Noodle & Pie (Uptown, New Orleans)

After a beautiful day during spring break, “The Chef” and I went for a run in Audubon Park and it definitely built up an appetite! We opted for something refreshing, so what better than to check out the new Noodle & Pie on the way home!

 

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Sake Punch. 

 

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Matcha Green. Tea. 

 

 

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Korean Fried Chicken. House cucumber. Carrot Kimchi. Black bean & chili glaze.

 

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Mussels.

 

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Cayenne Rice Dumpling with Simmered Butternut Squash. Fall veggies. Sweet and salty sauce.

 

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8 hour Brisket Bowl. Shoyo base. broth. 8 hour brisket. Ground pork. Ginger. Fire Ball. Greens. Soft-boiled egg.

 

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Save room for PIE!

Unfortunately, we didn’t have room for pie, but the selection looked great and I can’t wait to try the pie! Noode&Pie is a great twist on japanese cuisine. It’s a mix like an American twist on Yuki Izakaya (click to see post). Decor was modern, but cute and fitting for Magazine St. The weather was beautiful so we opted for the seats right by the open window-doors (didn’t know what to call them)!

I didn’t care too much for the cocktails and drinks…but my favorite had to be the Korean Fried Chicken. The ramen was good with a deep brothy flavor that I’m not quite used to. It’s not quite an authentic interpretation of Japanese ramen, but it’s still very tasty. You can really tell the noodles are homemade, and I love that! I will definitely go back and will save some room for PIE!

 

Noodle & Pie on Urbanspoon

Patois (Uptown, New Orleans)

New Orleans is just flooded with so many great restaurants and among this list is Patois. I’ve heard so much about this place, but never had the chance to dine here…so what better place for “The Chef” to surprise me for my birthday here!

 

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French Cauliflower Bisque

 

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Table bread and buttery goodness!

 

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Charcuterie Plate. House-made boudin. Pork Rillettes. Hogshead cheese.

Yes, this might just look  like a plate of meat, but each piece of meat had so much love! The pork rillete was so moist and savory…it reminded me so much of my favorite brunch place, Tartine (click for post), and I have to say I think I prefer this rillete! The boudin was so memorable…gosh, just get the charcuterie plate!

 

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Potato Gnocchi. Jumbo Lump crab. Wild mushrooms. Edamame. Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano.

 

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Sweetbreads. Brussels Leaf Salad. Carmelized Shallot. Crispy Ham. Sherry-mustard reduction.

Not too many restaurants serve sweetbreads..and don’t be fooled by the name. This item is actually a type offal, delicious organ meats. As unappetizing as they may sound, it’s very delish! Patois did an excellent job at making this “offal” sounding meat into a delicate and melt-in-your-mouth goodness!

 

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Crispy Duck Confit Salad. Crispy Lavender Goat cheese. Arugula. Spiced Pecams. Satsuma Vinaigrette.

Overall, such a great experience! Such a great pick for celebrating my birthday with “The Chef”. I’m a sucker for French cuisine and Patois nailed it! Light, rich, and perfect textures in all of the dishes! 

 
Patois on Urbanspoon

District Donuts (Magazine St., New Orleans, LA)

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Kitchen.

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Decor.

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Wedding Cake Donut

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Oyster Slider.

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Croquenut: Griddled Donut. Nueske Ham. Gruyere. Bechamel.

District Donuts is a perfect fit for Magazine Street…Modern. Local. Delicious. They offer a variety of delicious donuts, sliders, and delicious local brews. The donut was great! We also had the oyster slider and a Croquenut, a donut version of a Croque Monsieur. All very perfect for our midday snack! I can’t wait to try other flavors!

District Donuts Sliders Brew on Urbanspoon

Max’s Wine Dive (Alamo Heights, San Antonio, TX)

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MAX’s Famous Southern Fried Chicken. House-made jalapeno and buttermilk-marinated chicken. Mashed potatoes. Collard Greens. Texas Toast. Chipotle Honey.

So I just had enough of studying at the Alamo Heights Starbucks and decided to stop by for some brunch at Max’s Wine Dive. I’ve heard good things about their Famous Fried Chicken so I had to try it! It was delicious…Flavorful batter and very moist chicken! The chipotle honey sauce complimented it really well. I’d love to stop by and try Max’s other great entrees. My only complaint is the slow service…I made a reservation for one, was seated, but was never greeted or served until 15 minutes later. It was a Sunday morning, but I noticed other people being served before I was. It happens, but I’ve heard similar complaints from other folks.

