothing gets better or more fun than that.

2. Guilty Pleasure - On late nights when I'm on my way home from work and haven't eaten all day, I stop at Brother's Food Mart and get some Fried Chicken and Meat Pies. It's a craving that cannot be replaced by anything else. I limit my visits to once every few months so I don't double in size.

3. Eating on the Cheap - Tan Dinh Vietnamese restaurant is absolutely addictive. I always find myself craving their Spicy Tofu, Chicken Pho and Grilled Pork Spring Rolls. It's all about sharing there so go with a group and order a big spread.

4. Neighborhood Hangout - I love Pagoda Cafe, which is a great coffee and breakfast spot. They turned a really charming little building into an anchor for the neighborhood. Since I work nights my wife and I love to walk our dogs there and get Cappuccinos and Smoked Salmon and Capers with Cream Cheese on Toast.

5. Dining Solo - Cafe Degas has one small outside table. If it's open, I will go and get a Hanger Steak and Fries while I catch up on some computer work. It's right in my neighborhood and is everything I want a French bistro to be. It's old school, it never changes and I find it very comforting and peaceful.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Friday 5: Hannah Ellaham of BiBi's Patisserie

Get to know Hannah Ellaham in this week's Friday 5. This gluten-free guru has been whipping up mouth watering treats on Pinhook for the past few years. Specializing in dietary restrictions, BiBi's offers 1000+ recipes and flavor combinations to cure your sweet tooth.

1. Late Night Hangout- Hands Down, Bread & Circus Provisions! Manny and his brilliant crew puts together an incredible variety of one of a kind food every Saturday night. Between the imaginative themed dinners to the boozy milkshakes, every late night diner is sure to leave full and satisfied!

2. Introducing Lafayette to Out of Towners- Dark Roux. From the inventive and knowledgeable chefs down to the locally sourced ingredients, these guys know Louisiana. At the forefront of the new wave Lafayette foodie movement, Dark Roux provides traditional dishes with a flair. For me, this is a MUST stop when I am showing out of towners a good time.

3. Date Night- If you are anything like me, a stiff dinner for two does not make for a good time. I think that is why Saint Street Inn is one of my favorite choices. The small, but absolutely quaint dinning room is always filled with good conversation and even better food. One of two all female staffed kitchens in Lafayette, the beautiful and talented ladies of Saint Street Inn provide a meal that you wont forget served with a smile.

4. Specialty Cocktails- SOCIAL!!! Social Southern Table & Bar's excellent selection of barrel aged spirits and their unique infusions keep me coming back for more. The inspired bartenders at Social are always working on a new concoction to blow your mind. If that wasn't enough, you are surrounded by a comfortable industrial/modern styled restaurant that creates magic in the kitchen.

5. Neighborhood Hangout- As a coffee and pastry enthusiast, not to mention the obvious affiliation, my favorite spot is Reve Coffee Roasters/Bibi's Patisserie. The coffee from Reve is roasted fresh every day and you can taste the quality and love that these gentlemen serve up in a cup, with a side of latte artwork. If your looking for artisianally crafted coffee you have arrived at your destination. Then, we take it a step further and add pastries provided by Bibi's Patisserie. Every creation is made 100% from scratch from grinding the flour to making extracts, this female run kitchen bakes love daily.