Crescent City and Hollygrove Farmers Markets

Here is the latest installment in the local farmers markets, better late than never! Both of these markets are open on Tuesdays, so I ventured uptown today to check them out and share some pictures with you.

I went to the Crescent City Farmers Market first. This market originally began in the 700 block of Magazine Street, but in recent years it has branched out to 2 new locations: Uptown on 200 Broadway Street and in Mid-City in the 3700 block of Orleans Avenue in the American Can Co. parking lot.  This market has fresh produce, plants and herbs, prepared foods, cheeses and meats.

The market is in a parking lot next to the old Uptown Square, now known as Tulane Square and across the street from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

There were home canned goods

Fresh meat, seafood and pies

A selection of plants and herbs

Hot foods, tamales and plate lunches were available

Many of the produce vendors had okra and tomatoes (the link is a recipe to cook them), corn and eggplant for sale

The nice lady from Forte Grove was selling bread – she said they will return to the market in September

There was a gentleman from Progress Milk Barn in McComb, Mississippi selling fresh dairy

Next it was on to the Hollygrove Market, which is located at 8301 Olive Street, across from Carrollton Playground. Unlike the Crescent City Market which is mobile, the Hollygrove market remains in the same building, on the grounds of the old Guillot’s Nursery which did not reopen after Katrina.

They grow some of the produce they sell on site. Their hours are Tuesdays 12 noon to 6pm and Saturdays 9am -1pm. This market has a lot of volunteers on staff, helping customers to make their selections.

There is a weekly box line that does not require a subscription – for $25 you get a box filled with seasonal produce. The community bulletin board is on the left of the picture, with information about the vendors and businesses that support the market.

Or if you are looking for only one or two items there are many choices available for selection

There are specialty items, local honey, coffee, herbs, meat from Two Run Farm and dairy, although there were no eggs this week because the chickens slow down laying eggs in the summer heat.

On the way out, a vendor was selling fresh shrimp he got from Houma – $5.00 a pound for 16-20 count shrimp. Growing up, I remember the men who drove around the neighborhoods selling fresh shrimp and crabs. Don’t see much of that anymore, but they can still be found parked at the local farmer’s markets.

So here’s the take for the day – while I was uptown I stopped at one of my favorite bakeries in town, Maple Street Patisserie and purchased a loaf of their white mountain bread. I think I’ll grill the eggplant and shrimp and have that with the bread and pesto for dinner!

And my secret for THE BEST NO FUSS CORN ON THE COB – shuck the corn, rinse it off and wrap the cob in a wet paper towel. Put the wrapped cob on a plate, microwave for 2 minutes, turn the cob, then microwave for 2 more minutes. If you do more than one cob, up the time by a minute per cob. BETTER THAN BOILING out all the nutrients! Salt and serve with butter or just eat it plain. Trust me it works, try it!

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Creoles and Zydeco

This past weekend was the Creole Tomato and Cajun Zydeco Festival in New Orleans. Despite the wet, wet weather, we were lucky to catch the fun in between rain bands. It was well worth the gamble.

This festival duo took place from the Jackson Square area down to the U.S. Mint. There was food and beverages, music and shopping, happy people and happy dogs everywhere!

As we arrived the U.S. Navy Brass Band was performing Do What You Wanna and I think they did a damn good job.

We spotted this beautiful ice sculpture before it melted away. When we passed by later in the day there was a different sculpture.

(it’s a pelican in case you couldn’t figure it out)

At the Mint we watched Bruce Daigrepont perform. Good stuff! The crowd thought so too.



We watched a cooking demo by Chef Chris Montero of Cafe B (a new Brennan Restaurant). He made creole tomatoes with green tomato relish, topped with crabmeat. It was tasty!



But that’s not all we ate. We enjoyed a catfish poboy from Ninja Restaurant . The fish was perfectly fried in a tempura batter with a wonderful remoulade.

The spring gazpacho from Covey Rise Farms was quite refreshing.

Crepes a la Carte was serving Creole Tomato, Bacon and Mozzerella Crepes. Decadent!

And the crawfish bread!!! mmm-mmm-mmm!

We spent the night in New Orleans at the Westin because we planned on going to the House of Blues to see Kenny Wayne Shepherd, a Louisiana native.


Here’s his bus outside the venue. The show was EXCELLENT. We’re hoping to see him in Orange Beach this August. It was a great staycation!

