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Review: Surrey’s Uptown

Costa Rican Breakfast

Costa Rican Breakfast

Hands down, Surrey’s Uptown is overall the best breakfast place in town. Can you go places with fancier food? Absolutely, but for the type of place it is, it’s the best.

I’ve had just about everything on the menu. Costa Rican Breakfast? Check. Boudin Biscuit? Check. Bagel Breakfast Sandwich? Check. I could go on. All that said, the single best thing I’ve ever had here is the special Chicken and Waffles. The dish is out of this world. I’m hoping it shows up on the menu again since the chef I loved left a couple months ago.

My favorite regular menu items are the Costa Rican Breakfast and the Boudin Breakfast Biscuit. Both are unique. The Costa Rican Breakfast is an amalgam of a lot of things I like: eggs, cheese, avocado, rice, black beans, fried plantains and pico de gallo. Similarly, the Bouding Breakfast Biscuits relies on a homemade biscuit, fresh boudin patties and eggs to make a breakfast biscuit that puts most others to shame.

Pain Perdu

Pain Perdu

The Breakfast Burrito, Pain Perdu and Banana Pancake are all solid breakfast choices. However, you can’t really go wrong. Surrey’s has breakfast down pat. They also have a good lunch.

I usually take advantage of the $10 lunch combo that comes with half a sandwich, a cup of soup and a side salad.

My favorite lunch sandwich is the Lox BLT, but a close second is the Surrey’s Club. They keep it pretty simple at lunch with the three S items: sandwiches, salads and soups.

I frequented the lower location on Magazine for years, so I was thrilled when a Surrey’s opened closer to my uptown home. And I have to say, the food at the uptown location is much better than the lower Magazine location. I will say that the juice at the lower location is a tad bit better.

Surrey's Boudin Breakfast Biscuit

Boudin Breakfast Biscuit

Speaking of the juice, Surrey’s has some of the best juice in town. My favorite is the Watermelon Limemade. Even though it’s only available during the summer months, I dream about it all year long. They always have interesting juices and juice blends on hand, and none of them have ever disappointed me.

The one drawback is the extreme likelihood you will encounter a wait on the weekend. That said, most of the staff is uber-friendly so chat them up to make the wait time speed by.

It is cash only (something I’ve never been a fan of), but it’s worth every dollar. If you want fine dining, head to Brennan’s where you can overpay for your eggs. If you want a great breakfast, forget about everything else and focus on the food at Surrey’s and you won’t be disappointed.

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2012 in Eatin'

 

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Review: La Thai Uptown

Paht Thai

Paht Thai at La Thai

There was a time when I wasn’t a big fan of La Thai. I’ve had to reevaluate my opinion and I’m happy to say, I’ve changed my mind. You can now count me as a fan.

Like any place, some dishes are better than others, but what won me over was the Thai-Coon. A delicious dish with jumbo shrimp, Lousiana crawfish, vegetables and fried eggplant in a spicy garlic basil sauce over jasmine rice. It’s a filling dish, but the eggplant is fried to perfection and the seafood, veggies and sauce all work in nearly perfect harmony. It’s hands down my favorite dish at the place.

I’m also a big fan of the Crispy Calamari. La Thai has breading and frying down and their version of calamari is made with one of the best sweet chili sauces you’ll find. A friend even said it was “the best calamari she’s ever had.” At this point, I’m inclined to agree with her, at least when it comes to fried calamari.

Crispy Calamari

Crispy Calamari at La Thai

Two other appetizers I enjoy quite a bit are the Skewerless Chicken Sate and Mama’s Stuffed Chicken Wings. The wings are some of the best wings I’ve had in quite a while. I’ve never really seen New Orleans as a big wings city, but La Thai has a dish that proves to be the exception to that.

La Thai also has two salads that stand out. The first is the Naked Shrimp Salad with mango, tri-colored peppers and mango-peanut dressing. It’s fruity, crunchy and full of zest and flavor. The second is the Pecan-Crusted Oyster Salad with lump crabmeat, pecans, grapes and wasabi lime aioli. This is probably the best salad on the menu. The oysters are fried perfectly and actually work well with the sweetness of the grapes.

The noodle and rice dishes are La Thai’s bread and butter and they have some great dishes in this section of the menu. The Paht Thai is always a popular choice, but I’ve always found it just a tad bit underwhelming compared to the Paht Woon Sen and the Thai-Coon. Did I mention I’m in love with the Thai-Coon?

Cashew Chicken

Cashew Chicken at La Thai

You’ll also have a great choice of curries when visiting. All are delicious and very in spiciness.

On my last visit, I went during lunch and ordered the Cashew Chicken. They definitely didn’t skimp on the cashews (a big plus in my book) and it was a great blend of sweet, saucy, spicy and salty. I wouldn’t hesitate to order it again.

Aside from the food, the decor is impeccable and the service is always excellent. Diana and Merlin Chauvin (chefs/owners) are two of the nicest people on the New Orleans restaurant scene. They don’t treat anyone at La Thai like a stranger. They’ve collaborated to make La Thai a great neighborhood joint for all of New Orleans.

Paht Thai and Calamari images courtesy of Amy Jett Photography.

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2011 in Eatin'

 

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