Maurepas Foods (Bywater, New Orleans, LA)

Late night dining is always so hard to find, especially on a weekday. Maurepas Foods is open 11 AM to 12 AM so it was a perfect place to catch dinner with “The Chef” right after work. The feel is very hip and it’s located in the Bywater area, which is booming with new restaurants!



Tequila. Rose. Lemon. Grapefruit. Bonal Gentiane.



Bread. Chili Butter.



Chicken Leg Quarter. Grits. Market Greens. Slow-poached Egg.



Goat Tacos. Pickled Green Tomatoes. Cilantro Harissa.





First off, I loved the chili butter! Butter with chili oil..two sinful goodies all in one, then spread over bread. Mmm! The chicken leg quarter was very homey and moist. If you like goat and are into gamey flavors, then the tacos are for you! Goat meat is definitely an acquired taste, but is definitely worth a shot if it’s your first time because it’s the perfect transition via taco. I will have to say the food menu is limited, but the quality and value is there!


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Rating: 3.5/5 spoons
Maurepas Foods on Urbanspoon

Maïs Arepas (CBD, New Orleans, LA)

What I usually love about New Orleans is the intermingling of flavors, but what I love about Maïs Arepas is actually the opposite. I love the authenticity of everything. One cuisine we don’t see much of around here is Colombian. I haven’t been to Colombia nor do I claim to know the cuisine very well, but what I do know is that I want more…



The Bar. 






Empanadas Caleñas. Colombian-style yellow cornmeal pies. Shredded beef. Sofrito & Papa criolla. Aji Valluno.



Open Sesame!



Arepa Sampler. Trio of mini Arepas: Shredded skirt steak with Hogao valluno/Pulled pork with Aji & cotija cheese/Shredded Chicken with avocado & green peppers



Maiz de la Rueda. Grilled maïs on the cob. Spicy butter. Aioli. Cotija Cheese.



Marinera Arepas. Grilled jumbo shrimp. Citrus Creole slaw. Avocado. Pink Sauce.


I am trying to find words to describe the delight in each bite I had that day and I’m at a loss for words. Honestly, the pictures say it for me…But in case it hasn’t caught your eye yet, the arepas (pronounced: a-ray-pahs) are cornmeal-based pita-like bread that is stuffed with flavorful Columbian seasoned meats like braised pork, juicy beef, or even shrimp. There’s a variety to choose from! The corn was probably THE best corn I’ve had…seasoned so well. So buttery…And lastly, the empanadas were cornmeal-crusted, which was refreshing and very similar to the arepas.

What I love about Maïs Arepas is the attention to plating, that you don’t typically see in more rustic-style foods. Normally, the food speaks for itself, but here, everything from the plating, the smells, and the flavors spoke to you. 



Rating: 5/5 spoons!


Maïs Arepas on Urbanspoon

Bradley’s Fine Diner (The Heights, Houston, TX)

At my first visit to Bradley’s, “The Chef” and I didn’t realize that Bradley’s Fine Diner was a play on “fine dining” so we were a bit underdressed. (Click here for our first Bradley’s experience!) Fortunately, the setting is actually more casual to business casual than “fancy” or “cocktail”. It was at this visit that the waiter told us that Bradley’s Fine Diner was a play on fine dining. Haha for some reason, I didn’t catch on at first, but now I get it!  Honestly, I could care less about dress or decor. I come for the food!

It was Restaurant Week in Houston so there were some options to choose from on their tasting menu…



Bradley’s Caesar. Whole leaf romaine. Parmesan. Croutons.



Popcorn Shrimp. Watermelon. Cilantro. Chili-lime aioli.



Pan Roasted Trout. Corn relish. Cherry tomatoes. Brown Butter Caper Sauce.



Yankee Pot Roast. Garlic Mashed potatoes. Roasted baby carrots. Buttered breadcrumbs.