Gumbo Z’Herbes

In keeping with the food theme this week, and to echo the tribute to Ashley Morris one of the consummate New Orleans foodies, a time honored New Orleans Easter tradition is to have gumbo z’herbes on Holy Thursday at Dooky Chase’s, or prepare a meatless version to serve for Good Friday’s Catholic day of fast. Here is a recipe for a gumbo z’herbes version with meat, but one could easily omit the meat and use a vegetable stock for the preparation. This is a reproduction of the original post published in January 2009.

…We went to Destrehan yesterday to check out the farmer’s market. There was a wonderful abundance of winter produce available. I remember reading somewhere recently, perhaps it was in Judy Walker’s Thursday column that now is the time for cooking greens. I started counting all the available greens at the market and decided to cook a Gumbo Z’Herbes over the 3 day weekend. I struck up conversations with the women from whom I was buying produce, and learned how to wash the greens (in a large bowl, submerged, rinsed, repeat until the water runs clear). In return, I shared with them how it is cooked in New Orleans and how Leah Chase directs cooks to use an odd number of greens with at least 5 to start (I used eleven types of greens) – symbolic for the number of friends one has or something to that effect. I was also able to get fresh andouille sausage and tasso for the gumbo.

I broke out the cookbooks and began comparing recipes. Not all of my cookbooks had the recipe, but the ones that did called it various names: Gumbo aux Herbes, Gumbo des Herbes, Gumbo Zab, Gumbo Vert, Green Gumbo, and the widely recognized New Orleans name Gumbo Z’Herbes. After comparing recipes, I decided to mix several versions of ingredients listed, but decided to use the cooking process found in Mercedes Vidrine’s cookbook, Louisiana Lagniappe. This cookbook is a compilation of Mrs. Vidrine’s 4 Quelque Chose cookbooks, and it includes all the recipes found in the four volumes. Something interesting I noticed, none of the recipes called for okra, but a few included an addition of file’ after ladling into the bowl.

I did not grow up eating greens – so cooking them intimidated me for a long time. Hearing women describe how it was near impossible to get them really clean (wash all the sand out) kept me from attempting them in the kitchen, but last fall I tried my hand at mustard greens that C grew. It was soooo easy, I wanted to do it again, and Gumbo Z’Herbes seemed like the best way to really tackle cooking greens. I just finished the process and now the stock pot is simmering, a total of 5 hours effort, 2 1/2 spent preparing and washing all the greens. This is the gumbo that Leah Chase serves on Holy Thursday – if you want to make it a Good Friday dish, use butter to make your roux, and add any combination of oysters, crab, shrimp, etc. to make it meatless. Here is the recipe, with pictures…

11 types greens

1 small bunch arugula
1 small bunch kale
1 bunch kohlrabi
1 bunch beet greens
1 bag spinach
1 bunch mustard greens
1 bunch collard greens
1 bunch swiss chard
1 bunch bok choi
1/2 head cabbage
1/2 head iceberg lettuce

(other types greens one can use: carrot greens, chicory, watercress, pepper grass, turnip greens, radish greens, nasturtiums, etc.)

meats

1 1/2 pounds andouille
1 pound cooked beef brisket
1/2 pound tasso
(can also use ham, stew meat, pickle pork)
1 pound bacon, cooked and drippings saved to make roux
1 cup flour for roux

seasonings

1 chopped onion
1 chopped bell pepper
4 stalks chopped celery
garlic
1 large bunch chopped shallots
1 bunch chopped parsley
4 minced jalapenos
3 tablespoons vinegar
salt, pepper, hot sauce

How to make it

Strip the leaves off all the greens, removing the woody stems. Soak in large bowl in cold water, drain, soak again until the water runs clear. Stuff all the greens (omit the shallots) in a large stock pot and add 2 quarts water. Cover and steam until wilted, about 30 minutes. Drain greens and reserve the liquid (pot likker!) and chop greens fine or use a blender (blender is the preferred method). Fry off the bacon, remove then add about a cup of flour to the bacon drippings and make a roux. Once roux is ready add the chopped seasonings (celery, bell pepper, onion, shallots, jalapenos, garlic). Cut the meats (andouille, bacon, tasso, brisket) into small pieces and place in stock pot. After the seasonings are translucent, add to the stock pot with pot likker, and meats, and bring to a boil. Add the greens, parsley, fennel, salt pepper, vinegar and hot sauce, bring to a boil then simmer until thick. Serve over rice or grits, with some cornbread on the side.

