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#1 ExtraMSG

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 12:20 PM

Been to Acadia a couple times before for dinner and enjoyed it. Wife wanted brunch and suggested them so we went. There was a short wait for a table and no wait for the bar, so we took the bar. Saw some people leave upon finding out there'd be a wait. Um, good luck finding a decent Sunday brunch location without a wait, loser. Really, compared to the average around town, 10-15 minutes or less is minimal.

Pretty interesting selection of items ranging from specifically breakfast dishes like fried tomato and asparagus benedict ($8.95), andouille benedict ($10.95), grilled cane syrup pork and eggs ($14.95), or blueberry cornbread muffin and beignet ($8) to more typical cajun/creole dishes like seafood gumbo ($8.95), turtle soup ($8.95), or crawfish etouffee ($12.95). Prices seemed a little high looking at the menu, but that's because we hadn't seen the portions yet. But your check is going to be spendy with most breakfasty dishes in the $10 and up category, peaking at $15 for items like the blackened steak and eggs.

We ordered the jambalaya strata ($9.50), banana's foster pain perdu ($12.95), a caesar salad ($7.50), and a side of blue cheese pecan grits ($4). Waaaaaaay too much food. It could have fed four or more.

Started with the salad, which I mostly ate, but we shared a little. The romaine was fresh and it was a modest, but not small, portion. You can get grilled chicken or shrimp for a couple bucks extra. The dressing was a bit mayonnaisey tasting (when I say this, it doesn't necessarily mean they use mayo to make it, but that the egg and oil might be a bit high in ratio compared with other elements like anchovy or lemon or garlic). Still it had a bit of brightness and wasn't too goopy. The croutons were crisp and there was plenty of medium shreds of parmesan.

Next came two massive plates of food. My jambalaya was like a giant piece of bread pudding with smoked chicken, duck, andouille, tasso, caramelized onions, celery, and bell peppers on a slightly spicey tomato sauce. It looked like a piece of masonry. Really. Big. The top had a "crust" of bread cubes that had crisped in the custard. Actually, I wouldn't call it a custard. I'm not sure they used much dairy, if any, judging from the texture which wasn't smooth at all. They call it an egg casserole and that's probably more accurate, really. I generally like bold flavors, but because this dish was so huge and there was really nothing to balance the flavors -- not contrary flavor to give the tongue a break -- by about half-way through or less, I was done. It was so smokey and the bell pepper so strong that it just got old. If it had been a piece about a quarter that size, I may be talking about how good it was right now. Hard to say. Also, the potatoes on the side were pretty bad. They were mushy and not crisp at all and overwhelmed by some of the same flavors that were in the strata. I think a better dish would be a piece of their strata about half the size sided with some good potatoes and maybe some nice slow-cooked greens. It'd still be too much food for all but truck drivers named Bubba, and it would give the tongue some rest so it could eagerly take the next bite.

My wife's pain perdu suffered in much the same way. First couple bites were really good, although quite sweet -- more banana's foster than pain perdu in flavor. Again, this was huge. I would say the piece of bread, which reminded me of a cinnamon roll dough served as a loaf, not like French toast at all from what I could tell, was 7 inches or more long and more than half that wide and tall. Big. It was sitting in a huge pool of dark sauce piled with whipped cream and bananas. Pecans were scattered throughout. The bananas themselves weren't caramelized, but that was only a minor problem. The real problem was just that it was too much -- too much food, too much sweet, too much alcohol, and so on. There was no break from the onslaught of flavors and my wife left more than half of it, despite enjoying it when she first dug in. It's kind of the same problem when you go to a chain restaurant and get dessert (or Papa Haydn to a lesser extent). You get this gigantic piece of cake with ice cream, lots of fudge topping, candied this and that, etc, etc. Maybe when you're 8 you can eat this til you puke, but at 33, I can't take it anymore. My throat gets horse and my teeth hurt from all the sugar. I guess it's good to know that while I don't have the most subtle palate, there is such a thing as dishes too intense for even me.

On the plus side, my wife's grits were really nice. Maybe a bit grainy, but generally creamy and the flavor of the blue cheese came through nicely. They were rich, salty enough, and the pecans worked well to add an earthy/nutty component.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#2 Flynn

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 12:51 PM

You aren't kidding about brunch wait times. 15 mins is nothing. I'm stunned people wait like 1.5hrs for Besaws. Even Zells at 1hr is crazy to me.

