A Nerd Girl's Perspective

My Thoughts on News, Politics, Food, Crafting, Geek Culture, Sociology, and Much More —— Courtney C Horne

Tag: baton rouge

Universal Halloween Horror Nights Vs. The 13th Gate- Haunted Review Showdown

Recently we took a trip to Orlando. We decided to try out the Halloween event at Universal Studios: Halloween Horror Nights. Then, tonight we checked out Baton Rouge’s own 13th Gate. I was absolutely stunned at how much our own local haunted attraction blew Universal out of the water- so I decided to do a side by side review.

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Joining a CSA- Adventures in Produce

Recently we joined the Luckett Farms  Community Supported Agriculture (or CSA) program- essentially you pay to get a box of food from a farm each week and you get whatever they are producing.  It was a bit of a leap of faith.

There wasn’t really a way to view a bunch of the past boxes, read reviews, etc- like I would if I was considering a monthly subscription box. And plus there is a 5 month commitment.

Well I am very glad we took that leap!

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Street Breads- Makes Subway Look Terrible by Comparison

Recently we decided to try out Street Breads. This Lake Charles area restaurant recently opened a location in Baton Rouge. Being a Calcasieu Parish native myself I was eager to give them a shot.

Plus I wanted a sandwich and was looking for something a bit different.  What I got was both different and very good.

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Bin 77- A Baton Rouge Restaurant Week Visit

Baton Rouge has an event called Restaurant Week. During it, a lot of places in town offer fixed three course menus. It is a pretty cool event. Unfortunately, this year I knew I would only have a chance to make it to two restaurants. So choosing became very important. I scoured the menus on the website until I settled on Bin 77 as one of the places I would be going to.

Bin 77 is a small wine bar tucked into Perkins Rowe. It would be described as intimate by some people and by cramped as others. It was a bit too tight for comfort- hard to even pull a chair out from a table. The food made up for the difficult seating easily though.

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Mellow Mushroom- Great Crust, Cheesy Menu Names

The Mellow Mushroom is over the top. The decor screams “someone’s fevered dream of what 1969 looked like got barfed all over the inside of this restaurant.”  It is, however, in its own way kind of charming. Perhaps it is my own affection for the era showing through but the mellow mushroom has a delightful kitsch in my opinion. It’s over the top decor is part of its charm.

And the menu names continue to bring out that over the top, cheesy enthusiasm. They serve “Magic Mushroom Soup,” “Enlightened Spinach Salad,” and a “Magical Mystery Tour” pie. Of course, no inventive name could save a disappointing pizza. Luckily they manage to deliver innovative flavor alongside their creative dish names.

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Bar Louie- A Chain Restaurant’s Bar Food Shouldn’t be So Good

Bar Louie just opened up next to the mall in Baton Rouge. I have visited twice- once for appetizers and once for dinner. It is a pleasant surprise. I had really went there expecting the food to be okay and nice to go tobecause they serve late- which is a rarity in Baton Rouge. (Til 1:30 am on every day but Sunday)

Well the food wasn’t okay- it was great!

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Pelican House- Come Here for Beer, Maybe Try the Fries, Skip the Sandwiches

I tried out Pelican House recently. I had heard good things about the food and so we decided to stop in for a quick lunch a few days ago.

Josh tried one of their roughly 250 beers (around 140 on tap and 120 in bottles) and was very pleased. They really have an impressive selection of beers of all categories. If you are looking for an interesting beer in Baton Rouge, I would recommend going by there. The layout is great, they are constructing a porch, and they have more beers than you could imagine trying.

The food on the other hand… I really wanted to love it.. But the execution was sorely lacking.

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Mason’s Grill- Always Crowded for a Reason

It seems like every time I drive past Mason’s it is insanely crowded. People parking in the grass, down the road, madness!

Well there is a good reason for all that madness, Mason’s is great.

They have an insane customizable Bloody Mary (which they call a Bloody Mason). You can choose your vodka, flavorings,heat level, and garnishes from a generous list. They even offer a bacon infused vodka. The trimmings include pickled okra, olives, bacon, a meat straw, and more. On a past occasion, I tried their Bloody Mason with bacon vodka and it was quite good. The bacon vodka offered a smokey addition to the well mixed drink.

While Mason’s serves a popular brunch on Sundays, I am not much of a morning person. I most recently went to Mason’s on a Friday evening and had a good experience. The parking lot was pretty crowded but not full and we were able to be seated right away. The service was very prompt over all.

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Beausoliel- A Restaurant Named for My Ancestor

My mother’s family is very, very Cajun.

So Cajun in fact, that a resistance leader (Joseph Broussard- also know as Beausoliel) from whom we are descended has -among other things- a restaurant named after him.

I got to try the restaurant out a little while back and it was a great experience. We went there on a whim and there was remarkably no wait. The place is pretty small so if you are going on a busy night it may be worth getting a reservation.

