Chill, dog! … Mr. Chill, known in Mid-City for Mr. Chill's First Class Cuts barber shop on Carrollton Avenue, recently launched Mr. Chill's First Class Hot Dogs & Sweet’s Pastries. Located at the other end of Carrollton, right near Cooter Brown’s, this new eatery offers an array of hot dogs from all-beef to duck and alligator. Top a Mr. Chill's hot dog with sauerkraut and mustard or skip straight to 7-Up pound cake for dessert! Mr. Chill's First Class Hot Dogs & Sweet’s Pastries is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sweet healing … Along with Mr. Chill's, the Riverbend has another sweet shop to shout about dubbed Shake Therapy. Located in the tiny space that used to house Cold Stone Creamery, this little shop is shaking things up with huge numbers of toppings, several artisan ice cream flavors, and vivid imaginations. Your shake can have an ice cream base of chocolate, vanilla, butter pecan, or rocky road (just to name a few), and toppings include things like Rice Krispies treats, cheese balls, pretzels, donuts, Pop Tarts, marshmallows, gummy worms, and macaroons. How crazy can you shake?
624 S. Carrollton Ave., (615) 943-0073, facebook.com/shaketherapy
He's cooking again … Adolfo Garcia, longtime local restaurateur who helped launch Ancora and High Hat Café, is getting back into the kitchen at La Boca. According to The New Orleans Advocate, Garcia's partner and chef Jared Ralls has decided to leave New Orleans and travel the country with his girlfriend Daisy Cross (who is also in the local restaurant scene) in a dualie. Meanwhile, Garcia will be putting his apron back on and getting back behind the scenes at the highly popular Argentinian steak house he launched over 11 years ago. Though we're certainly sorry to see Ralls go, everyone is excited to have Garcia cooking again.
870 Tchoupitoulas St., (504) 525-8205, labocasteaks.com
The Mid-City switch … Not too long after The Big Cheezy vacated their original location on South Broad, another restaurant has taken over dubbed Chef D'z Cafe. Chef/owner Donald Smith has taken the small space and is offering big plates like blackened catfish fettuccine, BBQ shrimp pasta, smothered pork chops with gravy, chicken wings, burgers, grilled oysters, and more. Chef D'z Café is open Monday through Saturday.
422 ½ Broad St., (504) 265-8091, facebook.com/chefdzcafe
What's in a name? … A greasy spoon dubbed The Grille recently opened on Veterans, which seems awfully familiar—and it should. Launched by local restaurateur Hicham Khodr, who also owns the famous Camellia Grill in the Riverbend, The Grille offers a lot of similarities, like an open kitchen diner counter (as well as table service), chocolate pecan pie, grilled cheese sandwiches, and chocolate freezes. Till the court battle over the Camellia Grill name decides who wins, all of the Grilles will be flowerless, but no less delicious.
2949 Veterans Blvd., (504) 304-3304, facebook.com/TheGrilleMetairie
Catch this! … Popular LaPlace seafood restaurant Off The Dock has moved to Cleary Avenue in Metairie and changed its name to The Catch. Folks familiar with the LaPlace location are already piling in for dishes like blackened redfish filet, crab cakes, BBQ shrimp, shrimp scampi with angel hair pasta, alligator bites, po-boys, platters, and crawfish fritters. The Catch is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
3010 Cleary Ave., (504) 407-3316, facebook.com/thecatchseafoodrestaurantLA
Bittersweet goodbyes … Though restaurants keep popping up around town like daisies after a thunderstorm, there's quite a few we've had to say goodbye to who couldn't keep up with the race. Most recently, we've had to say farewell to Freret Street Po-Boy & Donuts, a shop that opened in 2009 at the beginning of the corridor's rebirth after Katrina. According to Uptown Messenger, owner Myra Bercy cites rising rents, heavy street construction, and a changing community for the closure. We’re sad to see those donuts go!
Up in the Riverbend, college students and other neighborhood denizens are sad to see the closure of Babylon Café on Maple Street. Open for over 15 years, the eatery has long been a go-to for tasty, inexpensive meals and fresh, house-made bread, but sources informed Eater that after the chef quit, the owner just decided to shut down. On a positive note, another Mediterranean restaurant, Hummus & More in Metairie, plans to open its second location in the space vacated by Babylon.