new Things I Ate in Cambodia: cafe granada: spanish tapas, mild saline overdose excluded

Thursday, February 19, 2009

cafe granada: spanish tapas, mild saline overdose excluded

Cafe Granada
1506 S Carrollton Ave
New Orleans, LA 70118
(504) 865-1612

Cafe Granada is a small and open Spanish cafe on South Carrollton, near the restaurant cluster of Cafe Lebanon and Fellini's Italian. Granada specializes in tapas - those Spanish small bites that seem to have infested the menu pretty much everywhere in the known world - but also features Spanish standbys like paella, pollo a la basque, and a tasty sounding Moroccan lamb tagine. If you're one of New Orleans long-suffering vegetarians, the veggie menu is startlingly extensive and really is free of pork fat (gasp!)

Enough description, how's the dang food?

This is a cooked garbanzo bean casserole with aromatic herbs and cumin - $5. Tasted pretty much like Indian garbanzos with less kick. Not heinous, but way too much oil and salt ( a recurring problem here.)

Next we tried the Eggplant Granada, which I will let them describe: Grilled Layers of Eggplant Stuffed with Mushroom Duxelle and Crispy Onions, Placed on Pomegranate and Romesco Sauce, $6.

I liked the sweet and savory combination of flavors and it's a nice looking dish, but the oil content and salt was again too high. It's rich: took a few bites, was satisfied, didn't need too much more. Which may be the point of sharing anyhow.

Being a total clam lover, I sampled the clams Catalan, sauteed with sun dried tomatoes, almonds, spinach, and white wine ($6.00.) These had a good garlicky flavor but again, tone down on the salt, guys. I like the tender clam meat and the sun-dried tomatoes, but where, oh where, was my beloved spinach? Beyond a stray leaf or two?

This is Fabada, composed of fresh fava beans, artichokes, and sun dried tomatoes in veggie broth and Sherry vinegar. See, these, now THESE were smashing: the slow cooked favas ended up tasting rich and savory, almost like cheese. The combo with the artichoke and sun dried tomato flavor was great. I'd definitely order these again.

Verdict? Granada has a healthy selection of inexpensive tapas that, despite good flavor, definitely need to be turned down on the oil n' salt-o-meter. Nonetheless, I imagine I'll be returning to sample that lamb - and it's a great place to hang out and nosh when the weather is good.

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