On a rainy day there is just something about an old bar that draws me. We decided to do lunch on Monday instead of Wednesday this week. Since it was rainy we came here. Also since it was raining I forgot to take an outside shot. As soon as we walked in we were greeted by both the bartender and 2 guys sitting at the bar. That is always a good sign. We started off with some breaded mushrooms for $7.95. They offer a choice of 3 dippers, which is unique. Marinara as well as cocktail and ranch.
They tasted pretty good. I have had a few better. I couldn’t place the breading. Had I know that the Head Food Dude was sitting at the bar with us I would have asked. By the time we were introduced the mushrooms were gone and so was the question.
After a long weekend of tryptophan, turkey and carbs Pat and I both craved a burger. We opted for a bacon cheeseburger for $8.75.
The only difference in our orders was Pat wanted pepperjack cheese and pickle only. I opted for Swiss with pickle and onion. I asked our bartender if they used red or white onion. I can tolerate red onion in a salad but not a burger. Yes I can be finicky. She told me I could have either one. Now that is service.
The burger was tasty, the pickles were crisp, the onions crunchy and the Brioche bun was beautiful. It was a very nice sandwich and they didn’t scrimp on the bacon; 3 strips.
As we entered we were informed of the lunch specials. A Cajun seasoned pork tenderloin and a blackened salmon Etouffee. Normally I would have jumped on the fish but as I said I was craving red meat. As we chatted with the 2 fellows sitting at the bar I discovered that their current chef had worked at Bourbon Distillery around the time Pat and I went there. If that is the case then he was responsible for my blacked trout with Etouffee that I had that day. The dish was excellent. So this just gives me an added incentive to return and try one of his fish dishes.
So we have an old bar with friendly patrons, excellent service and great food. On and the prices are reasonable. They even offer up great beer specials. PBR and Killian Red for $2.50 per pint. I wish I could remember our server/ bartender’s name. She did a terrific job. So I’ll be back with or with the rain.
SOT SOT started as a food truck. After a couple of years the owner decided to build a brick and mortar Cajun Table while keeping his food truck rolling. He picked an old abandoned building in a less than hip part of town and refurbished it. From what I hear he did most of the work himself. The result is a very good looking place with lots of exposed brick and shiny distressed wood flooring.
Cajun and Creole food are some of my favorites bites; and I have a bit of experience in it as does my bitter/better half. Since she didn’t want to come out to play I thought I would do carry out. They offer the obligatory Po Boy sandwiches as well as your typical entrees. They offer Crawfish and Shrimp Etouffee; Jambalaya; Bourbon Chicken and Vegetarian Red Beans and Rice. They are priced out at $7 to $10 each but you can order a pick two for $11.50 and a Sampler for $14.50. They also have Gumbo; either Seafood or Chicken& Sausage as a cup for $5 or a bowl for $10.
I ordered a pick 2 of Etouffee and Jambalaya and a bowl of Gumbo; all to go. When I got home I did not re-plate for the picture-taking. I took the pics as they are.
This is the pick two. The Etouffee is in the foreground and the Jam is in the background. Also the garlic bread is on the left. Well to be concise we were both underwhelmed and disappointed. The Etouffee had the best flavor and a nice “Cajun” feel to the veggies however we could only find one shrimp and one Crawdad tail. Lee ( my partner) was the lucky winner and she thought the shrimp was over cooked. The second part of our pick two was the Jam and it was definitely the least enjoyed. The texture was “mushy” and it had an odd taste that neither of us could name.
Our final dish was the $10 bowl of Gumbo.
I probably should have re-plated it but the only rice provided was in the bottom of the 12 ounce go bowl. Needless to say the picture is not very appealing. Apologies. We both thought it was a bit thin but that is probably subjective from what we are accustomed to. We differ on the basic flavor of the gravy. I thought it pretty good; reminiscent of a dark brown roux she did not. Another thing we were in agreement in was the dearth of veggies and meat in the dish. We ordered the chicken and sausage version and we got a few pieces of chicken and a rather mediocre sausage. So I don’t know what happened. Was it a very bad day and I should give this joint another go? I am not sure.
In summation. The Etouffee had the best flavor;just no shrimp or crawfish. The Jambalaya was a dish we could not finish and The Gumbo needs a bit of attention to the Trinity and the type of sausage. It is a nicely renovated building and I wish them the best.
Located on Indiana Avenue;across the street from the Madame Walker Theater a new joint opened up just before the Super Bowl.It is where Zing and some other place were situated;I can’t remember the name;but from what I gather neither are greatly missed.Pat and I first went there for beers after eating at Duos.That’s our modus operandi;we check a place out while having a beer ;check out the menu and put it on the list.
The place is a large two-story building with its own parking lot.The down stairs dining area is either used for dinner or overflow;because when you enter you are directed up stairs.The down stairs area is dark and cozy,while the upstairs is spacious with wall to wall windows and a super great balcony.As you can imagine they offer Creole and Cajun food;gumbo,jambalaya ettouffe and the notorious Po’Boy sandwich; the whole delta experience.They offer you a choice of fries with the sandwiches;unseasoned,or spicy.Pat got a grilled chicken Po’Boy with plain,naked unseasoned fries.Angel our excellent server said the spicy tasted like Rally’s;and I think their fries rock.Pat’s fries were crinkle cut,which is always a pleasant surprise.His chicken was both tender and moist and somewhere in the $10 range.
I,on the other hand wanted to be a little more adventuresome;and ordered the New Orleans plate ( I think that was what it was called ) no matter, it came with a garden salad or potato salad,a cup of jam,beans and rice a cup of corn and crab chowder,and 2 pieces of catfish all for $15.The tater salad was of the mashed variety as opposed to cubed again one of my favorite versions.The jambalaya had an excellent flavor with bits of sausage and shrimps.That was the only thing I could fault it on,a steam table cooks all the while it is on and little shrimp become tough when over cooked;as was the case here.The beans and rice were nice and creamy but I prefer bigger hunks of sausage;but that’s me.The chowder was smooth, creamy and slightly sweet from the crab and corn,pretty good.My biggest surprise was the catfish;I ordered it blackened,so naturally I expected it to be done in a cast iron skillet;but it wasn’t.It was seasoned with spices and then char grilled.Don’t get me wrong it was perfectly grilled,Pat even liked it;and as a general rule he likes his fish battered and fried.I just had “my mouth set ” for the cast iron experience.So if you want something a little different for lunch you really ought to give the Avenue a try.