Chocolate Banana Cake. Chocolate Cookie crumble. Salted Caramel Ice Cream.



Bradley’s Butterscotch Pudding. Brown Sugar Rosemary Cookie.


Yum. What else can I say? Everything was presented beautifully and well-composed. The flavors were on point. From the tasting menu that we ordered, my favorites were the Popcorn Shrimp, the Pot Roast, and the Butterscotch Pudding. Being a Southern girl and coming from a place where seafood is exorbitant and prepared just “a bit” differently, I’d have to say that the fish was a little under-seasoned for my taste but is probably great for West Coast palates. Down South, we tend to “blacken” our fish and it could be overwhelming for milder palates, but Bradley’s fish was a more delicate and refined dish. Still, very good! “The Chef” ordered one dessert and I ordered another so we’d have a variety, but I really wish we ordered two of the Butterscotch Puddings. It was surprisingly delightful…and I wish I didn’t have to share it! 

What can I say? I’ve been here twice and I’ve enjoyed every bite! Why are you still here? Set your reservation tonight!



Rating: 4/5 spoons

Bradley's Fine Diner on Urbanspoon

Common Bond Cafe & Bakery (Montrose, Houston, TX)

During a mini trip to Houston to move my last few belongings back to New Orleans, a friend had recommended Common Bond for “the best croissants”. I did a little research and found that the chefs and staff at Common Bond all have extensive training from the top restaurants and culinary schools from around the country as well as experience in Europe. Looks like a pretty accomplished staff and it’s very evident…






Pastry display. 
















Soft Scramble. Daily veg.



Homemade Sausage, Egg, and Pork Sandwich. 


From top to bottom there was something so refined about every menu item. It was pretty busy, but service was still great! I loved the soft scramble. It was very delicate so I would recommend adding a sandwich to make the meal a little heartier. I really liked the almond croissant (not pictured). It was light flavored with amaretto and wasn’t too sweet. Unfortunately, I’m leaving Houston so I won’t be able to frequent Common Bond as often as I’d like, but I’ll definitely be back. 




Rating: 4/5 spoons
Common Bond Cafe & Bakery on Urbanspoon

Baru Tapas Bistro (Uptown, New Orleans, LA)

I’ve been wanting to try Baru for sometime now, but it’s always been closed when I’m craving tapas (on Sundays). Well, I finally made it to Baru and I have to admit that I’m a bit sad…sad that I haven’t been here sooner!

It’s a small restaurant with outdoor seating on Magazine St. Perfect on a “cool” evening in New Orleans…


Margarita. Tequila Reposado. Grand Marnier. Agave. Lime Juice. Guiajillo Salt.



Tequenos. Phyllo Stuffed Mozzarella Fingers. Sucro Sauce.



Guacabello. Grilled Portobello. Avocado. Tortilla.



Empanadas de Caraota. Cornmeal Pies. Black beans. Kale. Chihuahua Cheese. Cabbage. Aji.



Ostras Fritas. Cornmeal Crusted Oysters. Cilantro Aioli. Carmelized Onions.



Chuzoes de Entrana. Grilled Skirt Steak. Chimichurri. Bollo.


What a great meal! The meal started off with probably the best margarita I’ve ever had. I am no alchie, at least I don’t think I am, but I can handle my liquor, and this margarita had great flavor and a great kick. I thought I’d at least get an opportunity to try the Sangria, but didn’t get that chance…

Tapas are perfect for meals when you just want a little bit of everything and that’s just what Baru did and they did it so well! My favorites had to be the Tequeños (cheese sticks), Empanadas, and the Steak. My only disappointment would be the Guacobellos, which were lacking a bit of salt and may have been a bit too lime-y for my taste. But considering how delicious all the other dishes were, I can’t wait to come back! Wonderfully crafted cocktails and delicious tapas!


 spoonspoonspoonspoonspoon point 5


Rating: 4.5/5 spoons

Baru Bistro & Tapas on Urbanspoon