While exploring San Antonio, the Alamo Heights area has become one of my favorite areas to spend my time so I’m glad I had the chance to try Max’s Wine Dive. It’s a great place for brunch or even to watch the game!
Max's Wine Dive on Urbanspoon

Besh Steak (Central Business District, New Orleans, LA)

The Besh empire is well-known for local New Orleans restaurants like Restaurant August, Luke, Borgne, and many others. Not only are these restaurants reputable, but the food is delicious! Besh Steak is unique in that it’s nestled away in Harrah’s Casino…It’s a small, open restaurant with dark mahogany colored decor and leather chairs. Great for large groups, business meetings, and even romantic dates….

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Pate and Chips. 

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3 Little Frenchies. Beef, Duck Confit, and Foie Gras Butter Slider.

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Stuffed Jumbo Lump Crab “Shells”. Baked with Garlic and Lemon Fondue.

Now, when we ordered this dish, we were expecting actual crab shells, but enjoyed the play on words AND the overflowing amounts of crabmeat stuffed within the pasta “shells”.

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Baked Oysters.

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Bibb Salad. Butermilk Blue Cheese Dressing. Spiced Pecans. Added Benton’s Bacon.

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Slow Cooked “Blade” Steak. Added Crabmeat..I could never get enough of this stuff. I could honestly top anything off with crabmeat…even dessert lol.

I was very surprised with this restaurant! The dishes were simple, delicious, and exactly what I had hoped for in a Besh steakhouse. Each of John Besh’s restaurants have character…this restaurants embodies a true New Orleans steakhouse. Great steak, delicious appetizers, fun environment…I was actually surprised by a few reviews on the meals not being “worth it”, but honestly I think some may have spent more than they had hoped at Harrah’s.

My favorite dishes had to be the Crab Stuffed “Shells and the Blade Steak. The shells were literally stuffed with crabmeat…no extra fillers, just pure crabmeat. It was a great dish that left you wanting more. The steak was perfectly cooked to med-rare and well seasoned!

I’m normally not a fan of “steakhouses”, but this one definitely surprised me! If you happen to pass by during your trip to Harrah’s or you’re just looking for a great place for steak, I highly recommend Besh Steak.
Besh Steak on Urbanspoon

Pho Ha Long (Far West Side, San Antonio, TX)

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Pho Chin Nam. Beef brisket. Beef Flank.

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Cha Gio Vietnam (Vietnamese egg roll). 

Good, authentic asian food is a rare find in San Antonio...I’ve tried quite a few places and all of them left me unsatisfied, but I really enjoyed Pho Ha Long. It’s not my mama’s cookin’, but it really comes close on this Sunday morning. My family use to get pho every Sunday morning so ever since I’ve been living on my own, whenever I miss home, I hope to find a place like Pho Ha Long. They have excellent service and authentic Vietnamese pho. Another favorite is the Cha Gio Vietnam. It’s crispy, crunchy and filled with deliciousness on the inside. The bubble tea is great as well!

Pho Ha Long on Urbanspoon

Dough Pizzeria Napoletana (Castle Hills, San Antonio, TX)

Pizza…It’s more than just a piece of bread and a few ingredients. If done right, the dough, is an oh-so-heavenly pillow painted with the heavenliest of tomatoes. And on this heavenly concoction lies only the best hand-rolled mozzarella…that can be found at Dough Pizzeria Napoletana. Dough Pizzeria bakes their delicious, fluffy pizzas in an authentic oven straight from Naples, Italy…

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Truffle & Mascarpone Burrata - As Seen on the Food Network. House pulled truffle Burrata. Colorburst Farms tomatoes. Rosemary Balsamic Reduction. Flatbread.

This delicious handrolled Burrata is probably the culprit behind my sudden mozzarella binge. The combo of truffle and mascarpone was perfect! It left me wanting much more!

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Bread. Oven-baked. Perfect chewy and soft bread texture, just like the pizza dough itself.

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House Smoked Salmon Spinach & Pancetta. Baby Spinach. Vital Farms pasture raised organic hard boiled egg. Gorgonzola. Crisp apple. Toasted Walnuts. Warm Pancetta Vinaigrette.

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Pork Love. Sopressata Salami. Sausage. Pancetta. Speck. House Pulled Mozzarella. Tomato Sauce.

Other Delicious Pizza: Arugula & Prosciutto. 

I’ve never been to Naples, so I can’t guarantee the authenticity of the dishes, however, my palate tells me that this has to be one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had… San Antonio is filled with pizza joints, but this one provides a romantic, yet homey atmosphere and more importantly, a delicious meal awaiting…

Dough Pizzeria Napoletana on Urbanspoon

Francesca’s at Sunset (San Antonio, TX)

I haven’t lived in San Antonio for very long, but I feel I’ve discovered one of the most scenic areas in the city…La Cantera. In particular, The Westin La Cantera Resort is beautiful. It’s a nice getaway…the pools are refreshing, down the street are The Shops at La Cantera, beautiful views, and for you golfers, the course is beautiful! Francesca’s is one of the fine dining restaurants located in the resort and it’s designed with a 360 view of the hills so when the time is right, you’d be watching the Sunset hence, Francesca’s at Sunset.