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L’auberge Bon Temps Buffet- Trying to Eat at Least $30 in Crab

We went to the L’auberge casino recently because it was my friend’s birthday and he is fond of blackjack.

Our plan had been to go to either the fancy steakhouse or the sports bar. Unfortunately, it was a Saturday and the wait at both of those places when we were ready to eat was longer than we felt like dealing with.

So to the buffet!

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Tommy’s Fish House: No Shame in Being a Close Second to a Legend

If you live in Baton Rouge, you probably already know that the best boiled crawfish in town is at Sammy’s. If you didn’t know,  kindly pretend you still don’t.  The crowds there don’t need to get worse.  There is really only a short window most days there that you can eat crawfish without a considerable wait.  (And I am certainly not telling you what time that is.) If I am eating crawfish any other time, I head to Tommy’s Fish House.
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Dream Berrie Cafe- Pho is the Best Comfort Food

Dream Berrie Cafe is an unusual looking place. Part frozen yogurt shop and part Vietnamese food restaurant, it straddles an unusual set of food. The very cold yogurt  is served up -or rather self served, build your own cup style- across the room from the very hot soup.

I can’t comment on the yogurt because I haven’t tried theirs yet. I over frozen-yogurted myself in an attempt to try all the places in town at one point and haven’t been able to get back into it since.

I come here strictly for the Vietnamese food side of things. I have gotten food from here many times, always to go, and never having bothered to call ahead and it is always fast enough that I don’t regret not calling and waiting in the store.

They have dumpling appetizers that I have enjoyed very much, but the real star of this place is the pho.

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A Quick Review of Zapata’s Mexican Grill in Baton Rouge

On our way to see Oz the Great and Powerful, Josh and I stopped at Zapata’s. 

We had seen it for a while but hadn’t gotten around to going there. On our way in we saw a sign explaining that on Friday nights they had a Mariachi band there. Which is pretty neat.

Since we were going straight to the movie, we didn’t want to have excess food to bring home so we split an entree. We got the “plato el paso” which included a chile relleno, a beef tostada, a beef enchilada (which they substituted with a cheese enchilada for us), a beef taco, a beef burrito and a beef flauta for $12.99. It was a ton of food. Good cheesy heavy hearty -and a bit typically tex-mex-ish- Mexican food. It was tasty, but like cookies, certainly a sometimes food.

The fried elements, the shell of the flauta, the tostada, the chips, were all crispy and fresh tasting. Often the shell under something like a flauta doesn’t taste straight out of the fryer but theirs was.

Plus they used really good cheese.

Though the one thing I judge all Mexican and Mexican-ish restaurants on is chip and dip quality. They passed with flying colors. The salsa was quite good and they also served with their chips and salsa an amazingly tasty black bean dip. The bean dip was good enough to guarantee I will be back there.

Zapata's Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon

Quarters – Baton Rouge’s New Bar/ Arcade

I have seen Quarter’s – Baton Rouge’s new bar/ arcade/ bowing alley/ laser tag place getting set up for a while and I had been looking forward to it opening. It finally did, a couple months behind schedule judging by their facebook page.

I didn’t plan to play much tonight but I figured I would walk in there and see what sort of machines they had. It was disappointing. I was expecting a local dave and busters knock off. It was a seriously low rent dave and busters knock off… The three (three!! I have been in chucky cheese’s with more) skeeball machines were cheap plasticy things. There were a couple basketball games, a few light gun things, 6 or so driving games, a single crane machines, a touch screen fruit ninja game, and a huge number of psuedo slot machine spin the wheel maybe win a prize crap things. Oh and a weird giant connect 4 game. Plus the games were pricey- mostly $1 to $1.50 a game. $1 a game for skeeball isn’t bad with a decent skeeball machine but for a plastic knockoff thing? Nah.

What it didn’t have? Any fighting games. Any old school arcade games. A DDR machine. Any pinball machines… Basically anything to make it a decent arcade. The bowling area looked fine but it runs more expensive than the other bowling alley so I have no reason to bowl there.

I am so disappointed. I was hoping for a nice bar-arcade like a bigger city might have. Instead we got a series of slot machine style things.

Evidently Mohawks are VERY Suspicious

Went to Walmart to get a couple things late at night, like an hour and a half ago, with my husband. He has a really long blonde mohawk and a crazy full beard. Evidently that means he must be a shoplifter. While logically a criminal would try and blend in and not stand out, logic doesn’t exist in the world of profiling.

A Walmart employee in a button down collared shirt, signifying some sort of management position, followed him around the store the whole time. He tried to look like he was busy inspecting products nearby but he literally wasted an hour of time stalking my husband.

When we went to check out, the same guy and the cop who Walmart hires to hang around the front of the store at night stared at us and obviously were talking about us. I took a photo with my phone of their staring but unfortunately it did not come out. On the way out I wanted to take a picture of the cop car’s license plate so I would know which cop was staring at us like we were criminals but parked in the sidewalk area where the cop car ordinarily is was a truck with an American flag paint job.