Here is the pictorial

The steamed greens and the earthy pot likker

The greens pureed in the blender

Andouille and tasso

all the chopped seasonings

1/2 inch bacon drippings and about a cup of flour for the roux

Roux part 1 (keep stirring)…

Roux part 2 (keep stirring)…

Roux part 3 (keep stirring – I now begin to smell that nutty aroma, so not much longer)…

The finished roux – over high heat it took 10 minutes to get to this stage

To stop the cooking process of the roux, immediately add the seasonings

The veggies beginning to cook down and merge with the roux

Don’t forget to scrape the bottom of the pan!

So now add the seasonings, pot likker and pureed greens to the stock pot

bring this to a boil, then simmer uncovered

and 90 minutes later…

Gumbo Z’Herbes!

epilogue – this effort made about 10 quarts of gumbo – next time, I will use either andouille or tasso – the gumbo came out with a very smoky flavor, delicious, but perhaps ham in place of one of these will balance it a tiny bit better. Can’t wait to eat this again tomorrow after all the flavors come together!

My tiny chef

My tiny chef

Sarah Mae with her three degrees

(she’s laughing because her father and his brother were all blowing air horns)

Saturday marked an auspicious occasion for my daughter Sarah. She graduated from Nicholls State University in Thibodaux Louisiana with three degrees: Culinary Arts, Culinary Science and Dietetics. I have watched as my 18 year old daughter grew into a strong, smart, self confident, beautiful 23 year old young woman. She survived heartbreak, several bouts of digestive problems and frustration with teachers/courses. Yet she succeeded. I am proud to present my Tiny Chef Sarah.

Fun with food and drink

I was reading some of my favorite blogs on Friday evening when I came across this post from NOLA Defender blog . Free admission to several Museums in the city? Sounds like us! We looked thru the list and chose a little-known museum located on the Riverwalk: The Southern Food & Beverage Museum , just past the food court on Level C.

The museum is full of well thought out displays and the attention to detail keeps the visitor looking at everything to catch those details.

Leah Chase is featured in the main area of the museum.


There’s a section devoted to methods of cooking food: stoves, barbecue pits……


and even a stove with a computer attached to it for multi-tasking cooks.


One of the first things that caught my eye was the Katrina Deli.


This caught my eye in the section devoted to rice: a poster from the upcoming International Rice Festival in Crowley, Louisiana .


I wonder how many people remember the little song about Mahatma and Water Maid rice?


I found the sugar section of the museum fascinating. I have passed hundreds of those huge trucks carrying sugarcane in the Raceland/Thibodaux area in the years that my daughter has attended Nicholls State, but I never realized how complex refining sugar could be.


This beautiful cake was created by Chef George Cook, pastry chef at the IP Casino in Biloxi, demonstrating food as art.


There’s a section devoted to red beans and rice.


Red beans and rice as clothing?


The Absinthe gallery takes up quite a bit of space in the museum.


This bar is from Bruning’s Restaurant, formerly of the West End.

Here are some other scenes from the museum:

I could do a whole post on the Cocktail section of the museum, there is so much in there.

There is a section where visitors can leave a message about their impression of the museum.


I found this note from a visitor who was tired of hearing “When the Saints Go Marching In” was amusing.

I highly recommend a visit to the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. Tickets are only $10 for adults ($8 for AAA members). To find out more about what exhibits are taking place at the Museum, check out this link.

Oysters in June

Despite the fact that it’s held in June – which, according to local standards, is a month with no “R” in it and therefore not good for oysters – New Orleans Oyster Festival rocks! I enjoyed attending because it doesn’t have the crowds that popular New Orleans festivals attract.

This particular festival was born out of tragedy in 2010. The BP Oil spill alienated Louisiana’s seafood industry – and still does – due to (in my opinion) consumer ignorance.

Using the same strength that helped this area come back from Katrina, the Louisiana Seafood Board and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries along with a slew of local supporters decided in June of 2010 to show that the Oyster industry was down but not out.

As the following photographs will show, there were plenty of oysters to be enjoyed, prepared in a variety of recipes. My only regret is that the local chefs haven’t come up with a good, cold oyster dish aside from shucked oysters.

We arrived at 11 A.M. knowing that the heat was going to continue to rise. The organizers of this festival did very well in providing a number of shady spots for diners and festival goers to get away from the heartless sun. Every table in the tents had linen table cloths and free fans to keep the festival goers cool.

