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May 30th, 2012

FOOD NEWS


Kim Ranjbar  

As the tourists fade away between festivals and the true days of summer begin, there comes a time for lounging in the shade or hiding in our air conditioned homes and offices, trying to avoid any excess strain that will make us break out into a sweat. We take our cooking outside and enjoy the simplicity of a well-grilled burger or delicious BBQ and icy cold beer. Or, as an even lazier option in this oppressive heat, we can go somewhere and enjoy restaurants that will do it all for us...

Recently opened DMAC’s Bar & Grill could be just the ticket. Chef Clayton Kendrick, formerly of The Original French Market Restaurant in the French Quarter, has joined David & Larry McGhee to launch this Mid- City eatery on S. Jefferson Davis. The menu features some of the usual BBQ suspects like juicy burgers, pulled pork and buffalo chicken tenders, but there are also a few unique items like their “Beautiful Ugglies”ie. Caribbean-style seafood beignets that they serve with a white remoulade or the “The DMAC’s Donut” made with crab and coconut cream in a light pasty. To top it off, the restaurant also features live music five nights a week and the kitchen stays open late to accommodate.

When Hillbilly BBQ moved to Hickory, I thought I’d never see Tullulah Avenue again, but lo and behold, a new barbecue contender has opened up in the same spot called the Smoke Shack. Their simple menu offers pulled pork, smoked brisket, chicken and ribs with sides like baked beans, cole slaw, potato salad and mac ‘n’ cheese. Early reviews are positive which means it will only  be a short time before you find me singing the praises of the tasty barbecue on Tullulah Avenue once again.

If you were hoping for some seriously great grub while you bowled and danced the night away at Mid-City Rock ‘n’ Bowl, you’re prayers have been answered. Straight Stick Ranch Burger Co. has been popping up inside the city’s most famous bowling alley since early April serving up some seriously delicious burgers. 100 percent Louisiana grass fed beef is used to make their classic cheeseburger, sliders and chili, but they also offer artisan hot dogs, grilled chicken sandwiches and even pizza. Are we gonna bowl tonight?

Looking for more decadent grilling? Well, not too long ago, Who Burger began popping up inside of BJ’s Lounge, yet another Bywater music club only a block away from Kermit Ruffins’ famous Vaughan’s. Chef Bryan Alford, who once spent time learning the ropes from Pete Vazquez at Marisol, is creating “internationally inspired” burgers like “The Michelangelo” with arugula-mint pesto, Fontina cheese and root beer-glazed onions or more recently “The Chocolate City” with charred green onions, bacon, espresso dark chocolate roasted Serrano sauce and Taleggio cheese. Better hurry and get a bite before this pop-up stops popping!

Finally, Matt Cummings and Kevin Fruits who own the Decadence Shoppe sandwich spot in the French Quarter have planned to take over the recently-vacated spot belonging to Bywater Barbecue and open a new restaurant called Prime. Their ambition is to serve pub dishes by day and then kick it up several notches at night when the restaurant will offer juicy steaks and seafood for dinner. We can’t wait to see what else might be coming off the grill...

 
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