new Things I Ate in Cambodia: Bourbon House New Orleans, Cold Ass Weather

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bourbon House New Orleans, Cold Ass Weather

Bourbon House
144 Bourbon Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 522-0111

On a recent mind-blowingly cold Saturday, a friend and I decided to stop in for lunch at Dickie Brennan's Bourbon House, another outpost of the eponymous patriarch's restaurant empire. It's a beautiful space, located on Bourbon just about right off Canal - the dining room is huge and bathed in yellow and cream tones, with a huge granite oyster bar, and luxuriously appointed fittings for the rest of the space. The menu hits on the usual armada of New Orleans classics, with slightly higher prices then is perhaps standard. You're paying for the room, in the end. But the food is good, high quality, and nicely thought out, and the oysters on the half shell come from P&J and surely qualify as The Good Kind.

We tried the crab fingers Bordelaise as a starter, which came out in an uber rich and delicious lemon-butter garlic and parsley sauce. A really nice dish with a commitment to the cholesterol that made this city grand. Only complaint - could have been a teeny bit warmer.

I had the gumbo. I always have the gumbo. That's my MO. This gumbo? Pretty good, but not a standout in the category - there just wasn't enough STUFF in it. I wanted more meaty bits of seafood, and I wanted less in the way of a thick, thick roux, I wanted more down and dirty flavor. This was a refined gumbo, that you might take home to meet your mama, but I don't really want that. There was an interesting almost boozy flavor to this, that I couldn't properly identify.

We also had a delicious frozen bourbon milk punch, the sort of boozy, milky, semi-evil beverage that defines something essential about the New Orleans pysche. This aspect of the psyche may be encapsulated by the phrase, "Fuck-it-this-tastes-good-even-if-it-kills-me."

(Cold weather is an affront in New Orleans, a smack in the face to the laws of reality, something that cannot and should not be borne in any reasonable or just universe. Everyone walks around with thousand mile stares, dressing in fifteen different layers, since most people don't possess hi-performance parkas, everyone is gazing up at the sky with expressions of hatred and repentance, everyone is wondering if this will ever end. The palm trees look defeated and so do the rhododendron, so does everything, and people sit closer together on the streetcar then they normally would, making small talk. Yes, I hate cold weather in New Orleans, I hate it.)