I've been debating whether or not to hit this brunch. I'm a big fan of the dinner menu at Acadia, but for some reason I was skeptical about this move. Just didn't seem like their kitchen is big enough to pull off both. I'll try it sometime, but I'm definitely in no hurry now.

I finally got to Roux a couple of times. Absolutely love the apps/salads/1sts (croque monsieur salad is out of hand), but the mains I've tried are just ok, with the exception of the deeelightful pan roasted stuffed rabbit . Acadia seems have more balance, at least at dinner. OTOH, Roux has a more interesting menu from my perspective.

#3 Cat Lancaster

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 01:28 PM

Acadia is also open for lunch, but only on Wednesdays.

I've ordered the crawfish etouffee both times I've eaten here - once for lunch and once for dinner. I thought it was okay, but not knock your socks off good. I thought it needed something more, and not just 'heat' but 'character'. I'd go back, but I wouldn't run. Roux is also pretty high on the I need to try it list.

Cat
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#4 ExtraMSG

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 01:58 PM

Perhaps a creole/cajun crawl between Roux, Acadia, and Laginappe is in order focusing on etouffee, gumbo, and jambalaya.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#5 Flynn

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 02:57 PM

I'd be game for that. Is there anywhere else worth throwing in? What's the deal with Daddy Mojo's?

#6 ExtraMSG

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 03:10 PM

Maybe Montage because everyone knows it. Never been to Mojo's. I thought they were Caribbean or something.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#7 vj

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 03:14 PM

Daddy Mojo's is awful. With the first owner, it was good for the price, but they've changed owners, and you can only eat in the smokey bar. I haven't been in there in the evening in a while, but they managed to completely ruin a breakfast, and it was just depressing watching the steady stream of people coming to play video crack.

#8 Flynn

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 04:00 PM

I'm not sure I've eaten at Montage at any other time than around 3am. It might be a shock to my system.

#9 Kristi

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 04:28 PM

Perhaps a creole/cajun crawl between Roux, Acadia, and Laginappe is in order focusing on etouffee, gumbo, and jambalaya.


I'd be up for that, those are all places I've been wanting to try.

#10 jmatt

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 09:48 PM

Um, good luck finding a decent Sunday brunch location without a wait, loser.


Hmm--Loser indeed. Why is it that if anyone else made this comment they'd have the board faithful jumping down their throat.

Anyway, my wife and I have been to Simpatica many times and never had to wait more than 5 minutes--if at all. Timing's the key, MSG.

#11 ExtraMSG

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 07:43 AM

How do I make a comment in the beginning of a thread, referring to no one in particular, and actually have someone take it personally. Jeez.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#12 Cat Lancaster

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 02:30 PM

Perhaps a creole/cajun crawl between Roux, Acadia, and Laginappe is in order focusing on etouffee, gumbo, and jambalaya.


I would definitely be in for this. Are all of them open for brunch that we could do it on a Sunday? If not that would be fine, but a cold rainy Sunday would certainly add to the atmosphere for me.

Cat
"travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness" ~ Mark Twain

"I'm not a picky eater, but I'm picky about what I eat." ~ Me

#13 ExtraMSG

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 12:39 AM

Went to Acadia recently. Got a caesar and the gumbo. Wife got the pear salad and catfish (though it was replaced with gulf fish).

A bit of a mixed bag, but overall good. The caesar's dressing was nice, both garlicky and lemony, though compared with the other salads it was small. My wife's pear salad was short on pears but long on candied nuts. Really the proportion of lettuce to cheese, nuts, and pear was a bit high. Enjoyable, though.

Was disappointed with the gumbo. The roux tasted burnt. The shrimp tasted old.

My wife's catfish, which, like I said, was subbed for gulf fish (they did warn us) was quite tasty. The cornmeal crust was crispy and the meat owas tender, juicy, and cooked through. Decent sauce and pleasant sides.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#14 Twitch

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 06:39 AM

Anyone else been recently? I'm surprised how hard fooddude has panned this. I was going to go in for some fish-blackening research.

#15 Twitch

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 09:25 AM

I gotta say, pictures like this are what keeps this place in the "dangerous" category of my hit list.

