You'd think that the aforementioned turducken would have supplied all our calorie needs (and then some) over the course of the long Thanksgiving weekend, but sometimes the tastebuds tire and need a jolt of new stuff.
Plus, we wanted to drive down to New Orleans to see our friend Robert. Brother Brandog was happily still in town and was even willing to drive us across the freakishly long Causeway.
After a slow amble up and down Magazine Street and a visit to a cute little tapas bar, we made our way over to Elizabeth's, just around the corner from the Quarter.
Cute, no? It's a two-story restaurant just up from the water.
Nicely and comfortably decorated, too, with a bakery container in the corner stocked with yummy dessert treats.
We then just about made Brandog weep with delight when we ordered the entire appetizer menu.
Hey, appetizers are usually more attractive than entrees, right? And, well, too be fair, we ordered the appetizer menu minus two of their offerings. And we did order an entree to share, because sheep's head over wilted spinach just sounded too good to pass up. (For those of you who are, like I was, envisioning the whole head of a ruminant, a sheep's head is a kind of white-fleshed fish.)
The deluge began with a quickness.
Fried Green Tomatoes with Remoulade was first to hit the table. A delicious cornmeal breading formed a crunchy barrier, holding in the tangy green tomatoes. I just about always like these, and Elizabeth's were a great example of why.
Barely behind the tomatoes, the restaurant's mildly famous praline bacon arrived. We could barely wait for the pictures to be taken before we pounced.
Yeah, you heard right. Praline. Bacon. Savory, smoky bacon with a caramelized layer of brown sugar and tiny pieces of pecans. Ho boy, were these good for the tastebuds and bad for the waistline. If only they were coated in chocolate...
The next treat to settle on our table was a seafood stuffed mirliton in a cream sauce. I'm not going to give you a picture here, because stuffed things in cream sauce - well, they don't photograph all that well. Mirlitons, known as chayote squash everywhere else I've seen them, are in season right now in southern Louisiana, and man are then good. They have a delicate squash flavor that's perfect with a light seafood stuffing and a drenching in thickened cream sauce.
Probably a good thing we were splitting all of these...
Next came the appetizer some considered the belle of the ball - the boudin balls. We're eating our way through Cajun country's boudin offerings, and when you take the filling and fry it, and then throw the rice/liver/pork sausage over the top of some good Creole mustard, well jeebus.
No, these were not the size of my head, thanks for asking.
Next up? A rather untraditional meat you don't see a lot on American menus, though we saw it all over the place in Italy.
Rabbit Tenderloin in a Tomato-Basil "Coulee".
The rabbit was perfectly fried, nice and moist, but the sauce tasted a little too much like tomato soup.
Appetizers kept coming, a little parade made up of what we soon realized were either fried dishes or dishes in cream sauce. Or both, like this one:
Blue Cheese Oysters. I am a big blue cheese fan, and while it was interesting to have a yummy blue piquant blue cheese sauce on these of course perfectly fried oysters, I'm not entirely convinced by the combination. The only solution must be to have it eight or ten more times to see if I can formulate a considered opinion.
The Beer BQ Oysters, on the other hand, were good enough to make me consider seriously the idea of returning the next day for their Sunday brunch. Tangy, smoky, rich, on the again perfect oysters. I don't know who they have back there doing their frying, but damn.
At this point, we were thinking "Surely that's it?" But no...
Out came the last appetizer, fried chicken livers in house pepper jelly.
I would never have thought to apply pepper jelly as a sauce for fried tidbits, but this very good jelly cut right through the double richness of the liver and the frying. I've never had fried chicken livers before, and now I know I'm a convert.
Don't worry, we didn't only have fried things in cream sauce. We also had sauteed things in cream sauce, in the form of the nightly special; sheep's head in a spicy cream sauce served over wilted spinach.
We got to choose two sides, so what you see here is red beans and rice and green beans. Bigger than any green beans I've ever seen, but hey.
That's a huge amount of food! I can't imagine one person eating it, though everything was so flavorful and well-seasoned that I'm sure plenty of people do just that. This cream sauce was very light and didn't overpower the fish, and their red beans and rice are primo.
We really weren't going to order dessert. I mean, did you see what we ate? I know there were four of us, but still...
But then we asked the waitress what this "ooey-gooey cake" was that we saw on the menu. And when she told us it was a pound cake with a cream cheese icing, we couldn't help it. And as long as we were ordering that, we figured we should probably give the buttermilk ice cream a try.
My friends, these desserts are evil seductresses sent from the land of the happy 400-pounder. They were both so good, the rich thick sweet gooeyness of the cake and the nicely sour buttermilk ice cream - a great match. Yipes.
In short, I'd definitely recommend a visit to Elizabeth's, though I can't speak to the entrees. Just order everything and smile.
Elizabeth's Restaurant. 601 Gallier Street, New Orleans, LA. 504.944.9272.
BTW - on a bloggy business note, over in the lefthand column you'll see a new feature highlighting the most popular pages here on Boots. Check them out, if you haven't already!