First off, I can’t believe it has taken me this long to get to Angelette’s Cajun Kitchen, but better late than never!
I am a big fan of Cajun and Creole dishes, we try to visit New Orleans at least once a year so that I can eat my way through the city. Tallahassee has some decent New-Orleans style restaurants, to varying levels of success (exception the short-lived Tallahassee location of Stinky’s Fish Camp – which had the best po’ boy I have ever had in town).
I had heard that the brunch at Angelette’s was amazing, but it is hard to get from the NE side of town to Southwood on the weekends for us with various activities always keeping us busy. But I knew that I could get breakfast dishes any time there…so why go at lunch?
Eager to get the full experience, I chose a breakfast dish and the hubs got the roast beef po’ boy, with a bowl of gumbo to start. And what a way to start…
The gumbo was rich and flavorful without being very heavy. Nice chunks of sausage and chicken were liberally sprinkled throughout the gumbo, and you can tell the roux was cooked to a deep rich brown. The bread toasts that accompanied the gumbo were light and buttery – perfect to dip and sop up the sauce.
My Eggs a la Duane arrived soon after the gumbo, and it was amazing. It is a crawfish cream sauce over pan-fried grit cakes, seared andouille, and eggs over easy. Not a light dish, but man was it good. The sauce was creamy and well-seasoned, including lots of lovely crawfish pieces. The over-easy eggs became part of the sauce and made a wonderful bite with the grits and sausage.
This dish also came with toasted butter bread (score!) – critical to cleaning up any remaining sauce.
The roast beef po’ boy was not as photogenic, but delicious. The same soft, but crusty bread was used, piled high with roast beef and fixings. It came with a very good traditional southern potato salad, similar to the way my mom makes it but with larger chunks of mild pickles. (Other side options included dirty rice, baked potato, red beans & rice, and Zapp’s potato chips.)
Several times during our meal, the owner checked on us and our server was attentive and quick. I was really impressed by the staff and food, and am itching to bring my daughters here for breakfast on the weekend as the French Toast and the Beignets looks ridiculous. (Early to miss the lines though!)
Some times is it hard to come up with a creative option for lunch that isn’t too far from downtown. Fortunately, that has become less of a challenge with new places cropping up in the Midtown area in Tallahassee on a fairly constant basis.
When we arrived, the outside area seemed to be more populated with students/hipsters and the inside with more of the retiree/professor crowd. The music was a very soothing selection of 1940s classics such as Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.
The hubs and I easily got a great table by the window and perused the menu. The polite server let us know that they had fresh corn chowder and black bean soup as their specials and recommended the Roast Beef and California sandwiches.
We got both soups (I got the last corn chowder, FTW!). They were both very light and tasted very fresh. Mine was more of a corn soup than chowder, with almost no cream – but I liked the pronounced taste of the corn. The black bean was good with nice chunks of onion and carrot. They both could have used a little more seasoning, but a dash of salt seemed to help.
Mickey’s Roast Beef had sliced beef with mozzarella, onions and peppers on ciabatta bread, which was nice and soft inside, crispy on the outside. The sandwich also came with homemade au jus, which was yummy. I had the cole slaw on Tasty’s recommendation and it was very nice. I liked the use of sour cream for the base, although a little mayo would help ratchet up the richness of the texture.
My husband’s California was a hit with Boar’s Head Sausalito Turkey, avocado, swiss cheese, onion and peppers on Ciabatta. Both sandwiches were pressed and hot.
Mickey’s Lakeside Cafe was a nice, low-key option for lunch. I especially look forward to visiting when the weather is better and I can sit outside with the hipsters (people watching!)
Make sure to find Mickey’s Lakeside Cafe on Facebook to learn more about them.
I know that Ted’s Montana Grill is small(ish) chain, but since he owns so much land in our area, I consider it a kind of local place. The restaurants are mainly in Colorado and Georgia, sprinkled in some others on the East Coast and with one actually in Montana.