#16 Twitch

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 01:16 PM

OK, for some actual content:

I had the blackened catfish at lunch (surprise!). I love blackened catfish. I understand it had a streak of popularity in the 80s, but I only paid attention to hamburgers back then.

Before Ben left Genie's, the blackened fish there was awesome. Last time I went, half of it was cooked to absolute dryness while the other half was virtually raw. I have no idea how they accomplished it, but it was impressively bad.

The good:

The catfish was perfectly cooked. It came in a nice presentation with some brussel sprouts + bacon and hollandaise.

The bad:

The portion was very very tiny. I got 6 quarters of brussel sprouts, for a total of 1.5 sprouts. I think there was more bacon than sprout, but it was very hard to taste. The hollandaise dominated the plate and overpowered the other flavors.

Catfish is not a big fish, this one was probably 3 oz tops. The next table had the jambalaya, which was, as Nick said, huge. I regret the disparity in portion sizes.

The could go either way:

The hollandaise is profoundly rich with a very very strong butter flavor. I would not call it balanced, but if you like it this way, this is your hollandaise.

The rub on the fish was a little mild for my palate, but I know others like things less spicy. The sprouts had a nice spicy seasoning.

Yup!

#17 Jocelyn:McAuliflower

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 09:03 PM

Anyone else been recently? I'm surprised how hard fooddude has panned this. I was going to go in for some fish-blackening research.


yeah- it's my neighbor, so we go about once every two-three months. My experiences have never coincided with the fooddude's experience.

I like their cocktails too. The St Charles is an item I could love off of. :sigh:

I still haven't done brunch there because of the damn live music (I think that place is way to small for a live band). Oh well.

#18 LadyConcierge

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 01:05 PM

B and I went for brunch today. It was our first time at the restaurant. Didn't notice any live music, McAuliflower, but we sat outside. It was very refreshing to find a different brunch menu. Wish I had grabbed one. We started with the fried gulf shrimp with whole grain mustard marmalade. Came out with 3 big shrimp with just a smidge of batter, on a small pool of said marmalade. I put aside my general dislike for savory/sweet combos and tried it with the marmalade. Pretty good. The shrimp were juicy, not overcooked, and had a cajun spice on them, too. We both chose benedicts for mains. He went with the special - smoked pork loin benedict on cornbread with bearnaise, and I had the fried tomato and grilled asparagus one. Both came with grits. His pork rocked - I kept stealing bites. Instead of muffin, his came on a dense, fried cornbread with lots of bell peppers in it. His bearnaise was very piquant. Mine came on a very crisp english muffin with a fried tomato (not green), 2 grilled asparagus spears crisscrossed under a big poached egg. I was most impressed with the egg cookery. Both were the epitome of the perfect poached eggs - large, with velvety runny yolks. I love it when I pierce the yolks and it runs down like lava over everything on the plate. There was a whole grain mustard hollandaise, too. I wished that I had asked for reg. hollandaise or the bearnaise that B had. We had already had whole grain mustard with the marmalade, so I was kind of over it. The grits were good, but unremarkable. We were both just exclaiming over every bite of the benedicts. The coffee was tasty, too. They offer regular and chicory. It is Kobos brand. B had 2 rocket mojitos. He got the last of the mint and the other customers were jealous. I could see us coming here often. It's a little spendy - $47 for our breakfast, but then we had a starter and 2 drinks. The dinner menu looks inspired as well.

What I remember from the menu:
begneits and biscuit basket
fried soft-shell crab
frisee salad with soft-shelled crab, crawfish, crawfish-boil vinaigrette, and a crispy egg
fried oysters or oyster croquettes
quiche du jour
omelet du jour
filet with pommes frites
andouille sausage benedict

#19 LadyConcierge

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 01:16 PM

If you scroll up to the first post and read MSG's account of brunch, you can see he mentioned some items I missed.

Also, we went at 11:30 and there was maybe 2 tables filled. By the time we were served our food, it was full including a party of 10.

Funny: MSG mentioned "Um, good luck finding a decent Sunday brunch location without a wait, loser." Well, I have that problem with B. He refuses to wait for food. I wanted to go to Gravy initially, but there were obviously crowds of people waiting. We were just driving aimlessly and ended up at Acadia.

#20 LadyConcierge

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 01:18 PM

Oh yeah, one more thing: there are no potatoes for breakfast. All egg dishes come with grits.