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.