Ted’s aims to have that western feel with bison on the menu (and on the wall), resulting in an overall atmosphere that is very hunting lodge meets family restaurant. One of my favorite features is that you can call ahead to get on the waiting list – very necessary on Friday or Saturday nights.
We recently had a 10 year old’s birthday to celebrate, so we met my parents at Ted’s for dinner.We were all famished so we put in an order of their Chips and Dip, which is homemade kettle chips and ranch dip. Very creamy, and very good. Warning: this goes really fast with six people, so grab some early. (We saved the rest of the ranch to dip fries in…solid choice.)
My husband ordered a cheeseburger with fries. Their cheeseburger is by far one of the best in town. They sear fresh ground beef on a well-seasoned griddle and then steam the burger by covering it with a bowl and spraying liquid under the rim. The burger is incredibly juicy and you can taste the high quality of the beef. (The bison burger is excellent as well.) The french fries are freshly hand cut – if you eat at the bar, you can watch them cut the potatoes.
I attempted to order something new, but I just could not get the Red Rock Chicken Sandwich out of my head. This sandwich comes with grilled chicken breast, Pepper Jack cheese, fresh jalapeños, cilantro, fried onion straws and their signature Z-Sauce. The combination of the Z-sauce (kind of bbq sauce), the fried onions and jalapeños really enhances the chicken. And I love the ciabatta bread – they toast it on the interior side so that the outside isn’t too hard (which happens often with ciabatta.)
You can have the hand-cut fries, but I attempted to be healthier by getting a side of broccoli. They steam it till it is just barely tender, ask for it to be cooked longer if you like the broccoli more tender (as I do.)
B (the birthday girl!) got the Angus Sliders app and K got the kid’s menu steak and fries. The kid’s portions are no joke. Great size – I have even ordered the kids Salmon entrée for myself once and it was plenty.
My mom got the short ribs and mashed potatoes (looked amazing) and my dad got the same sandwich as I did. All were very pleased and we got boxes for the leftovers from the girls’ meals.
Last, but not least, we ordered birthday dessert. The official birthday dessert is a large homemade cookie and vanilla ice cream. Both girls got the chocolate chip. Once again, the portions are huge. The cookie was almost the size of B’s face! The vanilla ice cream was flavorful and creamy, a perfect foil to the immense cookie.
This was a great meal and I love bringing my family here. It is more expensive than most fern bar/restaurants, but the quality of the food and service make it worth it.
And get the burger. Do it.
I love when someone opens a restaurant or bar with a theme and they commit 100 percent. Alchemy is such a place. Set in the 1920s, they only serve prohibition-era alcohol (gin, tequila, rum, scotch, whiskey) and mixers, with lovely touches such as handcrafted maraschino cherries and thoughtful garnishes.
You have to make a reservation, and wait in the Midtown Filling Station for someone to escort you through the secret entrance. (Fun!)
Our server/mixologist Phillip greeted us with an apéritif of fresh watermelon and lime juice (with alcohol I’m sure, but I didn’t catch the name). Very refreshing and different, and a great way to start the evening.
The menu contains drinks from the 1920s such as the Side Car and Champagne Punch, as well as originals from the mixologists on staff. For our first round, we went safe, choosing items from the menu that seemed close to familiar modern drinks. Even though I normally do not like gin, our server/mixologist Phillip convinced me to try it. I ordered the “Bee’s Knees” containing gin, honey and lemon. My friends ordered the Mary Pickford (sweet, but not too sweet, with tequila, Grenadine, pineapple juice and maraschino cherries) and the Pimm’s Ginger (I’m not a big fan of Pimm’s, but my friend liked it).
After thanking Philip for making me try the gin, I asked what I should try next. He said “Can I just make you something?” (My absolute favorite response from a bartender/mixologist.) My response: “Yes!”
In the meantime, my friend ordered a Pisco Sour (Pisco is a Peruvian/Chilean alcohol from the twenties) and also includes lime (or lemon) juice, syrup, ice, egg white, and Angostura bitters. This was a really interesting drink. The egg white creates a rich foam on top, but it is actually very refreshing and herbal as a whole.