Our first stop was one that got my attention: Redfish Grill’s Oyster Shooter with Grey Goose. Yum!!!

Here I am trying to take a picture of my oyster shooter. It was delightful, by the way.


Here is my tiny-chef daughter celebrating her oyster shooter.

Our next stop was the most visible sites of the fest: Drago’s with their charbroiled oysters.


They were delectable

Hungry for yet more oysters, we headed over to Luke for the Oyster Poboy with smoked tomato relish.

It did not disappoint us. In fact, there was a slice of bacon in the sandwich which we knew came from hogs raised on the northshore….yum, fresh pork!


I was impressed with the professionalism of the Luke staff.

By this time the Treme Brass Band had taken the stage and got the crowd into their fantastic New Orleans music.

By now it was noon and my daughter and I decided to take shelter under the cooking demo tent to cool off.

Hubby opted to roam the area in search of interesting pictures. Here are his results:


The blue guy really isn’t as wacko as he seems in this picture. 🙂

In this picture you can see me motioning that my beer is empty.

By now we were ready for more oyster dishes, so we headed for the Court of Two Sisters Booth for both Oyster Pie and Crawfish Louise.


I asked if they would divulge the recipe for the Crawfish Louise and they promised that they would when I visited the restaurant. Tiny Chef and I figured it out while eating it.

Our next choice of food was our mistake of the day.


The oysters had the consistency of liver, they were tasteless and the spinach/artichoke “bruschetta” was plain. Don’t waste your money.

The oyster shucking contest was next and was fun to watch, chiefly because Joe Cahn was the MC.


Shuckers lining up to shuck


This guys was my favorite, but he didn’t make it.


The Shucker Winner was from Desire. A humble man who shucked 20 oysters in 2 minutes.


Joe Cahn enjoyed his role as oyster taster.

What follows next is a series of pictures of people I found “interesting”.


A chef from Antoine’s


This picture is blurry, but I needed to show it to show men what NOT TO WEAR in public.

Later we ran into a friend that gave us access to the Acme Oyster House VIP area to watch the Bucktown Allstars. We found this group of derelicts interesting:

Eventually the NOPD ran them off

Our day didn’t go without catching a few local “celebrities”>


Chef Andrea Apuzzo and Joe Cahn


Monica Pierre, local radio host and award winning woman.

By this time it was 3 pm and we were as fried as the oysters, so we decided to head home. All three of us are sunburned in one way or another, but it was fun. We’re looking forward to next week’s Vieux To Do featuring three festivals in one.

for the fishermen

On WWL-TV this morning, there was a quick video about the release of a seafood cookbook fundraiser, sponsored by the Louisiana Seafood Festival Foundation with the proceeds benefiting the Friends of the Fishermen Fund.

The cookbook can be purchased at any Rouse’s grocery and costs $9.95. It is a softcover book, however it contains excellent seafood recipes from most of the famous chef’s cooking in the New Orleans area. I purchased one this morning and already have a dozen pages marked to try out recipes. These would make great Christmas gifts too, for the cooks on your list. One thing I noticed as I read the local chef’s biographies is that many of them are graduates of New Orleans’ own Delgado Culinary School!

The Louisiana Seafood Festival will be held in the French Quarter the weekend of June 11-12. Check it out and help support our local fishermen.

J’anita’s

Hubby and I went to the aquarium today and after seeing all those fish, I was hungry for fish!! So we headed over to Janita’s at the Rendon Inn on Eve Street. It’s run by two great people: Craig & Kimmie Giesecke. Craig has a “beer and food” blog here. Click on pictures for larger versions

Their menu will make your mouth water just reading it!

These two are amazing chefs!!

After reading over the menu and talking to the fantastic bartender, we decided on our meal: Billy would have the Swamp Rueben and I wanted the Brown Redfish and Chips. Lemme tell ya, we were NOT disappointed!


Billy’s sandwich was delicious. He got a cup of Kimmie’s veggie soup to go with it and I have to tell you – a food lover and cook – it was GOOOD!

My redfish and chips was deluxe!

They’re also a great late nite place, folks, so there’s no reason to not check it out.

