Opened a little over two years ago, DTB or “Down the Bayou” is a restaurant in the Carrollton neighborhood described as offering “reinterpreted coastal Cajun cuisine.” Created by talented local chef Carl Schaubhut and run by his chef de cuisine John Hill, this intriguing, corner restaurant has been going strong, enticing diners with their dishes of fried cornbread with ham hock marmalade and goat cheese mousse, LA-1 Gumbo with blue crab and collard greens, and blackened redfish with succotash risotto.
As anyone who has followed my blogs knows, I have always had a weight problem. For reasons I’d rather not delve into as of yet (someday), I’ve used food for comfort since I was 9 or 10-years-old. People have many forms of escape to dull the pain of living, from drugs and alcohol to athletics or a well-worn book. For me it was mostly food. Sure, I dabbled in drugs during my youth, but stints with LSD and cocaine were more about fitting in, having fun and expanding my mind as opposed to easing the aches and pains of reality. For me, food was the ultimate safety net, the bastion of comfort and pleasure, the hole I would crawl into so frequently, that it’s taken all my life to finally emerge from its dangerous embrace.
Throughout my 45+ years on this planet, I’ve seen some pretty amazing natural phenomenon. While walking with my mom on Sawyer Camp Trail in San Mateo, we encountered a large buck standing on a hill staring down at us and as we glanced up, the sun just happened to be setting perfectly in between its antlers. Another time, while I was on a 6th grade camping trip, we discovered a large meadow of white wildflowers in the middle of the forest and when one of my classmates stepped into it, clouds of ladybugs burst from seemingly nowhere and many of them lit upon us … covering us all in red and black. Finally, at one of the many late night beach parties I attended in Half Moon Bay, we were shocked to find our footprints were glowing. Every time we stepped in the wet sand, green sparks would shine and then fade before our disbelieving eyes. We later discovered that a tiny, single-celled marine animal called “noctiluca” will often wash up onto the shore and when it’s disturbed, it emits a bio luminescence or those eerie green sparkles that glowed in our wet footprints.
When Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar opened about seven years ago in the old Copeland’s building, I was one of the first to check it out. I loved their Frozen Pomegranate Mojitos, BBQ shrimp, raw Gulf oysters, warm French bread and Shrimp Louie Salad. Over the years, I’ve dined there many times and usually with good results.
I suppose you could say John does …
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. You know all of these fabulous amateur food pictures I post? Well, my endlessly talented and artistic boyfriend is responsible for approximately half of them.
When we go out to eat and the food arrives, I will take a bunch of pictures and then John will, or vice versa. Sometimes his are better and sometimes mine are. Sometimes we compete to see who can get the best shot and sometimes, to be perfectly honest, we are simply far too hungry to care.
This past Saturday, my friend and real estate agent Zuheily from NOLA Living Realty invited me to her first solo listing. She knew there was no way I could afford this particular property, but she also knew how smitten I am with classic New Orleans architecture and the open house offered an opportunity for me to step inside a private building that was nearly 140 years old.
Quite often, I can be almost too optimistic when it comes to dining experiences. I wave off inconveniences that would definitely have other diners reducing tips, taking their problems to the manager or worse, giving an ugly review on Yelp. But for me, if the food was incredible, I could overlook almost anything.
The times they are a-changin’.
Over the past several years I have formed a somewhat unhealthy addiction to king cake. It’s an affliction you can chalk up to loving “all things New Orleans,” but I think it also goes deeper than that. The mammoth brioche-like rolls heavily iced with purple, green and gold seem to embody this extraordinary time of year, a holiday that I have taken into my heart and held closer than Christmas, Easter and Halloween combined. It is a sugary-sweet representation of all that’s wondrous about New Orleans and the multitudes of variation only expound that fact. More than anything, king cake is about ritual, from waiting till January 6th for that first annual bite to the obligation one inevitably feels when the baby is discovered in their slice. Continue reading
Since 2013, Eater New Orleans (or should I say editor/writer extraordinaire Gwendolyn Knapp) would hit me up for dining reflections of the past year and predictions for the next. This year, I was not asked and I have to confess, I was a little bummed. Perhaps it was because the new editor, Stephanie Carter, doesn’t know me from Adam or perhaps my recent slump in food blogging deterred her from seeing me as a reputable source … whatever the reason, I still feel the need to share. Whether or not this information is valuable is for you to decide …
I’m not quite sure what drove me to login and post today. As I hit “add” I noticed it’s been over a year since I’ve last blogged. I could say it’s been a rough year, emotionally and creatively, for me but I am sure it has been no more difficult than most others’. Early September of last year, right around now, John’s mother passed away after a year-long battle with lung cancer at the age of 53. We were at her bedside when she took her last breath and it shook me. It rattled me down to my bones. Continue reading