My mystery drink arrived in a rounded martini glass, and was amazing. Very light and lemony, with a little orange kick. Called the Corpse Reviver #2, it was the highlight of the night. The cocktail contains gin, Lillet Blanc, lemon, sugar and the glass had a quick rinse of absinthe. Very fancy and very dangerously yummy.
For the last Surprise Me! drink of the night, I received a champagne flute filled with a drink called the French 75. This beverage contained gin, Champagne, lemon juice, and sugar. Wonderful, and not too bubbly.
Alchemy is a great new addition to the Midtown area. It definitely caters to the professional, non-student crowd, and is a welcome addition for those wanting to try something different from your regular bar scene. You need a reservation, but once you get there, there is no rush to leave. You can follow Alchemy on Twitter at @alchemymidtown or find them on Facebook.
For a (slighty) more healthy Food Porn post this week, I went with a classic. This is a 2008 Food & Wine Recipe (recreated on The Bitten Word blog) that looks pretty and would be great as an app for a dinner party or tailgate.
Siam Sushi in the Lake Ella Publix Plaza is one of those places where, if you haven’t been there before, you have probably never heard of it. If you go there for lunch before noon, it is almost always barely occupied.
But, I love this place. The staff seems to be either family or friends. The food is fresh and good, even if not the fastest. They are very accommodating if you want to adjust the order from the menu.
I used to come in and just order the sushi rolls (creative and very large portions). Then, I tried their Thai curry dishes – game changer.
The Panang Curry and the Pad Thai are delicious. But, do you know what keeps me coming back? The Tom Kha soup.
I have always been hesitant about coconut milk. But, after this soup was recommended by our waitress, I have never entered their doors without ordering it. And if I have a head cold, this will heal you. Regular spicy is perfect, but if you really want to clean your sinuses out – the “Thai hot” is the way to go. You can choose between chicken, tofu and beef…I usually get the chicken.
Smooth, creamy, herbal and spicy – it’s like a comfort food I didn’t know I needed. (The (almost) 10 yr old loves it – her comment “it’s spicy, but it is so good I want more.”)
My friend got the the spicy tuna roll, which was good as usual. I got the Sashimi app, as I was trying to keep the calories down that day. The sashimi was in thick slices, and not as tender as Masa or Kitcho, but I think their strength lies in their Thai dishes. (And I have never had a bad sushi roll there.)
If you need a quiet lunch spot, this is the place. Or dinner, for that matter. They also have a cute outdoor space if the weather is nice (although you overlook the Lake Ella Publix parking melee.)
And please, for the love of all that is holy, get the Tom Kha soup.
Okra is not the prettiest vegetable, but it is sooo good. I grew up eating fried okra, where I would eat each batch as fast as my Mom could make it. Flour, salt, okra and some oil – and you are done!
I love the different shapes and colors that okra can have. I was pleasantly surprised to find some Crimson Okra in my CSA bag from Orchard Pond Organics, in addition to the more common Green Okra.
B (the almost 10-year-old) thought the red okra was a little sweeter that the green. I thought they tasted about the same.
I heat up a couple of inches of oil at med-high heat. To test to see if it is hot enough, I put the handle of a wooden spoon in – if the oil reacts with lots of bubbles, it is too hot; if there is a steady stream of bubbles, then it should be about 350 degrees.
I like to put the flour, salt and sliced okra in a Ziploc, and then pour the okra in to a colander (either in the sink or in a grocery bag) to shake off the excess flour. I fry the okra in batches, using the colander to pour the okra in the oil. (FYI: Oil burns are painful, and create lovely blisters. Ouch.)
Just fry the okra until crispy and spoon out onto a paper towels. IMMEDIATELY SALT OKRA. It sticks better and flavors the okra more thoroughly.
Oooo..here they are. Just amazing little crispy gems.
Bonus photo with B’s fingers eating MY OKRA.
Now, I also like okra sliced and added to veggie saute (squash, onion, garlic and any other veg in the fridge), as well as roasted whole, but fried is just so good.
How do you like your okra?
I don’t know why MEAT photos are always so mouthwatering…