Their address is on Eve Street in NOLA

La Provence

Just got back from spending our Valentines dinner at La Provence Restaurant in Big Branch (near Mandeville), Louisiana. As usual the service was attentive without being obtrusive, the food was perfect and the experience was so very wonderful. Hubby and I opted not to bring our cameras with us to document our meal this time. Instead, I’m going to do a ‘rerun’ of our last visit there in March of ’09. I had the same meal tonite as I had in the following post. Hubby had a dish containing a fish called tripletail and it was fantastic! So what follows is our experience at LaProvence Restaurant a few years ago and it was just as wonderful as tonite:

March, 2009

Tonight hubby and I dined at our favorite restaurant to celebrate our third anniversary: La Provence in the Lacombe/Big Branch area of St. Tammany Parish.

To all of your big city folks in NOLA: make plans to take a day trip on a Sunday afternoon and enjoy a laid back, delicious Sunday Brunch during the beautiful weather we’ve been having before it gets too hot. (we’ve already made reservations for April 5th) You will not be disappointed

click on the pictures for full-size versions

Springtime in St. Tammany Parish is as close to Eden as you can get. To complement the climate, imagine yourself sitting in this patio, choosing from this menu:



Please ignore the date of “March 1” because this is the current menu used each Sunday, not just March 1st.

La Provence has a new Chef de Cuisine, a very talented young man named Erick Loos IV who is an extremely brilliant chef. Allow me to validate my opinions with pictures and words.

Just as important as the presentation and quality of the food is service. The waitstaff is attentive without being exaggeratedly annoying ala any of Emeril’s establishments. Our waitress was Kelly and she was extremely sweet and professional.

Upon seating, restaurant guests are treated to a great little starter of chicken liver mousse and warm crostini. Nice……

While we were dining on our crostini and mousse, Kelly surprised us with the offering of a pissaladiere, which is a warm tarte of onions, anchovies, olives, fresh arugula. Not sure if this is an invention of Chef Erick, but this is a beautiful dish which is also offered in the Sunday Brunch Menu

I could eat this all day…….while I was eating it, I imagined the delectably light crust with chocolate and powdered sugar or shrimp and cheese or muffaletta ingredients. An ambrosial dish.

As we enjoyed our pissaladiere, we were greeted by LaProvence Restaurant manager Dale Harvey. Another Slidell native, Dale is a great manager (front of the house man) for LaProvence. He has the personality to put everyone at ease and truely cares about his customers. We discussed our Katrina experiences (anyone who lived down here before-during-after the storm does that) and the menu along with our hope of procuring a pic with the owner to share with my daughter at Chef John Folse’s School of Culinary Arts(more like a "nah-nah, look what I did, actually". ) We found out that Chef Besh just might show up on this evening.

I want to stop here to share the fact that hubby and I are typical Southeast Louisiana natives in the fact that we plan our lives around food. As the saying goes, in Louisiana we live to eat, whereas in the rest of the country they eat to live. This trip to LaProvence had us excited for a few months after the reservations were cast. So the anticipation that we could actually meet John Besh in person was exciting to us because of his reputation as a good cook as well as the fact that he's a "Slidell boy". The Food Network stuff comes in second for us because the star factor is really not important to anyone who loves well done cuisine. I don't like using the word of “foodie” to describe ourselves because it’s such a pretentious word.

Back to our trek to Big Branch’s best restaurant (probably their only one besides a quick stop), after chatting with Dale, we had to decide upon our appetizer.

I apologize for the quality of the photos to come. We were not sure of the grade of the photographs until we got home. We WILL assure you that presentation was of the utmost importance to the LaProvence staff which they met exceedingly well

I chose the Shrimp Tajine because of the flavor (I’d had it before) and presentation. This appetizer includes a “merguez” made of shrimp which is
incredibly delectable

Hubby got the Charbroiled Oysters.

I got to taste an oyster and it was sooooooooooooooo good!!!
Delicious is not a good enough word to describe what we experienced.

Entrees were next

Decisions…decisions…..I chose the tenderloin of beef (medium rare) because I craved red meat; my honey got the scallops with risotto.


Served with bone marrow, porcini mushtrooms and “pommes dauphinois”, I can’t tell you what the best thing on this plate was. The bone marrow was mouth watering, the beef perfectly cooked; but those potatoes blew me away! (I guess that goes back to my Irish roots, my obsession with potatoes) 🙂

Billy now loves Risotto. I explained to him how this is a dish of love – because you have to tend to it like a child – until it is complete. Those scallops were buttery, sweet and cooked to perfection. The asparagus came from either the garden outside the restaurant or their farm in Folsom. I’m getting this dish on our next foray to LaProvence!

By this time we were giddy with the taste of food so well thought out.
I neglected to mention the great wine that we shared with our food.