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Jalapeno cornbread and biscuit. 

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Butter. Olive Oil. Salt.

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Koch Ranch Ancho Goat Albondigas. Coconut Curry Corn Sauce. Grilled Flatbread.

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Plum and Miso Marinated Quail Breast. Plum and Miso Emulsion. Wilted Greens.

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Rio Grande Valley Citrus Seared Scallops. Spinach Carrot Puree. Grilled Scallions. Navel Orange Supremes.

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Forelle Pear Salad. Texas Wine Poached Pear. Maytag Blue Cheese. Texas Pecan Crumbs. Prosciutto Crisps. Pear-Balsamic Vinegar.

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Smoked and Grilled Duck Breast. Roasted Red Bell Pepper Aioli. Sauteed Cabbage. Peppered Bacon.

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German Chocolate Cheesecake. Pastry Tuile

A great meal! Very well-seasoned and thought out dishes….My favorite dishes that we ordered were the Scallops and the Pear Salad. Scallops were perfectly cooked and the Maytag Blue Cheese in the salad was the best blue cheese I’ve ever eaten. It paired so well with the pear… haha no pun intended. The entree I could have gone without was the duck..it was slightly overcooked, although the flavors were great.

As if national recognition (AAA Four Diamond Award) wasn’t enough, they support the locals…all the more to try out this great restaurant. Whether you’re on vacation or even a local, an experience is awaiting you here…

Francesca's at Sunset on Urbanspoon

Luke (Riverwalk, San Antonio, TX)

I recently relocated to San Antonio…a short term career move, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying food!  I was really missing home and “the Chef” surprised me this past weekend…There are quite a few great restaurants here ranging from great pizza joints (like Dough and Fralo’s), delicious BBQ, and Mexican food, but nothing here resembling NOLA cuisine. Luke was the next best thing…home away from home. New Orleans cuisine isn’t just comprised of gool ol’ Cajun seafood, gumbo, jambalaya, and poboys. There’s quite a bit of French influence as well…one of my favorite cuisines! Although Luke on the Riverwalk had a little of it’s own San Antonio twist, the food and feel brought me back into the CBD (City Business District) of New Orleans…

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Grilled Watermelon. Dried Cherry Compote. 14-month Tejano Ham. Arugula, Fried Goat Cheese. 

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Cup of Gumbo.

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Crispy Slow Cooked Pork. Green Beans. Toasted Almonds. Poached Egg. Spicy Butter Dressing. 

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Baked Texas Coast Oysters on the Half Shell, Shrimp, and Crab Gratin. 

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Hanger Steak. Steak-Frites. Garlic and Herb Butter.  I know, it looks like a teaser, but I actually split this dish with the boyfriend so there’s more than appears on this plate!

*NOTE: not pictured are the raw oysters (which were inhaled immediately)… large, fresh, and delicious!

The food was delicious! Although we ordered a feast of food, everything was refreshing and very flavorful. The only downside is the cost  $$$-$$$$. It’s an experience, regardless! Luke is one of my favorite restaurants in New Orleans so I had very high expectations for this location. San Antonio is a beautiful city…very scenic hills, beautiful riverwalk and luckily for me, John Besh brought this delicious gem to the city! 

Lüke on Urbanspoon

Straits (Westchase, Houston, TX)

On a mini tour through Texas and my first stop..Houston! My previous post was on a great sandwich joint called Local Foods (click HERE for my review)…a local sandwich shop owned by Benjy’s. After a great lunch with the boyfriend, the next stop? A girl’s night at Straits.  They had a great dinner menu filled with small, delicious plates. The restaurant atmostphere was perfect for a girls night out...trendy, but still comfy! And the drinks were delicious…unfortunately, they were gone before I could photograph them…

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Roti Prata. Yellow curry dipping sauce.

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Spring Rolls. 

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Singapore Satay Sticks. Spicy Peanut Sauce.

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Murtabak. Roti Prata. Spiced Beef. Curry Dip.

Every dish left me wanting more. For a bar scene, the dishes were well thought out and infused with homey, yet rich flavors. I’m not gonna lie…we ordered more than one Roti Prata. It’s not a girl’s night if you can’t load up on carbs! haha…It’s okay. We paid for it at the gym…

I have yet to try their official dinner entrees, but if these small plates are a reflection of what they have to offer, then I can’t wait!

Straits on Urbanspoon