Monday, September 8, 2008

days in new orleans increasing

Erez daily blog day 10 3:35 PM September 7, 2008

First day at work. I do not have a job so it wasn’t so bad. Nate and I put in some hard hours at the YURP headquarters before heading over to Mona’s for lunch.

Mona’s serves up Mediterranean fair, and while it isn’t quite a chain, there are several of them dotted around the greater New Orleans area. At the location we went to, there was a Mediterranean supermarket, owned by the same family in the adjacent building, pretty convenient if you decide to try this stuff at home.

Atmospherically this place is a little forced. The ‘cabanas’ that surround the booths are a little cheesy and the fountain in the middle of the dining room doesn’t help either. What I’m trying to say is, I wouldn’t recommend it as a date/dinner spot, the vibe just doesn’t add anything to the experience. The food however was pretty good, I had the chicken kabob plate, Nate took the gyro plate. Both came with salad and hummus as well as a plate of pita to be shared. The salad was good, light dressing but generous with vegetables that weren’t lettuce. (wicked annoying when you’re just chewing on cabbage patch pieces of green)

The chicken was well seasoned and tasty, some pieces being moister then others, but overall a solid job. The hummus was average, most definitely better than anything you could buy in a supermarket, but not exceptional. Pita was also just average, seemed like it had been frozen and then thawed as parts of the bread were harder than others.

The price was very reasonable and the service was casual but attentive. Overall I’d recommend it for business lunches and take out if you’re in the mood for solid Mediterranean food.

Walked back to YURP’s offices to inspire good digestion. Lot of people outside, cleaning up doing what needs to be done.

Ended up on Frenchmen Street for the night. Couldn’t really tell you which bar was which, kinda jumped around a lot. All I know is we started at Apple Barrel, and was treated to a gritty, down to earth blues trio. They were damn good, the guitarist/vocalist rasping out a good variety of well known and obscure blues covers. If someone knows who these guys are please let me know, they deserve credit by name.

Woke up late, and went to Stein’s deli. It was a cool Saturday, a strong breeze combined with overcast skies made for a very comfortable temperature, I think I might have inspired more people (including us) to get outside and clean up some of the debris from the forgotten gustav.

Stein's did not disappoint on any level. The place feels like it’s been there forever (even though it has only been open for a couple years) It feels like a much more accessible and down to earth version of St. James Café, a place I went to earlier in my trip. Half sandwich place half ethnic supermarket, it’s the best kind of Jewish deli, a non kosher one.

Fancy (and expensive) meats and cheeses sit behind the glass counters.

Super informal, walk up, order, pay and pick up when name called. We both got Bagel egg and cheese sandwiches, me with tomato, Nate with Bacon.

Mine was good, fluffy egg, surprisingly good bagel, but needed a dash of salt and pepper. Nate’s was perfect, the bacon giving it the salty kick mine lacked. The place got crowded around ten, with a spread of locals and college kids.

The baby sat next to us and wouldn’t stop staring at the camera, probably a future ham.

Will be coming back here to try some of the lunch menu which sounded amazing as well. Good place for a laid back, community atmosphere with no attitude.

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