Having read a number of good things about Emeril Lagasse's NOLA, we decided it would be a nice place for an early lunch.
The service was excellent, from the host and hostess to our trio of servers and busboy. The food, however, was only good as opposed to very good.
And that's disappointing in such a legendary food town.
We began well enough with a tasty warm jalapeño corn muffin.
Great with a smear of soft butter.
The good start continued with our appetizer of crispy duck livers, slow-cooked Southern greens, caramelized onions, and Creole mustard cream ($9).
I enjoyed the mustard cream very much, and the duck livers were an interesting new find for me. They were a tad on the dry side, but they definitely had the potential to be wonderful when not overcooked.
Mr. Monkey's entree was a hot mess. His hickory-roasted beef brisket and orecchiette pasta brie cream mac 'n' cheese, smoked St. Louis pork ribs, and honey-baked white beans ($25) looked like they'd been slopped on by a disgruntled school cafeteria lady.
I generally don't care that much about the appearance of my food, but I did expect better from a restaurant of this purported caliber. The brisket was the best thing on the plate -- nice and smoky, moist and tender. The white beans took second place, while the ribs were forgettable and the so-called mac 'n' cheese just sad.
And that's really sad because it's tough to make me angry about mac 'n' cheese.
The orecchiete and brie just didn't work. The consistency was wrong. The flavor was wrong. It was wrong wrong wrong.
My dish was not much better, both plating-wise and tastewise. This Carolina-style pulled pork panini on roasted onion bread with pepperjack cheese, potato salad, slaw, and green onion hush puppies ($13) fell as flat as the bread looks.
Pulled pork and cheese? How in the world could this be bad? Well, it wasn't bad per se. It just wasn't as *great* as it should've been. And the hush puppies? Overdone. Sigh.
And you know I love hush puppies. Kinda like I love mac 'n' cheese.
I was too sad to try dessert. Didn't want to risk further disenchantment.
At least there were more worthwhile photos to be taken in the vicinity.
We heard a brass band and followed what we thought was a little parade. The parade stopped at this hotel, and it turned out to be a newly married couple and their wedding guests!
What a great time! I wish we'd had a parade after we got married!
I asked Mr. Monkey to stand here because I liked the colors.
Saw this tantalizing dish on the street!
We went back to the hotel to get picked up for our next excursion. Before we headed out, we took a look at the view from our hotel rooftop.
Next: Marshmallows and alligators.
Oh no, that's sad to hear re: NOLA :(ReplyDelete
what a disappointing lunch! it all sounded good in theory, especially that mac + cheese, but execution is apparently another story.ReplyDelete
mr. monkey looks good in orange!
Emeril's restaurants tend to have the reputation of starting strong, and then faltering. My parents used to go to his first restaurant, Emeril's when they were in N'arlins but had the same problem with the food quality declining over he years.ReplyDelete
And in my experience all hush puppies are not created equal. But I am a self proclaimed hush puppy snob.
Disappointing hush puppies in NOLA? Dry duck? Slopping? That all makes me very, very sad.ReplyDelete
Sloppy plating is a travesty! And that photo you took of Po-man with the colors is spectacular. You should print it, frame it, and put it on your nightstand.ReplyDelete
Oooh-we ate at NOLA! I'd forgotten the name until I saw your pics ;-) Either the food truly has declined over the past (gulp) 5 years since I was preganant or I was too busy eating everything in sight to notice *blush*ReplyDelete
I do recall not being overlly impressed.
i'm so sad about your craptastic lunch. but hey, your pictures make it look much better than it apparently was!ReplyDelete
the pics are gorgeous, as always.
Wow!! You weren't kidding about the plating! Mr. Monkey's plate looks so haphazard. :(ReplyDelete
oh man i love new orleans so much. your pictures just make me want to up and visit tomorrow!ReplyDelete
I love the picture of mr. monkey in nola!ReplyDelete
Love the pic of Mr. Monkey in front of the door!ReplyDelete
Gah! Your pictures are awesome! Looks like you're putting that photography class to good use. :)ReplyDelete
mr. m is adorable.ReplyDelete
Being too sad to try dessert makes me a little sad too. Bummer on the hush puppies and mac n'cheese.ReplyDelete
This just makes me sad. :(ReplyDelete
At least your pictures are yummy!
Your photos are beautiful. I've decided you should become a photographer if you get sick of your current job :)ReplyDelete
looks like you're putting that lens to GREAT use... 18mm is so nice and wide, I'm jealous!ReplyDelete
Still more beautiful pics of NOLA! Thanks for the picture tour; I still want to go visit it one day. :)
Awesome. Thank you so much for the photos and commentary. I've never been to an Emeril restaurant, so for now this is the closest I'll get!ReplyDelete