Wonderful wine from that great year of 2005 (thanks, Katrina).

It really was a nice, dry red wine which complemented both of our dishes: meat and fish.

Dessert was awesome!!

Unfortuneately our dessert pix came out too blurry because we didn’t take into consideration the lighting, but I will tell you that the Torte aux Chocolate and the Strawberry Sorbet were orgasmic. Ask anyone who was there.
🙂

Thinking that the best of our evening had passed, Mr. Dale came back to our table and said that we were summoned to the kitchen. WOW


As we entered the kitchen we were applauded by the kitchen staff. What a fantastic end to a beautiful meal. Our thanks to all who participated to make this one of the most memorable meals and we applaud YOU!.

my apologies to Chef Erick for the quality of the photographs….your food ROCKS, Erick!!!

Here are links to previous posts about LaProvence and Chef Besh
This one describes our first visit to LaProvence as well as containing a video about their
Biodynamic Farm

Here are my thoughts about Chef John doing a cooking demo IN JULY at the Camellia City Farmer’s Market

I discuss the release of the new line of Besh products at Rouses here

MVB – Most Valuable Burger

Hi everybody. You don’t know me yet, but you will soon enough as I’ll occasionally be writing posts here at NolaFemmes. My regular home is over here. I don’t usually write much about food, but I’m always taken with unique New Orleans experiences, so here we go.

For my first post, I thought I’d write about MVB – Most Valuable Burger. It’s a pop-up restaurant that takes over Slim Goodie’s on Sundays starting at 5 p.m. So, if you’ve driven by Slim’s on a Sunday during the last few months and noticed a crazy long line outside, this is exactly why.

A pop-up restaurant (and I didn’t know this until recently) is one that operates when another, more established restaurant is regularly closed. It saves on a lot of costs so that new ventures can build a following and experiment with their menus.

But this is what I know. I am a fan of MVB after eating there last Sunday. I plan to eat there often while it’s operating in Slim Goodie’s and I would definitely frequent any place they open on their own. Let me tell you why.

My friend Jamey and I decided to mosey on over to Slim’s to check MVB out. We got there about 5:15, which we both knew was pretty dumb, considering we’d seen the line there before. And there was a line, a long one. It got a tiny bit shorter when it started to rain, but most people held their ground. They were determined, as we were. The fine folks of MVB passed a basket of fries down the line to thank us while we waited and to tantalize us as well. Actually, they sent two basket of fries down the line while Jamey and I were waiting. The fries were amazing – I heard several people say, “Well I definitely can’t leave after that.”

It’s BYOB, as several people clearly already knew – they came prepared. Next time, I might grab a Strawberry Abita or two to take with me.

So, we got a table at about 6 p.m. I was starving by then, but excited to try out the menu. And I’ll hand this to the staff – they were entirely conscious of the line outside and were moving fast, but they never made us feel rushed once we got our table, which I really appreciated.

The menu was simple and absolutely overwhelming. Apparently, there are new additions every week. I’d seen a Tweet earlier in the day from MVB about the salted caramel shakes, so I already knew I was ordering that.

The only thing that can cure this Vegas hangover is a pimento cheese burger and a salted caramel shake. See you all at 5:00. 12:22 PM Jan 30th

They have a deal – $13 for a burger and fries and a shake, so that was that. Jamey also got the deal, but got a vanilla shake rather than the crazy fancy special shake like me. Our shakes were incredible (especially mine). I’m going to be really sad if it’s not available next time, but who knows what they’ll have instead?

Our food arrived pretty quickly and was absolutely incredible. The burger was one of the best I’ve ever eaten – flavored just right and juicy. The bun, which I learned is a potato bun from Maple St. Patisserie, was the perfect touch. And the fries were just as good as our tantalizing taste outside — soft, salty skinny fries with a nice bite to them. Everything was both gourmet and simple, decadent and no-nonsense. What an amazing contradiction.

The lagniappe at the end was the perfect touch. I won’t spoil what it is, but I promise it is absolutely divine. I was stuffed, but I made room without hesitation.

MVP won’t be operating again till the 13th, but I definitely suggest you go. Get there early, as they stop serving when they’re sold out. As this Tweet attests from last Sunday, that can happen in a matter of hours:

Sold out. 8:47 PM Jan 30th

MVP is perfect for a night when you’re feeling like having an adventure in dining. Bring your beer of choice, your favorite dining companion (though I’d caution against large groups because seating could be tough), and — most importantly — your appetite.