Friday, December 14, 2012

Munching lunch at the Milk Bar

Dani, John and I were starving by the time we walked into The Milk Bar's brand new, second location on Carrollton Avenue, taking over the spot that used to be filled by the Saltwater Grill. We had all been running errands and simply had to eat something before we continued on our dreary way.

Luckily, we were standing in a short line to place our orders at the bar. The big lunch rush hadn't really begun yet, so we were also able to score a table. Before long, our orders came out, beginning with a few milkshakes. John chose a "Killer Vanilla," Dani a "Butterscotch Hop" and I opted for a "Caramel Caramba." They were all tasty, though I liked Dani's the best, but the straws were definitely too narrow to accommodate such thick, creamy shakes.

Each of us chose different sandwiches to sate our raging hunger. John chose "Shrimply the Best" with sauteed shrimp, pesto, roma tomatoes, red onion, mozzarella and lemon mayo. Dani got the "Speared Pig" with smoked ham, mozzarella, asparagus and hollandaise sauce and I chose "The Blue Heeler" with roast beef, gravy, sauteed mushrooms, tomato, red onion, blue cheese and mozzarella. All three sandwiches were served on The Milk Bar's signature, oven-fresh ciabatta bread and packed with a Chupa Chups lollipop.

Although I tasted and liked all three sandwiches, my favorite would have to be John's "Shrimply the Best," a moniker that obviously doesn't lie. The best part? We were stuffed full on these massive, delicious sandwiches that only set us back $8.50 a piece. Welcome to the 'hood!

Milk Bar on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

House of the week: The Centanni House

While searching through the realty listings, my eyes scanning photos for the telltale architectural features I so adore like floor-length windows, double galleries and heart pine, hardwood floors, I came across a very unusual house. As it's not anywhere near the typical style I long for, I almost skipped right over it until something about the unusual front entryway piqued my interest. Before I knew it, I was searching for other sources, looking up it's history and longing to wander its rooms in a very real way.

As it turns out, this unique home is a quite well-known bit of New Orleans history. Built in 1917 by architect H. Jordan MacKenzie, The Centanni House was home to Salvador "Sam" Centanni and his wife Myra. Sam and his father owned the Gold Seal Dairy from the 1920's to when it was sold in 1986. Many older locals remember the house because of the elaborate Christmas decorations the Centannis displayed every year between 1946 and 1966. As it turns out, these decorations not only inspired Al Copeland's holiday displays, but several of the handmade pieces from the Centanni House can still be seen every year at Christmas in the Oaks in New Orleans City Park.

Well, now this landmark historic property on the "cemetery end" of Canal Street is for sale and I must admit, I would definitely dig living there. It's a crazy combination of architectural styles like California Bungalow, Art Nouveau and more. If you gander at the photos, you'll see that most of the house still retains the original design like coffered ceilings, gorgeous stained-glass windows, mahogany walls and gorgeous marble tile work in the kitchen and bathrooms. There are four bedrooms, four bathrooms and an elevator contained in 5800 square feet of living space. It's amazing that one could purchase such a colorful piece of our city's history for the bargain basement price of only $750,000.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Pleasure without porn: Killer Poboys

Quite often, I find myself genuinely frustrated that I cannot offer choice food porn from wonderful restaurants due to bad lighting, a mediocre camera or simply a lack of photographic skill. This is one of those times.

A little while back, John and I were in the French Quarter and decided to hit Killer Poboys, a hot new pop-up inside the Erin Rose Bar on Conti. It was just past 5 p.m. and the tiny bar was already full of devoted patrons, drinking and enjoying a football game on TV. We squished our way through to the back and placed our order at a small counter in a room eclectically decorated (like any great bar), replete with a colorful mural.

Sitting down at the only available bar stools, we sipped on Abita Ambers and waited for our food to appear.  Before long, our poboys were ready and they were most definitely "killer" dude. John ordered the Dark & Stormy Poboy with pork braised in Old New Orleans Rum, lime slaw and garlic aioli. I must acknowledge its sloppy, wonderful tastiness, but I sincerely like mine better. I chose the Coriander Lime Gulf Shrimp Poboy with marinated radish, carrot, cucumber and a "special sauce" that was spicy and mustardy. The only complaint is that there was not enough shrimp for a greedy little grubber like myself. Perhaps I should have ordered two?

We also got a side Green Bean Salad with pickled shiitake mushrooms and pumpkin vinaigrette that I thought was scrumptious. I gobbled it all down, sparing only a few bites for John who seemed far too busy with his poboy to bother.

*Again, I would like to apologize for my lack of proper food porn, but taking good pictures in the back of a darkened bar is pretty tough. Surprisingly, my iPhone took some fairly decent shots, though you'll have to go find out for yourself how killer Killer Poboys can be.

Killer Poboys (Erin Rose Bar) on Urbanspoon

Monday, December 3, 2012

Caffeine clip: La Divina Gelateria

La Divina Gelateria's custom espresso is roasted and blended locally by the Coffee Roasters of New Orleans (and a little help from La Divina's owner, Carmelo) and is widely believed to be the best espresso blend in town. One sip and you just might agree...

Saturday, December 1, 2012

House of the week: Victorian Centerhall on Chestnut Street

My search should end right here...and if I was a beautiful, busty billionaire (two out of three ain't bad? Ha!), it most definitely would. This is a dream house I would kill to die in.

Located on the corner of Chestnut and Foucher, this two-story, Victorian Center hall built in the the late 1800's boasts over 3,700 square feet of living space with five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, an inground swimming pool, hot tub and a "cabana" all wrapped inside a gorgeous, wrought-iron fence. All those Victorian features I cherish are present and accounted for; 14 foot ceilings, hardwood floors, transoms, floor-to-ceiling windows, beautiful fireplace mantles, wainscoting in the massive, modern kitchen (including more storage space than you could shake a stick at), stunning moulding and mill work, front and back porches replete with fans, a large, bricked patio around the pool and enough parking for up to five cars.

As if the house was not enough in and of itself, it is located in a prime, gargantuan corner lot that is only three blocks from St. Charles Avenue (a.k.a. the parade route) and two blocks from Magazine. It's only a skip or two away from Baru Bistro & Tapas, Lilette, Bouligny Tavern, Mahony's Po-Boys and a bunch of great shops, among them my favorite local jeweler Mignon Faget. This list is only a short, four block stretch of Magazine Street, which happens to be the route for the annual St. Patrick's Day parades as well!

This corner of bliss is listed at a mere $1,725,000...such a small price to put on a dream come true.